The road was a long one,
Full of pot holes and standing water,
Gravel crunching beneath my feet,
The grass verges soaked with rain.
Dandelions, cowslips and late flowering daffodil
Keeping their own counsel.

The old house that had been falling down
For years, had been repaired.
New doors and windows refusing to allow
The driving rain entry to ruin
Sweet smelling wood.

Once, here were fields of carrot and potato,
Beetroot and onion, sweetcorn and pick-your-own

The rain now so heavy, it sent me
Running to the shelter of an old tree
Whose canopy of leaves was as fresh and green
As it had always been.

I stood in a silent corner, looking at the set aside field
Of raw earth, stones and sullen weeds,
Waiting for the earth god to wake up,
Leap up and spring into the open,
Grass and earth and worms and wood beetles
Falling from his brown shoulders, towering into the sky,
Reaching out his long arms to tear down the rain clouds,
Chase away the sun hiding from his anger,
Grabbing handfuls of planets and glimmering stars.
Searching for a new home.

It was cold in the wood but I waited
Until all the stars and planets lay weeping on the grass.
Watched as rain became tears the earth god wept,
Flinched as he roared his anger, sending flood and fire
At the careless desecration of his home.

©2021 Gwen Grant



The pheasant
In her plain brown dress
Stands still and silent
On the frost,
Thick now
As once fast fallen snow.

Fog, thin as water,
Pulled out the sun
To shine
A pale and fretful fist
Of warmth,
That never touched
The frozen grass.

Sheep watch,
As wild and hungry cat
Leaves paw prints
Down a shining path
Making straight
For that plain brown dress,
Startling now
With blood.

Pheasant small
And plumply fat,
Deny the wild and hungry cat
His breakfast.

Run, little pheasant, run.

© 2021 Gwen Grant

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


 Femme Fatale by Kees Van Dongen

The artist is a liar
About painting only what he sees
In front of him.
Slick lies of seduction slipping from his lips,
Falling from his tongue,
Like leaves falling from a wintered tree.
He tells so many lies
It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind.

That naked breast she offers
On fingers thin and sharp as boning knives
Is not offered for free.
Painting the aureole so dark
Only the juice of damsons could create
Such a full, rich, bruising.

This dance hall dame, remote and lethal,
Puts no value on any part of her body.
It’s all for sale
For a wad of the folding stuff.

The artist rhapsodised about her hair,
Her eyes, her implacable face.
But no-one on earth could mistake
That sullen, knowing mouth
For the mouth of a woman
Who has given in to seduction.

I’ll say!
That’s the mouth of a woman
Keeping her trap shut
And counting the money.

The artist is a liar,
Telling so many lies
It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind.
Certain that this painting is so beautiful
People will fight to have it on their wall.

When, all the time, he knows he has painted
Her ancient and watchful soul,
All bandaged about with suffering.

                             ©2019 Gwen Grant