SHINE ON

holly & Ivy

There is a beautiful Magnolia tree in the garden next to ours and it seems to change almost daily, one day full of flowers, the next full of buds and then raggy and desolate with dead and dying leaves.  Except!  Behind the leaves are the new tight little buds waiting for their moment in the sun.  Then, sitting in a car park, staring out at a scrubby piece of neglected woodland, I saw the bright berries of the holly and the determined onslaught of the ivy. 

SHINE ON 

Next door’s Magnolia
Has turned brown.
All leaves gone,
Except the one
That shakes its little
Brown body
In the winter wind,
Excited by new buds
Breaking through.
Pushing its own slow dying
To one side.

Down the lane,
Red berries
Beam their small cheer
Through the frost bitten branches,
Keeping a wary eye
On the jealous Ivy,
Darkly waiting its chance
To put out their fire.
Always ready to extinguish
Any spark of hope.

                                  © Gwen Grant

STARTING OVER

newbeginnings

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 the 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.

                                  © Gwen Grant

LET IT BE

apple tree blossom             

When I was a child, I was sent away for a year for my health.  Everything there was the exact opposite to my home.  No bright colours as at home and, of course, with so many children to care for, instead of love, there was an impartial interest and care.  There are many times we would not go back to and this was one of them.

          LET IT BE

Last night,
The apple tree turned white,
Its wide skirts trembling
As if some fabulous ballerina
Was dancing over the grass.

For a moment,
I was taken back
To my childhood.
Looking at an apple tree
Through a window,
Where my finger nail
Scraped long strands of frost.

Then I was a long way from home.
A long way from love and colour,
Close to dark uniforms,
To squares of aprons
Crackling in snowy starchiness.
White caps like fearful torches
Breaking the dusky violet night,
Making me weep for home.

                                     Now making me glad that none of us
                                     Can inhabit the past.

                             © Gwen Grant

 

 

SOLITARY

                       SOLITARY

To be deaf
Means more than not to hear,
It means being locked out,
Shut up,
Confined
In a room designed for one
And no bigger.

To be deaf
Means watching lips,
Becoming expert on mouths
That shout
Or slur,
So that it is impossible to hear
What anyone is saying.

To be deaf
Means walking in silence,
Yet hearing music
From speechless eyes,
Soundless operas
Pouring over deaf ears,
Flowering the emptiness.
                        © Gwen Grant

RESURRECTION

        RESURRECTION

We all have our own Gethsemane
When times are against us,
When, faultless and perfect,
Darkness no longer has an airy lightness
But falls upon us
With the full weight of sorrow.

From Gethsemane there comes always
That long walk to the crucifixion of hope,
That slow procession into loneliness,
That sombre step into a darkness, where love
Becomes nothing but an old and lovely dream.

Yet that dark garden,
Those dark blossoms flowering,
Flame with the resurrection of a living hope,
Throwing light into the darkness,
Bringing peace to the desolate,
Making all love new,
Its eternal promise forever redeeming,
That where love is,
Time no longer has any meaning.
                                   © Gwen Grant

TAKE IT EASY

             TAKE IT EASY

The days go round so fast,
Even as we watch the clock,
These hours chasing hours
Make us feel
As if we are pinned
To the centre of time.


The ordered, carefree minutes,
Race away like stars
Falling into memory.
Unstoppable,
Wholly uncontrollable,
So fast, so giddy,
Sparks fly out of our eyes,
Fire springs from our fingers
And from our feet,
Tiny flames of life lick the startled air.

We sing
Of rosy days.
Psalm the stateliness
Of lost,
Frost-bitten hours.
Eternally blazing
Into whatever comes next.
                               © Gwen Grant

TIME AND AGAIN

I have now seen so many new years, I almost feel as if I glitter with the sprinkled dust of long experience. Still, as the old saying goes, ‘There may be snow on the chimney but there’s a fire in the hearth.’  Wishing a fire in the hearth for everyone and very little snow.

           TIME AND AGAIN  

All the quiet hours
Have slipped away,
The laughing and the weeping

Whirled into nothingness,
But love remains,
Burning with the desire
To create a new reality.

We can change nothing that has gone,
Yet as unblemished time
Stretches out before us,
We are impatient,
Longing to tumble down
Those promised days.
Hold the hours together,
Holding on for each other,
Bringing hope,
Bringing love that changes everything.
                                 © Gwen Grant