A Selection of Poetry and Readings

Poetry and Readings are good as content fillers but my recommendation is that they only be used if the message is particularly relevant.

If you plan to ask a guest to deliver the poem then make sure that they are competent and comfortable to ‘stand and deliver’. Unless the message is spoken with poise and power the message will be lost and you run the risk of spoiling the day of the person you have asked to present the reading.

I am happy to read any poem of your choice.

“Us Two” from Now We Are Six 

by A. A. Milne

“Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,

There’s always Pooh and Me.

Whatever I do, he wants to do,

‘Where are you going today?’ says Pooh:

‘Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.

Let’s go together,’ says Pooh, says he.

‘Let’s go together,’ says Pooh…

‘Let’s look for dragons,’ I said to Pooh.

‘Yes, let’s,’ said Pooh to Me.

We crossed the river and found a few-

‘Yes, those are dragons all right,’ said Pooh.

‘As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.

That’s what they are,’ said Pooh, said he.

‘That’s what they are,’ said Pooh.

‘Let’s frighten the dragons,’ I said to Pooh.?‘

That’s right,’ said Pooh to Me.

‘I’m not afraid,’ I said to Pooh,

And I held his paw and I shouted ‘Shoo!

Silly old dragons!’ – and off they flew.

‘I wasn’t afraid,’ said Pooh, said he,

‘I’m never afraid with you.’

So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,

There’s always Pooh and Me.

‘What would I do?’ I said to Pooh,

‘If it wasn’t for you,’ and Pooh said: ‘True,

It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,

Can stick together,’ says Pooh, says he. ‘That’s how it is,’ says Pooh.”

The Way of Love

1 Corinthians 13:1-8English Standard Version (ESV)

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast,

it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil

but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts,

always hopes, always perseveres.

Love Never Fails

Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies.

We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives.

For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams.

Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent,

a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places.

And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all.

one known only by those who love.

‘Perhaps not to be is to be without your being.’

by Pablo Neruda

Perhaps not to be is to be without your being,

without your going, that cuts noon light

like a blue flower, without your passing

later through fog and stones,


without the torch you lift in your hand

that others may not see as golden,

that perhaps no one believed blossomed

the glowing origin of the rose,


without, in the end, your being, your coming

suddenly, inspiringly, to know my life,

blaze of the rose-tree, wheat of the breeze:


and it follows that I am, because you are:

it follows from ‘you are’, that I am, and we:

and, because of love, you will, I will,

We will, come to be.

True Love

by Helen Steiner Rice

True love is a sacred flame

That burns eternally,

And none can dim its special glow

Or change its destiny.

True love speaks in tender tones

And hears with gentle ear,

True love gives with open heart

And true love conquers fear.

True love makes no harsh demands

It neither rules nor binds,

And true love holds with gentle hands

The hearts that it entwines.

a paragraph from

Animal Dreams

 by Barbara Kingslover’s

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for.

Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work that goes on, it adds up.

It goes into the ground, the crops, the children’s bellies and their bright eyes.

Good things don’t get lost.

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for.

And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right inside it, under its roof.

What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness.

Enough to eat, enough to go around.

The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it.

Right now I’m living in that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides

“No Matter What”

by Debi Gliori

Small was feeling grim and dark

Playing toss and fling and squash; yell and scream and bang and crash; break and snap and bash and batter

“Good grief” said Large.

“What is the matter?”

Small said, “I’m a grim and grumpy little Small and nobody loves me at all.”

“Oh Small” said Large. “Grumpy or not, I’ll always love you no matter what.”

Small said, “If I was a grizzly bear, would you still love me, would you care?”

“Of course,” said Large, “bear or not, I’ll always love you no matter what.”

Small said, “But if I turned into a bug, would you still love me and give me a hug?”

“Of course,” said Large, “bug or not, I’ll always love you no matter what.”

“No matter what?” said Small and smiled. “What if I was a crocodile?”

Large said, ‘I’d hug you close and tight, and tuck you into bed each night.”

“Does love wear out” said Small, ‘does it break or bend? Can you fix it, stick it, does it mend?”

“Oh help”, said Large, ‘I’m not that clever, I just know I’ll love you forever.”

Small said. “But what about when we’re dead and gone, would you love me then, does love go on?”

Large held Small snug as they looked out to the night, at the moon in the dark and stars shining bright. “Small, look at the stars – how they shine and glow, but some of those stars died a long time ago.”

“Still they shine in the evening skies. Love, like starlight, never dies.”

 On Awareness

by Anthony De Mello

Where there is love there are no demands, no expectations, no dependency. I do not demand that you make me happy my happiness does not lie in you. What I enjoy is not you; it’s something that’s greater than both you and me. It is something that I discovered, a kind of symphony, a kind of orchestra that plays one melody in your presence, but when you depart, the orchestra doesn’t stop. There’s a great repertoire and it never ceases to play.

Three Little Words

by Josh Maraman

Three words

Fill my racing mind

Leave me breathless

Lost in time


Three words

Fill my endless dreams

Repair my heart

Mend the seams


Three words

Fill my open ears

Flutter ‘pon your tongue

Wash away my dark fears


Three words

Fill my joyful life

With you by my side

My beautiful wife


Three words

Fill your heart too

Three words pronounced

I love you

The One

When the one whose hand you’re holding

Is the one one who holds your heart

When the one whose eyes you gaze into

Gives your hopes and dreams their start,

When the one you think of first and last

Is the one who holds you tight,

And the things you plan together

Make the whole world seem just right,

When the one whom you believe in

puts their faith and trust in you,

You’ve found the one and only love

You’ll share your whole life through.

‘I carry your heart with me’

EE Cummings

I carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

i am never without it

(anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)

i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you


here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart


i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

ancient Sanskrit poem

“Look well to this day,
for it is life,
the very life of life.

In its brief course lie all
the realities and truths of existence:
the joy of growth,
the glory of action,
the splendour of power and beauty.

Look to this day

For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day,

for it and it alone is life!

Such is the salutation of the dawn.”




by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”??Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.For after today you shall say to the world –?This is my husband. This is my wife.

A New Journey Begins Today

As (bride) and (groom) begin

their marriage with this ceremony.

Side by side they will set out

To walk a path of life

That will be determined by them ,

their decisions, their choices and

their commitment to their shared vision.

There will be times when they will walk in step,

other times they will be out of step,

There will be times when

they will need to carry their partner,

and there will be times on their

journey when they will need to lean

on each other to get by.

There will also be times when they will

Experience great passion and great joy

That they can fully share together.

Such is the nature of life.

Remember always that when on a journey

Even though the destination is the main goal;

it is important that on the way you

enjoy the scenery and the sunrises

and sunsets of life,

and share love and friend ship with

the fellow travellers you meet.

May your new journey bring you

Everything you dream of and more.

Getting Married

Getting married means you’ll have

Someone’s hand to hold,

Even when you’re feeling sick,

Even when you’re old.


It means when you sit down to eat

Someone will be there,

So you won’t have to tell your day

To an empty chair.


It means that you can have some kids

Just like a mom and dad,

And play with them all afternoon,

Except when they are bad.


It means that when you need some help,

Someone will help out,

Someone always near to you

So you won’t have to shout.


But best of all is when it’s time

To turn out all the lights:

You won’t have to be alone

Those long and scary nights.


So even though you don’t have toys,

You don’t have to care:

Once you’re married you can be

Each other’s teddy bear!


Love Me by Bee Rawlinson

Love me when I’m old and shocking

Peel off my elastic stockings

Swing me from the chandeliers

Let’s be randy bad old dears.

Push around my chromed Bath Chair

Let me tease your white chest hair

Scaring children, swapping dentures

Let us have some great adventures

Take me to the Dogs and Bingo

Teach me how to speak the lingo

Bone my eels and bring me tea

Show me how it’s meant to be

Take me to your special places

Watching all the puzzled faces

You in shorts and socks and sandals

Me with warts and huge love-handles

As the need for love enthralls

Wrestle with my damp proof smalls

Make me laugh without constraint

Buy me chocolate body paint

Hold me safe throughout the night

When my hair has turned to white

Believe me when I say it’s true

I’ve waited all my life for you

Carrie’s Poem

His hello was the end of her endings

Her laugh was their first step down the aisle

His hand would be hers to hold forever

His forever was as simple as her smile

He said she was what was missing

She said instantly she knew

She was a question to be answered

And his answer was “I do”

I Like You

by Sandol Stoddard

I like you and I know why.

I like you because you are a good person to like.
I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it’s special
And you remember it a long, long time.
You say, Remember when you told me something special
And both of us remember

I like you because you know where I’m ticklish
And you don’t tickle me there except just a little tiny bit sometimes
But if you do, then I know where to tickle you too

If you go away, then I go away too
or if I stay home, you send me a postcard
You don’t just say Well see you around sometime, bye
I like you a lot because of that
If I go away, I send you a postcard too

And I like you because when I am feeling sad
You don’t always cheer me up right away
Sometimes it is better to be sad
You can’t stand the others being so googly and gaggly every single minute
You want to think about things
It takes time

If you find two four-leaf clovers, you give me one
If I find four, I give you two
If we only find three, we keep on looking
Sometimes we have good luck, and sometimes we don’t

If I break my arm, and if you break your arm too
Then it’s fun to have a broken arm
I tell you about mine, you tell me about yours
We are both sorry
We write our names and draw pictures
We show everybody and they wish they had a broken arm too

I like you because I don’t know why but
Everything that happens is nicer with you
I can’t remember when I didn’t like you
It must have been lonesome then

I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me
Over and over again

That’s how it would happen every time
I don’t know why
I guess I don’t know why I really like you
I guess I just like you because I like you.

Dr. Seuss Inspired Wedding Vows

these can be modified

Mary: Will both of you, answer me now,

These questions as your wedding vows?

Bride: Yes, we will answer you now,

Groom: Your questions as our wedding vows

Mary: Will you take her as your wife,

Will you love her all your life?

Groom: Yes, I take her as my wife,

Yes, I’ll love her all my life

Mary: Will you take him as your spouse,

Bride: Yes, as long as he doesn’t dirty the house!

Mary: Will you have, and also hold,

Just as you have at this time told?

Bride: Yes, we will have, and we will hold,

Groom: Just as we have at this time told

Bride: Yes, I will love him all my life

Groom: And I now take her as my wife

Mary: Will you love through good and bad?

Whether you are happy or sad?

Groom: Yes, I’ll love through good and bad,

Whether we’re happy or sad

Bride: Yes, I will have and I will hold,

Just as I have already told

Groom: Yes, I will love her all my life

Bride: Yes, I will happily be his wife!

Mary: Will you love her if you’re rich?

Or if you’re poor and in a ditch?

Groom: Yes, I’ll love her if we’re rich

Bride: And I will love him, in a ditch,

I’ll love him through good times and bad,

Whether we are happy or sad

Groom: Yes, I will have, and I will hold

(I could have sworn this has been told!)

I promise to love, all my life

This woman as my lawful wife

Mary: Will you love her when you’re fit,

And also when you’re feeling sick?

Groom: Yes, I’ll love her when we’re fit,

and when we’re hurt, and when we’re sick

Bride: And I will love him when we’re rich

Groom: And I will love her in a ditch

Bride: And I will love him through good and bad

Groom: And I will love her when glad or sad

Bride: And I will have, and I will hold

Ten years from now a thousandfold

Groom: Yes, I will love for my whole life

This lovely woman as my wife!

Mary: Will you love with all your heart?

Will you love till death you part?

Bride & Yes, we will love with all our heart

Groom: from now until death do us part

Groom: And I will love her when we’re rich

Bride: And when we’re broke and in a ditch

Groom: And when we’re fit, and when we’re sick

(Oh, CAN”T we get this finished quick?)

Bride: And I will love through good and bad

And I will love when glad or sad

Groom: And I will have, and I will hold,

And if I might now be so bold,

I’ll love her my entire life,

Yes, I WILL take her as my wife!

Mary: Then if you’ll take her as your wife,

And if you’ll love her all your life,

And if you’ll have, and if you’ll hold,

From now until the stars grow cold,

And if you’ll love through good and bad,

And whether you’re happy or sad,

And love in sickness, and in health,

And when you’re poor, and when in wealth,

And if you’ll love with all your heart,

From now until death do you part,

Yes, if you’ll love each other through and through,

Please answer with these words:


Bride: I DO!

Groom: I DO!