Saturday, 3 November 2012

River of Dreams, Rhythm of Life

Today’s poem has not appeared on this blog since 2009. I am airing it today especially for ‘George’ whose wife died earlier this year after 50+ years of marriage. George got in touch to say, ‘I am not gay, but love the poem as it makes me feel close to my dear, late wife.’ He adds, ‘In matters of the heart, I don’t suppose it matters who you are or whether you are gay or straight…’

Ah, George, I’m glad you like the poem, and am so sorry for your loss, but have to say that last sentence is music to my ears. [Yes, life is better for many gay people than it used to be, but it depends where you live in the world and whether or not you are growing up in a gay-friendly home/school environment. Better for many,  yes, but as tough as ever for others.]


I recall one long lovely summer
when we‘d stroll beside a river
discovering more about each other
than we ever knew before

I recall how we lay in long grass,
shared our first shy, gay kiss,
soaking us with more happiness
than we ever knew before

I recall how our naked bodies
mingled with butterflies,
a more glorious heat embracing us
than we ever knew before

In your arms, my cheek against
your bare chest…
in nature’s hands more blessed
than we ever knew before

Before we dressed, another kiss
could but let the grass
play a sweeter song on our bodies
than we ever knew before

We walked hand in hand along
the river bank, its love song
ours to keep, righting any wrong
others had done us before

Years on, we stroll by a river,
chatting with each other,
your ghost and I, as much together
as we ever were before

[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012]

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