Category Archives: marriage

July 29, 1981

wedding 1981Photo credit: 80s Actual

 
For whatever reason, I seem to be on a royal streak (flush?) right now. Here’s a brief memory of events from 32 years ago. Britain in the late 70s and early 80s was pretty conflicted (think strikes and riots and punk rock, not just tea and crumpets) – and what better to point this out than a massively expensive wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral?

 
July 29, 1981

The morning of the wedding, the TV
room was abuzz with royalists. Eileen
on the settee, a cockney queen. The rest

of us stayed in the kitchen drinking tea,
making snide comments about the Prince’s
large ears and the dangers of inbreeding.

Later, I listened from my bedroom as
the bride got the groom’s name wrong. It was an
omen, although we didn’t know it then,

her unending white dress flowing down and
out the door like a slick of North Sea oil,
just one more ’80s excess to regret.

 

Six senryu of Henry VIII

Henry VIII

Despite recent hoopla about the birth of a baby, I’m not convinced it ever makes sense to marry into the Royal Family. Witness this brief history of the marriages of King Henry VIII.   Written for Poetic Asides, in senryu form.

 

Six senryu of Henry VIII

I. Catherine of Aragon
Queen of earthly Queens
ditched after twenty-three years
for someone younger.

II. Anne Boleyn
In less than three years
he had her executed
on trumped-up charges.

III. Jane Seymour
Lady-in-waiting
to Anne, and Henry’s mistress.
Died after childbirth.

IV. Anne of Cleves
Married for six months.
Never even slept with him.
She got off lightly.

V. Catherine Howard
An adulteress?
Like her cousin Anne Boleyn
she soon lost her head.

VI. Catherine Parr
Henry’s third cousin,
put his house in order, and
outlived the bugger.

 

Year 24: Nothing says I love you like a banjo

kermit banjopicture from GitBox Culture

 

For my beautiful wife, on our wedding anniversary. Not the most romantic of sonnets, but consider the alternatives.  This year was supposed to be a silver plate, and next year a musical instrument.  Just what we need around the house, another instrument!  Anyway, I love you dear – this one’s just for you.

 

Year 24: Nothing says I love you like a banjo

Well, they came up with an impressive list
of anniversary presents to go
alongside the traditional gifts. So
now any guy can make a decent fist
of getting her what she’ll love. You promised
to cherish her always? Then why not show
it year by year, using the plan below?
(It’s kind of goofy, but you get the gist).

First ten years: paper, cotton, leather, fruit
wood, sugar, copper, bronze, pottery, tin.
So far so good. Then things disintegrate
until she’s just got a grab-bag of loot:
sculpture, watches, cars, glasses, But then, in
year forty-six, A POEM. I can’t wait!

 

What no one can understand

We must not keep doing
this. The words spill slowly,
with my hand in your hair,
in some lost restaurant
sixty miles from nowhere.

We must not keep doing
such damage to ourselves,
and those we love. The lift
our souls gained at the start
has turned into a gift

we must not keep. Doing
anything together
now holds our life in thrall
to fear, muscles clenched for
the axe we know will fall.

We must not keep doing
this, dear friend. For freedom’s
found not in what we choose,
but rather in the good
we at the last refuse.

A monchielle, written for a friend in a long-distant cafe.
To share with friends at the dVerse Poet’s Pub.

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