Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. Two houses ago we were married outside our back door on a brilliant sunny day. We’d invited people to a party on the lawn afterwards – they did not know they were being asked to come to a celebration.
Afterwards I wrote a long poem to commemorate the occasion. I called it ‘Room’. Beginning with the path that led to the front door it had a section for every room in the large two-storied house. The last section dealt with the marriage scene.
‘Beyond the laundry clutter, out the back
patio, pumpkin, borage, ginger lily,
compost, worms, bees, snails,
the bank held temporarily by ivy and convolulus
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 and to celebrate their marriage."
Folly, magnificence, the whole thing,
dew on cobwebs,
paint peeling off the house,
the embrace of a place
& one another.
A lot has happened since that poem was written. More tui round now. I dug out the ginger lily as a noxious weed. Pity, it had a splendid scent. As Yeats says ‘man is in love and loves what vanishes/ what more is there to say.’
It would be wrong, however, to end on a wistful note. There are still things to look forward to with pleasure. As it's a special occasion, Anne's cooking duck breasts for dinner tonight followed by poached black boy peaches in muscatel with fig and honey ice-cream for dessert.
Launch at Unity Books Wellington
10 hours ago