In the world in which we are living is just getting crazier. Hopefully the Mad Emperor Across the Water will be stopped and our own bunch of clowns given their marching orders sooner rather than later. I just want to say my thoughts are with you all in America.
I was in Bristol last Saturday. I had been to Flow, a superb vegan restaurant the previous evening. This sign outside the Registry Office caught my eye.
PLEASE WAIT HERE FOR YOUR CEREMONY
Sign outside Bristol Registrar Office
The last Saturday before the second lockdown
The woman in the deep violet suit
is telling her father:
I’m not nervous at all, isn’t that strange?
The group of six huddle
as winds blow through the city
skittling leaves and lives
Tomorrow you will phone
tell me your wedding is off
death by a thousand regulation changes
Here for the ceremony queue the rain has returned,
the bride, the groom and their chosen four
run for any sort of shelter they can find
The penultimate stanza refers to a friend's wedding plans that have been scuppered by the pandemic.
This is the poem I was going to run this post.
Cheap Fireworks in the Rain
I left my family for this? he mutters.
He has already told me
this is a new start.
That he’s drawing a line under
the collapsed business
the catastrophic marriage,
and has taken the opportunity
to study English in England.
So here he is in Totnes
observing us natives celebrate the anniversary
of the putting to death of some Catholic.
It is a Sunday.
It is drizzling.
The kind of rains that soaks through
and there we are all outside
with the cheapest packet of fireworks
glumly igniting each one in turn.
And you do this every year? he asks
as finally the sodden blue touch paper
I’ve been trying to light for the last two minutes
suddenly flares into life
and very nearly takes my eye out.
And is it always so bleak?
Always I reply.