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Poetry Friday -- Marriage

You'll remember a few days back when my daughters were discussing the possibilities for marriage in California.

Well, part of their awareness comes from the fact that we have two dear female friends tying the knot there this morning.

Our friends aren't alone in scheduling pre-election day nuptials -- in case California voters decide to make null and void the option of gay marriage. Which means that even on this day of love and tenderness, ritual and celebration, there has to be an awareness of and commitment to the political context.

They are willing -- and even proud -- to work within that context.
And so am I. This is a civil rights issue that we oughta tend to so our children learn about it as history rather than having to grapple with it painfully, personally and politically themselves.

Today, though, I simply lift my glass (well, okay, my coffee cup) westward and wish continued happiness and abundant love to N & A on their wedding day.

(The following is an original poem I wrote for another happy California wedding about 7 years ago...)



Here we are:

gathered, good as a flock,


breathing so that it sounds

like a chant


putting together promises

strange and miraculous


as quills braided into

a bird’s back.




And still, we do not know --

any of us -- what is to come.


Whether life will switch back

and forth tightly and parched


toward some steep peak

or tumble forward like water,


like honey or fury

gaining speed.




We gather in bodies

present and singular as trees.


Will they grow strong, tired,

lush, tender, unrecognizably old?


We do not know.

We do not know


which moments we’ll rejoice, regret,

endure or battle --


which seasons will offer

nearly impossible plenty.


All that is certain is this:

longing is like a birdcall,


prettiest and most complete

when it is answered.


This is a wild sky

and our hearts reach wide,


hinges loose

and locks undone.


There is nothing out here

we need protection from.




 -- LGS, 2001








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(Deleted comment)
longing is like a birdcall

prettiest and most complete
when it is answered.

So beautiful. Thanks for sharing it, and best wishes for N & A. I hope gay marriage stays a real thing. (In my head, unbidden, I'm hearing Sojourner Truth's words, "and ain't I a woman?", but in this case, it should be, "and ain't I a human?")

Thanks, Kelly.
Mmmm. Sojourner Truth.
Going to read a little now, at YOUR bidding...

TadMack says: :)

*raises tea*

Here's to completeness. What a lovely poem.

Thank you.
And yes. Completeness.

*Swooning over loveliness of this poem*

Best of everything to N and A!!

You are sweet, Jama. Thank you...

Oh, Liz...this poem is achingly lovely. It's making me teary. You, my dear, should be invited to all weddings, everywhere.

I really should be. If only so everyone can have their own requisite crier. I really let it flow at weddings...

Really, really precious. It's making me feel lonely.

Oh, dang, Cloudscome.
Not the intent. But I know what you mean. Isn't there always, always a flip side?

It's cool Liz! I just wanted to say how powerful the poem is. The bravery and the thrill of flinging yourself together for love, whatever the cost... breathless!

As someone on the very leading edge of "unrecognizably old," it's awfully nice to be past the "We do not know"s. With so many years behind us and so much strength gained by growing together, the future does not seem so uncertain. At least not our future together. The rest of it? Now that's another story for another day!

That is a lovely testament to time, ML...

Lovely. It's making me teary, too.

And RAH to that personal is political sentiment. I hope CA doesn't take a step backward on Election Day.

oh, liz. i read that poem thru not having picked up the fact that you wrote it. and when i saw LGS at the bottom, well, i shouldn't have been surprised. and yet you still manage to blow me away more and more and more. that poem is absolutely, heart breakingly gorgeous. what a tear-jerker!! man.

which moments we'll rejoice, regret, endure or battle...

beautiful Liz. Speaks to it all so perfectly.



Oh my goodness. So, here I am in the middle of the night, writing an assignment for this creativity class I'm taking. Being a busy mom with a career that took to Manhattan for much of the week, I am revisiting old undergrad habits and sadly, cramming and preparing essays, three of them, for class tomorrow AM. One of my assignments is "to think of a creative person you personally know, write a one page paper on what makes them creative and come to class prepared to discuss." You are it. I'll send you what I wrote with the caveat that it turned into a bit of a love letter. :) And I ended it all with Invitation. I came to your site to copy and paste the email address to share with my class and though I should get back to cramming and writing, gotta watch Rivers and Tides again and time is a ticking, I couldn't help myself from reading down....where I found invitation from our wedding. And I had just pasted it into the paper! Love how that worked.

Liz. Invitation. It's still an anchor and inspiration for us. What a fine gift your words are. As are you.

Love you tons.



And N&A, big love and congratulations to you on your journey of marriage. And for the record, I live in CA and I'm going to the polls with love, and now the two of you in mind, to cast my vote to preserve marriage for all.


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