Thanks to Stuart Watkins for including my poem ‘The Sound of Human Kindness’ in this anthology. Available on Amazon now.
Sometimes it is lovely to write a special poem for a friend to mark a significant event. Here are three I’ve written. If you’d like to use them please feel free – I only ask for credit and a donation to www.saidiacc.org. If you’d like me to make them more personal just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work on it together.
FOR A FRIEND’S 60TH BIRTHDAY
LIVING FEARLESSLY by Briony Bax
Through all the years of families and work,
of travels, husbands, sisters, pets and home.
Lovers, divorces and the demons we cannot shirk –
our patchwork ways of living – see what we’ve sewn.
And through the years our friendship stays strong,
though distance weaves her inevitable spell.
Now dear friend let all self-doubt be gone,
your intelligence and strength will serve you well.
What adventures will we have from here?
How will we use this precious time?
Grab the future – let us ditch our fear.
Just do the things you want. Don’t toe the line.
So, raise a glass to courage and heed the rallying call.
To living fearlessly, the muse that conquers all.
FOR A RUBY WEDDING
LONG LOVE by Briony Bax
It began many moons ago with that heady kiss
The memory makes us tingle and yearn to reminisce.
The blushing bride now a wise and elegant granny
The groom confident and patient – far from that nervous laddie.
But what of long love and how does it endure?
In these days of high divorce rates is there a cure?
We can’t pretend that all married life is blissful
Sometimes we trip up and err on the sinful.
Sex becomes akin to Victoria sponge cakes
Nibbled at weekends and enjoyed after wakes.
After a skinful one sometimes gets frisky
Men, for peak performance stay well off the whisky.
Our bodies change and develop strange bulges
We try hatha yoga and green smoothy indulges.
Doctor’s surgeries are places we now frequent
On-line bridge keeps us all quite content.
Our children grow-up and decide to multiply
We tend our gardens and grapple greenfly.
But just what is the secret to keeping a spouse?
It’s cheaper to stay married – you won’t lose the house.
But for reference, I suggest that we examine our hosts
While not perfect, they try their upmost.
I say be thankful and follow their lead.
Practice respect, kindness, and anticipating need.
So, raise a glass to a miracle and the lasting of things.
And drink to long love and the joy that it brings.
WEDDING POEM by Briony Bax
Within the ancient walls of this historic church
Whose paths so many in our wake have trod.
Where roses tumble and branches dance,
We gather in soft afternoon light to witness the age-old ceremony,
Of two lovers pledging their lives to one another.
Our wishes for them could not be simpler:
Hold each other tightly but not so you cannot breathe.
Wallow in your love but never to the exclusion of others.
Be honest with each other but chose your words wisely.
Debate your opinions with passion
and open your minds to big ideas and adventures.
Save for your future by being thrifty but
Be generous in times of good fortune.
During the bad times be patient and hopeful.
During the good times be humble and grateful.
Your love will shift with the seasons and change
through the years. Treat it with care.
Give it the attention it deserves – even in busy times.
Love is the most precious thing you have – cherish it.
Be kind to your elders – they may not be here for long.
And always, always respect your parents.
So, within these well-worn walls,
Where history walks beside the present,
Where roses tumble and branches dance,
Let’s celebrate the joy of today.
In this marriage let your two hearts blend
and may your enduring love inspire us all.
Here is a reading which was part of the Rough Trade Books Launch on May 7th 2020. The book is available for purchase from http://roughtradebooks.com/editions/lament/ and all profits I receive will be donated to MIND.
My poetry pamphlet Lament will be published by Rough Trade Books in May 2020 and I’m delighted that the virtual launch will be on 6th May 2020 at 6pm London time at http://roughtradebooks.com in their Events section. Here is the publisher’s blurb:
‘Briony Bax leads the reader through the brutal world of mental illness and specifically an account of an individual’s journey with schizophrenia. A world where sections, court rooms, locked wards, tribunals and assessment centres form the backdrop of the daily living of sufferers and caregivers. Through honesty and testimony, it shines a light on the disastrous effects of government austerity measures on the mentally ill.”
You can purchase a copy at http://roughtradebooks.com/editions/lament/ and all money I receive will be donated to MIND. I’m available for readings both virtually and in person after lock down.