Twin Banks

Twin Banks

I’d like to say it went off without a hitch, but, truth be known, I choked up (as expected). What could have been three minutes of poetry during my daughter’s (and, of course, her husband’s) wedding seemed like a lifetime, as her life-to-this-point flashed before me. I have been called a romantic, and I won’t deny that it’s true. Her happiness always has been one of my foremost concerns. They have been a couple since high school – more than a third of their lives – but I was overwhelmed by the significance of that moment and the happiness they will share.

Afterwards, the father-daughter dance did go off without a hitch. (I guess the lessons, followed by practice with my wife every night during the month before the trip, paid off.) Our plan was to alter the tempo of a waltz to fit with Billy Joel’s Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel), and it worked. Yes, it was emotional, but I had expended that energy for the reading, and the dance became a moment of delight paired with a song about the lasting bond of a father and his daughter.

At the reception, I was told by many that my reading brought tears to the eyes of some there. I’m sure that my own reaction had something to do with that. Here is that reading:

Celebration of Love

friends gather
to witness a vow
shared by two
as their love
becomes a celebration
a life together

From an early age, I encouraged Alyssa to have an interest in poetry. What better culmination of that than this poetic moment – the union of love?

Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali musician, artist, and poet, and there is inspiration in much of his writing. He said,
               “Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.”

We see the perfect example of freedom in a butterfly. It goes about, fulfilling its life, with not a wasted moment. In fact, Tagore also said,
“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

That quote inspired me to write a haiku.

momentary pause
between silent beat of wings
butterfly alights

If we think of Reed and Alyssa as the butterflies, where do they alight?
It is this moment, here and now.

while dancing on air
paired beating of wings and hearts
butterfly finds mate

I have one other poem I’d like to read.

Twin Banks

Consider the banks of a river.

Far from separate
or opposite, they complement
each other as they embrace
the river flowing through them.

That river is life, and within it
there is a current, love, its depth
revealed with each passing moment.

It is that love which brings them here
today, the love that will carry them
through all their tomorrows.

It truly was a celebration.

Ken G.




Before you turn away,
remember an island of two
walking amid a sea of people.

Before you turn away,
remember the music
that no one else could hear.

Before you turn away,
remember the waves
that washed over you.

Before you turn away,
remember the heart
that beats as one with yours.

Before you turn away,
ask yourself why
it would hurt so much.

The prompt for Tuesday Poetics: Lost in Translation from Laura at dVerse is to write a poem as an interpretation or impression of one of the three foreign poems (translated) that are offered. I have chosen “Two Bodies,” by Octavio Paz, shown here:

Two Bodies

Two bodies face to face
are at times two waves
and night is an ocean.

Two bodies face to face
are at times two stones
and night a desert.

Two bodies face to face
are at times two roots
laced into night.

Two bodies face to face
are at times two knives
and night strikes sparks.

Two bodies face to face
are two stars falling
in an empty sky.

the dawning of realization

the dawning of realization

like a heatwave dully reminding you
how much you dislike the heat,
the distance from true waves
on water more often blue than not

how you want to be there
not here, where more time is spent
indoors than out, whether allergies
or just the weather, but mostly

both, to be honest, as one front
meets another and sinuses respond,
pressing eyes that dully see a scene
that isn’t what you want to see

Approaching temps near 100 today, and a sinus headache
reminding me that thunderstorms are on the way.

Image source: NOAA – National Weather Service



gulls wheeling overhead,
their cries mingling with the sound
of waves lapping at the shore

cormorants diving,
surfacing downstream,
carried by the current

a great blue heron raising
its head, its catch grasped
firmly in its bill

a soft breeze coming
off the water, a mild caress,
warm day or cool

beside the river
or upon it,
and my mind is at ease

The prompt for Poetics: Purifying the Mind, from Linda at dVerse, is to write a poem regarding mindfulness.

Image: Great Blue Heron on the Niagara River
(click image for larger view in new tab)