Paeans - and Aches

over the years

Wednesday, August 02, 2017


For EdeS

I didn't know you, really.
I was just one of the pimply thousands who passed through your ken,
unremarkable, more concerned with falling for unattainable girls
and being ever the outsider among the rich kids
than getting to know the wealth you had to offer.
(I wish I had, it's true, but then I did get to meet you
in your poems, which you said is the best way.)
It certainly wasn't the place;
now that all my friends are married and their children named
I only step into places of worship for funerals.
So maybe it was the day:
almost ten years after that first big loss
and midway between the birthday and deathday of another.
Maybe it was Amazing Grace;
hearing that you hummed it, like I did
(was it just the love for the music, as it was for me?)
before Mum, who I first heard it from, died.
Yes, maybe it was that.
That's why I cried at your funeral.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

From that back bench hiding place

For EdeS

From that back bench hiding place,
too shy to admit to writing poetry,
to not quite selling soap (but close)
and writing greeting-card doggerel.
If I’d risked facing your epée
maybe this wouldn’t have been
forty-eight words too many.