Well Known and Well Loved

Said the queen to her fancy man at break of day
Stroking her burden with soft fingertips
There is nothing we can do or say will outlive
My heart's last beat, the latest breath of your lips.

And she smiled and plucked a feather from the bolster
And puffed it in the air and watched it sail
"The moments of our love are flakes of dream,
Falling on a snow scene in a fairy tale."

And then suddenly her body stiffened and her eyes grew large
And she cried with what voice she could find,
"Who are you? You whom I have known and loved
In my heart's deep marrow, and in the bones of my mind."

And that familiar animal from heaven
With whom she had mixed her soul and seed and breath
Lifted his head, and smiled and touched her hair
And taking off his mask of love, was death.

Poetry Home Page
  One night a year or two back, when I was delivering pizzas, I called at a house where some kind of cultural occasion was in progress, accompanied by generous quantities of wine, and as I handed the pizzas over, a young woman swept up to me and imperiously demanded "a poem". This is the one I gave her and the assembled company. It was a good pizza, and I hope they recovered quickly enough to eat it before it chilled.  
  A Farewell

What is there left to be said
There is nothing we can say
Nothing at all to be done
to undo the time of day.
No words to make the sun roll east,
or raise the dead.

I loved you as I loved life.
The hand I stretched out to you
Brought a new earth to view
Till I was quick with love.
But time sharpens his knife
Time smiles and whets his knife
And something must come out
Quickly, and be buried deep
Not spoken, or thought about,
Or remembered, even in sleep

You must live, get on with your life.

A R D Fairburn


This one is for John, who warmed us all with his life, and died last year at 49. He bought his copy of Rex's poems when I finally insisted he return mine.