The last time I saw that poem
It was getting on a train
For the far north.
It likes it up there,
Crunching about in the ice and snow,
Climbing up small mountains,
Picking up the odd abandoned word or phrase
Lying amongst the grey stones and heather.

By nightfall, itíll be in its room, changing,
Emptying its pockets onto the bed,
Choosing a word to sparkle here,
A phrase to quietly glow there.
Ready, now, for a night of changing partners.
Until all scrubbed up, brushed down
And wildly excited,
Itís finally ready to dance.

Any time now, I expect that poem to come home.

                                   © 2019 Gwen Grant


Bitter winter, I exult in you.
You are my gift, my shroud, my winding sheet,
My creative death,
Pausing me in a frozen still-life
So that other life can break in,
Changing still-life to full life.

Lovely, lovely winter,
With all your subtle colour,
Your peerless blues and high violets flushing
the snow,
Your avalanche of lemon light and tender light
Whose sight
Makes me shake and shiver,
Shaking loose the hidden smoulder
Of scarlet tipped berries burning through darkness.
Those bonfires of memory reminding us
Of the steady scintillation of our hearts.
How I love your cold breath
Blowing me always into a new passion.

Blow, winter winds!
Blow your bitter chills until the sky dances,
The sea rages
And all the plump little mermaids
Leap to the surface of the holy water.
Mermaids who laugh at the scunning ships,
At the flag-sailed ships of myth and story,
Bringing us cargoes of dreams and coral and lost sea-horses,
All touched with glory.

Look! Look!
Look at the beauty of winter.
Look at the white peacocks flirting with the frosty hoar.
Look at the dark clouds racing darkly over the water
Towards the great-beaked swan
Who pecks gold from the tight-skeined air.                                              

I first blogged this poem in October 2017 when blogging was absolutely new and strange to me and I was unaware of how much pleasure it would bring.

We have a favourite place in Scotland that overlooks the River Tay, so we often just sit there and watch the water.  The Tay is also known as the ĎSilvery Tayí and it really does shine silver.  Itís a very beautiful river.

Behind where we sit, there is an Old Peopleís Care Home and the ladies are often sat in their little conservatory.  Although they are old and sometimes fragile, you can still see in them the lovely young women they once were.  That they can see the Tay, too, must be a tremendous pleasure to them.

This is the poem I wrote about that Care Home and the ladies.                       

When I was 12 years old, I decided I would walk to the end of a rainbow, find the gold and we could all live happily ever after.  Several hours later, too tired to take another step, the rainbow as far away as ever and fading fast, I headed back home. 
I found something on that expedition, though, as I've never forgotten it.


The swans are out again,
Shimmering on the dark water,
Dipping into the splashes of moonlight
 they become moonlight themselves,
Every feather sculpted in light.
Little white snowflake swans
Drifting down the silent river.

Behind us lies the Care Home,
Where glass walls welcome the lovely moon
And one lone bed
With a quilt as red as roses,
Lies empty in a corner.    

The old ladies who live there,
Watching the white and sparkling swans
Sailing on the glittering water,
Dreamily send their pretty, remembered bodies,
Down that golden moonlit path.
Frail little birds
Who soon overtake the swans.

This river and heaven
Must have a lot in common.              

                                                               ©Gwen Grant


    All life exists
    At the end of a rainbow.
    Witches on broomsticks,
    A Knight in shining armour.

    I donít really think so.
    The last time I looked,
    There was only a crumble of dirt,
    A grain of corn,
    A rain beetle struggling through the leaf mould.

    Still, we build
    What we can
    With what's to hand.
                                              © Gwen Grant

More poetry at gwengrantpoems.com

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