field at night


                             A MIDNIGHT REFLECTION

That was the night my brother said, ‘The moon is up,’ and I straightway stepped out of the house onto a path so deep with frost, that as I walked towards the gate, I left dark footprints behind me.  Heading over the paddock, I could hear little crunching murmurs of the frozen blades of grass beneath my feet.

Then down to the river which seemed to be in good humour, laughing and chuckling.  This was the river I sat beside years and years ago when I was a girl, only a long way further down its length to where it opened into a wide stretch of water.  I sat on the grass with an armful of bluebells for my mother and watched that river.

This night, I remembered how I had made up the story of the river making the moon by spinning together the little gleaming fish until the circle was going so fast, it flew into the air and shone over the world and the moon was up.

Now I went along the light flecked river bank to the bridge where the rough stones pulled at my skin, their intense cold making me glad to be out in the icy air.  Out, then, and on to the bare field in front of me, bare of everything but frost, earth and stone, slipping and sliding on the long, pale grass to the old cattle trough caught in the middle of the hedgerow that stood between the field and the river.  

Sitting on the cold, grey rim, touching the frozen water that held the moon in its milky surface, running my fingers over the quivering, willing reflection until I could no longer feel them, I was part of this great silent loveliness, beauty and peace celebrating the darkness .

Over the fields I heard the faint sound of a dog barking somewhere in the next village, the fretful whispering of a few dead leaves hanging in the trees as the wind sighed through the darkness and the sudden rustling of the outside cat following me but never coming close enough to touch.

It was time to go home and the moon let me go, watching me walk over the glittering earth, across the frosted and freezing field.

The moon was up and the whole world shone.

                                                                                          ©2019 Gwen Grant


42952556 - starry sky


What is best in us
Lies in that quiet curving line
From the head to the heart,
Embracing the spirit of love,
Strong enough to reach
Into the darkness,
Yet understanding we are
Made of stars.

                              ©2019 Gwen Grant


dandelion in winter


That frozen nub of dandelion
Pushing up through grass and old lavender
Surprised the frosted rose,
Astonished the white rimed garden.
Its tiny yellow filaments
Creating a raggy halo,
Promising a dot of sunshine,
Sometime in the near future.

                          ©2019 Gwen Grant


tent on beech

When I was a child, I used to watch rain beetles struggling across puddles of water left after the rain. It would take ages for a beetle to get back to dry land. Sometimes, one or the other of us would drop a blade of grass into the water and the beetle would instantly seize upon it and use it but blade of grass or no blade of grass, they never gave up.  Their hard shell like backs were this most beautiful glittering blue.

          RAIN BEETLE

Like a blue iridescent rain beetle
Struggling across a puddle of water,
They tried to set up camp
In the middle of an ocean.

Storms battered them,
Winds drowned them,
Sweeping their tent onto the sand
Where they huddled, trembling,
Watching silent movies of people hurrying
Across the canvas.

Sometimes reaching out a hand
To grab an elbow.  And missing.
Sometimes sticking out a foot
To trip the hurrying image up,
Meaning to catch them.  But failing.

Yet the sea was always singing
Of the sunsets it had seen,
Of moonlight glittering,
Of all the places it had been visiting,
But, especially, of how the cold, clear water
Was perfect for paddling.

Until, tiny splash by tiny splash,
Like little iridescent rain beetles
Fearlessly crossing a puddle of water,
They were, at the last, swimming.

                                        © 2018 Gwen Grant




The wind is bustling around
the house tonight,
Sweeping away the little sparkling cobwebs
Clinging to the walls,
Whistling twigs down the guttering
So that some bird will have to start
Again in the Spring.

Then the snow came.

And the outside cat,
Who came out of nowhere,
Padded across the white grass,
Into the greenhouse,
For his portion of biscuits.

To curl up in the cardboard box
On the old cover set in a warm corner,
And dream of Spring,
When little fat birds would fall
Out of their windswept nests
Right in front of him.

                             ©2019 Gwen Grant

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                 FUTURE TENSE

The old girl lay sleepless in her bed,
Eyes staring through the dark,
Fretting at a future she couldn’t see,
Worrying at the hours and days and weeks
That lay before her.
Sleepless, she sighed again and again
‘If only I knew what the future will bring.’
Until the future, hiding behind the door,
Listening keenly, stepped in.

Picking up two particularly heavy days,
It smacked them round her head.
‘That’s one thing,’ it said.

 Then selecting an especially lovely
String of hours,
Gently laid them round her neck.
‘And that’s another,’ it said.
‘Now, before I go, is there anything else
You want to know?’

 ‘No,’ the old girl whispered, shaking her head,
Turning quick and over in her bed.
‘If it’s alright with you,
I’ll look at the stars instead.’

 ‘Good thinking,’ the future said.

                                                        © 2017 Gwen Grant