KEEP MOVING ON

moving on

         KEEP MOVING ON 

Move on to the next immovable object
And failing to move it,
Go around it or go through it,
Move on. 

Bang your head against a brick wall,
Stub your toe on the floor,
Catch your hand in that fast closing door,
Move on. 

Leave behind the broken heart,
Absorb the hurt.
Make a new start,
Move on. 

Because over the horizon
There will be a new day,
A new sun,
And even if there isn’t,
Even if there is storm and darkness,
And the sun has set and long since gone,
Move on. 

For you’re here and whilst you’re here,
Filled with fury, love and passion,
Give it another go.
Leave yourself wide open,
Take it in your stride.
Though you may hesitate and you may falter,
Regroup, reform, return,
Live life to the full and learn
To move on. 

                                   © 2018 Gwen Grant                

WILLIAM AT HOME

hamlet

    WILLIAM AT HOME

William Shakespeare lives at our house,
Lounging on the sofa,
Perched on a corner of an old brown chair.
He lives here and he resides outside
In the old part of town.
Speaking whenever he fancies,
His ‘thee’s’ and ‘thou’s’ as familiar to me
As the words I heard as a child.

For right from childhood, I understood
That deep, warm speech.
Wrapped it round me like a coat.

We all loved him for it.
This William who is so much a part of us,
It sometimes seems he breathes for us
And keeps us alive
In the pages of a book.

                                         ©2019 Gwen Grant

QUIET SPACE

peaceful space

          QUIET SPACE

The space between words
Is a place of great comfort,
Where the mind can rest
And the eye assess
What is to come.
To prepare for the future.
So it is with prayer.

For prayer is the space
Between being and doing.
A place of great quietness
Where the heart can find ease,
Mind and soul
Find new strength
To face whatever lies in front of us.

                                   ©2019 Gwen Grant

LET IT GO

 

passing storm

           

         LET IT GO

It isn’t only the immediate pain,
It is the acquired pain
That troubles and torments the pockets of the mind
With its terrible, unending energy,
Of memories that hurt and burn, scald and bite,
Feeding on our disasters,
Growing fat and greedy on our cataclysmic tragedies.

At least, this is what we think
As we survey the wreckage behind us
And the very uncertain structure that lies ahead,
Of a life that has somehow accommodated
A train crash of gargantuan proportions,
Or, maybe, to others, a bump of Lilliputian dimensions
Blown up like a balloon.

Until that fretful thinker suddenly says,
‘Ah, sod it,’ and finally lets the whole of it float away,
To leave behind a nice, clean life sheet to scribble on.
Oh, what joy to start again.
To forgive as many times as we need to.

                                           ©2019 Gwen Grant

BLUE TIME IN SPRING TIME

bluebells & dandelions

I’ve been in hospital so my blog has been neglected.  I’m home now and this is where I would like to visit again, even though we’re a bit later than Spring.

 

         BLUE TIME IN SPRING TIME 

Walking over them, I half expected to fall
Into the great blue gaiety of a perfect sunny sky,
For the small blue flowers, no bigger than a grain of corn,
Were blue stars under my feet, their eternal beauty
Starring this world through the tender hand of love. 

There is a deep tenderness in this wood, a deep love,
For here the purple flower, there, the red.
Now a creamy bank of butter yellow blossom gleaming in the shadows,
Delighting, enchanting, lifting up to their own joyful gaiety
All those who walk under the dappling leaves.
The trees themselves swaying with delighted laughter
At this sunny celebration. 

Beyond the blue flowers,
Beyond the pale grey stone and faded tags of leafy gold,
A fish leaps up through the sunlit water,
Glittering blue against the brown washed banks of the lake
drying in the morning sun,
And a swan glides by in slow, grave beauty. 

Down this path the dandelion, that shock headed golden explosion,
Almost touches the red petals of a heavy blossomed tree,
A tiny goldfinch darting amongst them.
In the distance, a flash of blue as a jay flies to a far horizon,
Whilst a rich darkness shows up the blue black crow.
The squirrel pauses on its tiny orange feet
And the drake flies low, a dash of iridescent blue.
Then the blowing leaves whirl their tiny shadows under the trees
And the blue wash of bluebells turns the forest floor into a dark blue sea. 

And in a thousand, thousand places,
In the bramble and in the thorn,
In the dark silhouette of twigs lying flush against the blue sky,
In the fallen flowers lying on the grass,
In the purple and the red and the water floating blue.
The blue bells ring this steady proof of love. 

                                                       ©GWEN GRANT

MY LIBRARY HOME

ny library

One of my earliest memories is of going to the Library.  The Librarians then were very strict and wouldn’t allow you in until they had checked that your hands were clean.  I didn’t care.  I just wanted to get in amongst those books and read and read and read.  This Library has now closed and a new one built in its place.  The new one is fine but it doesn’t smell of floor polish, or lines of wooden shelves and, most importantly, it doesn’t smell of books. 

Every library I’ve ever visited is clear in my memory but I especially remember the New York Library; a) because it was so beautiful, it took my breath away and b) because, in the book sale there, I bought two volumes which have taken their place on my shelves of best-loved books.

One book was ‘Letters of Arnold Bennett – Volume 2 – 1889-1915’ and the other was ‘Letters of Arnold Bennett – Volume 3 – 1916-1931.’  Bennett was a writer I really admired and still do.

I also love the stamped inscription on the bottom of the books. ‘The New York Public Library – The Branch Libraries,’ and inside, ‘Withdrawn, for free use in City Cultural and Welfare Institutions.  May be sold for the benefit of the New York Public Library only.’  Long live New York Public Library.

Then there was the one in the city of Dundee, Scotland.  A very small Public Library that was so modest, it hardly took up any room at all but with the same magic inside.  That Library has gone, as well, but I still walk into it in my mind. 

 Libraries always seemed to require that you filled in forms and produced a copy of your Birth Certificate before they’d let you have a book.  I’d have supplied them with my blood group, shoe size and almost anything else just to get inside and pick up a book, a book, a book, a book.

 

                                                MY LIBRARY HOME 

When they tell me to ‘Attach Birth Certificate here,’
I ask them which one they mean.
The first one that simply affirms I have been born,
Or the real one, where under ‘Place of Birth,’
I have written ‘Library.’

For it was amongst these book-lined shelves
I was born to an awareness and understanding
Of what men and women, girls and boys get up to,
Plus all those other things we’re told that flesh is heir to.
I took down those books, held them, read them
And loved them so much, I hugged them.

I read about everything.
Love and hate, life and death, war and peace,
Joy and sorrow, crime and punishment.
I read about mountains, valleys, deserts, cities and jungles,
And how man was just a pinprick of light
In a vast darkness.
Or, maybe, a pinprick of darkness
In an ocean of light.

I learnt about creatures that walk, talk, crawl, creep, swim and fly
And how a sudden, surprising spark of affection
Can be a connection between them and us,
Us and them.

Which was why, under ‘Nationality’ where it said,
‘Tick any one of the countries that follow from A to Z,’
I ticked them all instead.
For I am every colour and race, creed, dogma and faith.
Is that hard?
Not when you’ve got a Library card.

So that’s my real home, for me and generations before me,
For together we speak for all those yet to come,
Who need us to succour them, love them, encourage them,
build them and fill them, and shine ‘em up,
As they find their place in their Library home. 

                                                ©2017 GWEN GRANT

BUT THERE’S HOPE…….

dancers clip art

 

BUT THERE’S HOPE…….

We thought that we were stronger far
Than Old Man Time.
That hand-in-hand we could out-dance
The Lady of the Hours.
That every moment was forever
At our beck and call,
And we would be always young and lovely
As the Spring-time flowers.

We half understood when this one
Turned their face unto the wall,
When that one couldn’t get
A second breath.
But we were slow to understand
That Time is iron,
In its iron will to bring about
Our iron deaths.

Yet when all is said and done and told,
We ever understood that love turned
Iron into gold.

                               © 2017 Gwen Grant