Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun
It is with an aching heart that I write these few lines. Terry of Spearfruit, who many of you knew and admired, died yesterday afternoon at home with Gary, his husband, at his side.
I need not write any more except to acknowledge the numbing pain that Gary must be feeling and to send a heart-full of love to him and to all those close to Terry.
Sleep well, dear friend, at peace and released from your suffering. I’ll be eating cupcakes and ice-cream with you this afternoon even though the sky is suddenly gushing wet, fat, appropriate tears, as I type.
I would like to dedicate these words to Gary:
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W H Auden
And this one is for you, Terry:
And for everyone who loved Terry:
PS: Because there is always a PS. The picture was taken in Concorde MA a year to the day before Terry took his quiet and sombre leave of us. A year ago we were planning to meet in Massachusetts where Gary was raised. One. Short. Year ago. We none of us know what is ahead, behind the railings, round the corner, through the gate, in the next field. So in honour of this most dignified of men, I ask everyone to celebrate what they have, and to cherish every moment of this little life we are granted. Terry was the same age as me.