Steve Griffiths’ Late Love Poems is out now. They are a series of celebrations and meditations, poems of playfulness and tragedy, loss and recovery – while time still has some tricks to play, some joyful, some cruel.
It’s a story of two young people who were together in the Seventies, went their separate ways, made their lives and had their families; and their coming together again in their mid-fifties. The poems carry a charged resonance between past and present. And they come back repeatedly to the idea of a lesson learned late in generosity.
An immediacy of profound physical and emotional celebration, of recovery of something that had been lost, gave wings to the experience of writing the poems. Some people in second marriages, late relationships that work, might understand this. But at the same time it’s about first discoveries:
As I pad back in the half-light
from the wintry bathroom
I can see you’ve splayed out
in long, hidden spurs
beneath the quilt
across a frozen sea
of sheets to headlands
where I find your feet…..
In the way you’ve opened out
contented over crumpled fields of sea-ice
there’s this vulnerable generosity
I could reach down to take
and join with mine, the quality
of ease within me
that you introduced me to….
Late Love Poems reflect an eternal truth that when you’re sixty, the people you were at sixteen, twenty-six and so on live on within you, an insistent presence. There’s a conversation to be had with these other people who are you, for as long as you’re able to listen.
And just in case you feel this is all very serious:
I’m moving in with you
so we’ll make love
when the day of the week
has a d in it,
because you laughed so much in bed
that your ears were flooded with tears.
Late Love Poems book cover, ©Carlos Torres, 2015