Beyond the laundry clutter, out the back
patio, pumpkin, borage, ginger lily,
compost, worms, bees, snails,
the bank held temporary by ivy and convolvulus
once a tui called to check the flax.
There is room for everything.
“Patrick, Jonathan, Ina, Rae & Colin,
we are gathered today at Anne & Harvey’s
home to witness & celebrate their marriage.”
Folly, magnificence the whole thing,
dew on cobwebs,
paint peeling off the house,
any fresh start
spinning satellites defying common sense,
The embrace of a place
& one another.
The second one, by Janet Frame, I read at the end. The evening before, I had picked up Harvey's last anthology, These I Have Loved, and the book just seemed to fall open at this poem.
If poets die young
they bequeath two thirds of their life to the critics
to graze and grow fat in
If poets die in old age
they live their own lives
they write their own poems
they are their own might-have-beens.
Young dead poets are prized comets.
The critics queue with their empty wagons ready for hitching.
Old living poets
stay faithfully camouflaged in their own sky.
It may even be forgotten they have been shining for so long.
The reminder comes upon their falling
extinguished into the earth.
The sky is empty, the sun and moon have gone away,
there are not enough street bulbs, glow-worms, fireflies to give light
and for a time it seems there will be no more stars.
Since Sunday, I have remembered that Harvey loved Christmas, and I'll do my best to enjoy it as much as possible. So now the house is full of flowers, and tomorrow night I'll put up the crib with the figures my son painted for me years ago. Here's how it was for Harvey's last Christmas in 2009. Thank you for reading my blog this year, and I hope that over the next week, you all have the best time you possibly can, with the people you love.