REMEMBER US


National flower of Ukraine

REMEMBER US

War is different now.
In the old days
Men wept and suffered and died alone.
Now, reels of film,
The pop and flash of the camera,
The digital image
Bring all suffering before us.

Here’s one,
With a loaded gun.
And there’s another.
The gun brings all to death
And death makes all women sisters
All men brothers.

And here,
Some precious daughter,
Some precious son
Lie silent and unknown.

Man has always fought
And Love has always loved
And man’s love has so tight a boundary.
Here’s the pity of it,
That we should line the boned earth
With the young.

War is different now
But it makes no difference to us.
We are the wounded.
We are the dead.

It makes no difference
Whether we send giant tanks down small streets
Or over flowers.
Or send soldiers.
Or whether death is dart flung
Out of a screaming sky.
We still die.

REMEMBER US.

As you watch us,
Caught for all time,
To suffer for all time,
To die for all time.
Remember us.

We were the men sprinting over sand
We were the women beside them,
The flash, flash, flash of bullets
Turning the fallen
Into sandcastles
Blown away by the wind.

Once, we were the future.
We were our sons and daughters,
Our futures wasted in the fist of death
Our red blood runs black,
Or blazing red.

Though every impulse of your heart
Reaches out,
You cannot touch us.
You cannot help us.
For men have always fought,
And Love has always loved,
And man’s love has so tight a boundary.
And yet!
And yet!
If we could love our neighbour
And get that right,
Old wars would never be repeated,
And through love, by love, in love
War itself would be defeated.

                              ©2012 Gwen Grant.

If you wish to use any of my work, please contact me.
All work is copyright.

CHANGE

CHANGE

Rock pools
Glittering in the sun,
Holding safe
Delicate little crabs,
Opalescent legs
Caught in thin strands
Of seaweed
Floating in ice-cold water.

Baby pink shells
Clicking against each other,
Waiting for the sea
To roll in,
Fling them to freedom.

To grow strong
In the crowded excitement
Of other waters.

                     ©2022 Gwen Grant

THE HAT

woman & hat

       THE HAT

This hat demands
Someone with a strong personality
To stand under its brim.
Someone who always walks
Down the middle of the pavement.
Who only ever patronises
High class establishments
Selling hats of good breeding.

This hat wants someone
Who always carries an umbrella.
Who never ducks into the nearest Pub
For strong drink and a bag of crisps
To sustain them, and who would never
Hang this hat on the back of a chair
To be attacked by a small Pomeranian.

After that, this hat felt so ill-used and abused
It demanded a new owner.
Very well!  If you insist!
But you just wait and see.
You’ll not get very far without me.

Obviously, the hat shrugged its brim,
Clearly didn’t believe a thing I had to say.
Calmly murmured that from here on in,
It would make its own way.
The last I saw of that very superior hat,
It was waltzing out of the door
On a very superior head.

Hmmm.  Pure luck of the draw, I said.

                                   © 2018 Gwen Grant

STARTING OVER

STARTING OVER

Late love,
With all its tenderness,
Turns us all
Into navigators,
Archaeologists,
Gently blowing the dust of years
From the site of yesterday.
Sometimes finding the splendours
Of Carter’s Tutankhamen,
Sometimes bringing to light
A tiny twist of yellow gold,
Its brightness hidden from invaders.

Cautious, careful,
We read books that tell us
How to discover each other.
One mystery sliding alongside another.
Two historians coming together,
Compiling a definitive account
Of their life and times.

You know what?
A hand reaching out for a hand,
A smile answering a smile
Breaks it all down
To where any Lover could build a castle,
Or a small shed if wanted,
With a water feature on the patio.
The oceans of the world
Lapping the edge of the garden.

                                  © 2019 Gwen Grant