Monday, January 17, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Blessing, by Greg O'Connell

Today when silver ferns uncoil

Today when dolphins polish their beaks on the sea

Today when the seal chaperones its pups

Today when palms put on their red beads

Today when waves keep their promise to return

Today when night keeps its oath to sleep

Today when someone you love has gone
and someone wombed has been safely born

Today when mountains listen to the silence of the broken
and sunlight whispers to the waiting seeds

Today when someone arranges old age, long as a cloud

Today when someone inhales the blossom of a first kiss

Today let this hour bless you

With the smiles of friends let it bless you

With ocean-tang and manuka bless you

Let the vow of this day arc wide and high

Let its freedom and shelter hold you

Let its truth be boundless as the sky

This poem was read ten days ago at our wedding. It's by Greymouth poet Greg O'Connell, and written for his own recent nuptials. It was very generous of Greg and his wife Zoe to let us use this lovely work and add our own meaning to his images. The poem spoke to me, and continues speaking to me, because it acknowledges the fact that marriage is just one step in a cycle, but a significant one. I love the juxtaposition of the images "when someone arranges old age, long as a cloud" and "when someone inhales the blossom of a first kiss". We got married in a garden that Mark's grandparents had sown and that many family members at the wedding could remember playing in as children - very apt.

PS. For more Tuesday poems (yes, some are up early!), click on the feather top right.


Tim Jones said...

What a superb poem! Of all those lovely images, the one I like the most is "when dolphins polish their beaks on the sea".

Thanks for introducing me to Greg's poetry - I will certainly look out for more of it!

Melissa Green said...

Gorgeous images--each line is lovely by itself, but the rhythm of one line following upon another, like gentle waves washing over softly-sloping sand, builds quietly, generously forward. Thank you.