Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Celebration

The Royal Wedding in Photos

Wedding Poem For Schele and Phil (William and Catherine)
by Bill Holm

A marriage is a risky business these days
Says some old and prudent voice inside.
We don't need children anymore
To keep the family line alive,
Or gather up the hay before the rain.
No law demands respectability
Love can arrive without certificate or cash.
History and experience both make clear
That men and women do not hear
The music of the world in the same key,
Rather rolling dissonances doomed to clash.

So what is left to justify a marriage?
Maybe only the hunch that half the world 
Will ever be present in any room
With just a single pair of eyes to see it.
Whatever is invisible to one
Is to the other an enormous golden lion
Calm and sleeping in the easy chair.
After many years, if things go right
Both lion and emptiness are always there;
The one never true without the other.

But the dark secret of the ones long married,
A pleasure never mentioned to the young,
Is the sweet heat made from two bodies in a bed
Curled together on a winter night
The smell of the other always in the quilt,
The hand set quietly on the other's flank
That carries news from another world
Light years away from the one inside
That you always thought you inhabited alone.
The heat in that hand could melt a stone.

Just this past week as I was in the air over Greenland I was thinking of my husband, home, our life together and thought of the word 'comfort'.  Not in the old-slipper-sense but in the warmth of the above poem.  Of course, the happenings of April 29, 2011 with William marrying Catherine brought this all together in my head.

Some years ago, our girl, Sherilee, said that one should not go to a wedding where you wouldn't want to shed some tears.  These could be tears of joy or sadness, whatever; it seems to me that this wedding was such an occasion.  What we saw at Westminster Abbey was tasteful and elegant.

Let us be happy and wish them well.


  1. Just to clarify, I would stay away from a wedding where the tears would be tears of sadness... no need to be present for THAT drama.

    What I meant was: if a wedding's not going to move me in some way, I don't need to be there. And, it's also important to note that I said this at time when it was not uncommon to get a half-dozen wedding invites in a summer (during my 20s), and so one gets choosier about such things...

    OK, clarification over. Nice post!

    I do indeed wish them well. I had a jaded FB friend post that he thought Kate looked like she wanted to run. I think you see what you want to see... I saw someone who would probably have picked a different wedding, given the chance, but loves the guy and knew that marrying him meant this is the wedding you get with that package. Now they get to have the life together, and that's what it's all about.

  2. Great poem, Shirley.
    I wish I had wrote it.
    Best I can do is...

    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue.
    My life is worth nothing
    If I'm not with you.