Epithalamion for Alix and Ben

On the occasion of their wedding in Perth, Western Australia

Poets have performed at weddings
Since the ancient Greeks.
But it’s still a risky moment
When the poet speaks.
Some too solemn; some too silly;
Some whose rhyming creaks.

Thank you, Ben and Alix, that you
Let this foreign poet in.
Will you take two words of counsel
From a licensed larrikin?
One is sober; one is silly;
With the sober I’ll begin.

In the art of long-term loving
Both must say their word.
It takes two for conversation;
Neither is preferred.
Be yourselves; but let the line where
Self and other meet be blurred.

That’s the sober thought; and here’s the
Irresponsible advice:
Live beyond your income (mostly);
Life is more than price.
Let your laughter be the coin you
Never sacrifice.

I have done; so, with these others,
Playing our supporting parts
To the leads you take as you
Enact the union of your hearts,
I say: may your life, now joined,
Transcend the joy in which it starts!

With love
John Richmond

Listen to this poem — read by the author