24 giu 2010


for Thomas Campbell and Rebecca McClane, London, March 13th, 2010

Asked at any other age
to write about commitments
I’d have come up with some sage
lines that soon I would amend.
But not now, now without cigarettes,
and with our baby, and you, friends.

Of course these are not comparable,
if not for the special grip
of being irreversible.
Baby’s case is evident;
with smoking, once you’ve quit
you’re no longer free to be dependent,

you’ll live on and on but chagrined
held in a nostalgic mist
which no inhaling thins –
meanwhile to be expectant
is nostalgia’s opposite,
is the would-be, the latitant.

And what about the wedding?
Well I actually don’t know.
But O, I know who’s marrying.
Two of a most, most special kind,
Becks ma belle, Tom mon beau,
with you there’s no rewind.

Right now about to shift
from your small room, earning
space, the two of you sift
beliefs, sadness, Shestov,
your bodies, Time, though a ring.
O friends, your ring be love.

Lips that with words run wild
mould still air into a yes,
a breath that conjures binds
beyond the human spheres –
you did it long before this
special moment here

but when vows afar cajole
for precisely the same goal
time is not the one-and-all
human choice then plays a role,
hand in hand your fingers wind
with one touch both heart and mind.

Plus, dear Tom, dear Becks,
your very yes will use you
for the gods, as did some Aztecs.
But again like giving birth –
I’ll put aside the smoking issue –
with your yes you inherit the earth.

Thomas, from the utmost radi-
ant, grey and green Eastern shores,
be luminous to your lady.
Rebecca, from Hull’s steady
shadows, moraines and bright ores,
let loose your loveliest lore.

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