To All My Friends

Poem by Frederick Turner

That day we shall have time to ramble all day long,
Drink through the evening without drunkenness,
Stroll in the market and choose the best aubergines,
Read and reread each others’ manuscripts,
Cook complicated meals with stocks and seething-pans,
Split seasoned logs and set them for a fire,
Draw each others’ portraits, finish the argument,
Tell fortunes, label the old photographs,
Make fun of all each others’ worst absurdities,
Disagree violently on films and plays,
And wake at dawn to pull on heavy hiking boots.
And in that place, my very dear good friends,
There will be mountaintops and bays and woods and breezes,
And little theaters and haciendas,
And bougainvillaea that covers up the dark verandas,
And olive groves and palms and fields of wheat.
This will be the place of free time, the place of death,
The sweet suburb of everlasting life.
The star that warms it will light up the giant orb
Of which this is the moon. Friends, until then,
Forgive my anxious travels and my vicious stress,
My rare and hurried letters, my duress,
My distantness, the flickering of my eyes.
I’ve not forgotten our old happiness.


"To All My Friends" was previously published in Paradise: Selected Poems, 19902003.

(Cincinnati: David Robert Books, 2004), p. 59.