Wedding Poem Dru & Rebecca August 16
….So, we have a shared history and here we are in it
together, caught in it together, like berries in a basket
or fish in a net. And I’m glad to see
everyone’s dressed properly because we’ve seen each other
in some states, and that’s for sure.
And here we are in this place, this city
so if you were coming from
London, say, or Brussels, Luxembourg – Melbourne? –
we’d be in the north here. But of course we know better.
We know the north begins
somewhere north of here and
there’s not much city after that.
Well, up in the north it’s still the berry season.
So here’s a message from the fruits of Coldhome
– Coldhome’s not much of a name but we’re comfortable in it
and we have a shared history and you’ve helped make it.
So here’s the message: pick them one by one, it goes;
you don’t see it grow
but how it grows! and surely
by the summer’s end there is a feast….
Oh, and here’s another: they’re all hidden;
under their own leaves, under nettles, willowherb,
thistles – thistles are much in evidence this year –
but again what a feast, when you bend down
under the head-high undesirables!
such luxuriant shadow and the ripe feast hanging!
That’s enough of fruit. There are also things to be said
concerning salt; and clouds; and fish.
Fish multiply, that’s the one thing.
I don’t know how this happens, but you’ve heard
the story of how two of them fed five thousand people.
Salt, on the other hand, gets washed away.
The rain washes it away and makes the sea
and the sea lives everywhere around us
If the salt weren’t washed away we’d all be cripples
we’d be pillars of salt, like that poor creature
who didn’t want to leave her comforts behind her.
Some fish like salt, but they all like rain.
Which brings me to clouds – trackways of clouds
they run from south to high north up and down our islands
or east and west across-wise. They see everything.
They go everywhere. They’re like angels
or mycelium in the ground, or our blood cells. So if ever
you live somewhere that’s not in sound of the sea
ask the clouds, and they’ll take you
take you skimming on a cloudhigh skateboard
orcfdd6 at least they’ll tell you: this is how the sea is today,
listen to its weight slapping down
disintegrating into foam, listen. And
you’ll hear it as the ragged, mutable
creatures go on running above your head.
So, on an occasion like this, you bend your heads
you bend down to let everyone see in
see you under your canopy of discreet twosomeness
you’re more or less a show put on for our entertainment
so you bend down and we load your necks
with garlands and good wishes, almost more
than you can carry. But you’ll get over it.
Today you are our feast, and we’ve brought you
fruit and salt and clouds and fishes, a whole wild harvest
to put in your basket till it all goes dry, but even when dry
it’s like a pill with the essence of the wild stuff still on it
a pill you can take, a medicine, and restore yourselves.
I hope you liked this. It’s what they call free verse
but I can make sonnets too. Sonnets are free
things forced into collars and ties and
shirts and suits and tights and bodices and wot-not,
shirts, suits, ties, tights, bodices and wot-not;
we don’t mind them because we’re used to them,
oh, and did I mention tying the knot
with marriage vows and rigmaroles that stem
from when we first discovered regulation
and saw that it was good (and let’s drink to it!)?
but the free thing, the wild part of the equation
the sweating, thistle-pricked, mosquito-bit –
it’s all still in there; and love can’t be constrained
not by any vows or undertakings….
We become companions through our history
but make our history too, laying it skeined
or spooled out like nets, like the makings
of what we knew was there, but had still to be.
That was a sonnet, by the way, but the free
stuff carries on unheeding, the stuff
we pick, cut down or build with, or taste, watch, hear:
the fish, the fruit, the salt, the clouds, the sea.