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Rose Coloured Beast

Updated: Sep 22

Twenty years ago today . . .


I heard about the radio contest a few months before I was to be married. Open to anyone intending to tie the knot that year. The contest was to write something – anything – about your upcoming wedding. The winner – as chosen by the station - would receive $50,000 for wedding expenses. Notable entries would be read on the radio each day.


At the time I was 34 – a long-time, some thought everlasting, bachelor. I definitely had personal commitment issues, but I had found someone I deeply loved and had proposed, with the moon-lit Pacific crashing the rocks at the base of a cliff providing the perfect back-up chorus. Graciously, she had said “yes”, but she did ask me to repeat the bended knee part because she hadn’t taken me seriously at first.


$50,000 in wedding assistance sounded amazing to me, so I thought I might as well throw my hat into the ring. We were living in Sydney, Australia at the time, and I thought something in the style of “pub poetry” with a lead and a “quote along” verse might have a shot. (Keep in mind that even among Christians social mores concerning alcohol consumption are somewhat different in Australia than in Bible Belt U.S.A.) This piece, which can be misunderstood, was intended as a marriage metaphor. That hesitancy so common before saying, "I do." The Rose Coloured Beast is marriage herself.


Rose Coloured Beast


A heavy fog besets me

As I peer into the gloom

The noisy pub impounds me

And I poach about the room

It is a “she” I understand

Staggering to my feet

I claw, I grasp, I ask my friend

What sort of creature that I seek?

A hand upon my shoulder

A shout into my ear

A distant roll of thunder

Implodes a warning here.


A rose coloured beast

In a form fitting dress

Is not a pretty sight

For the young or distressed.


Velvet eyes they lay snares

While the body she ripely purrs

I wrap my arms around her waist

My intestines begin to stir

Kneeling down to stop the rumble

I slip and do the marriage squeal

Why oh why I asked those words

I never can reveal.

And a daftly tinny squawk

Stays my despondent cry

As I fall into a stupor

It does warn and ask me why.


A rose coloured beast

In a form fitting dress

Is not a pretty sight

For the young or distressed.


But you must see the beauty

Of a loving tender wife

And the fields of flowers blooming

As you begin your new life

What loads of muck I ponder

And face the wisdom spewed

Now give me 50 grand

To avoid a fighting feud.

The masque from three true reasons

Smiles wanly back at me

Waltzing o’er my open tomb

And kicks me in the knee.


A rose coloured beast

In a form fitting dress

Is not a pretty sight

For the young or distressed.


A radiant charm does glisten

‘Cross the sandy beach ashore

The beauty body beckons

As it saunters to the fore

My dreamy trance awakens

And I claw into the sand

For I know now but cannot tell

The 50 grand that truth demands

For her to look so well.

My fantasy she mocks me

And casts a shadow pale

What I have always wanted

But received instead a cell.


A rose coloured beast

In a form fitting dress

Is not a pretty sight

For the young or distressed.


The aisle it was a narrow

An egg splayed to be fried

I stood in stock still terror

And waited for the bride

I wished that I had dreamt

I should have surely thought

Of 50,000 reasons

To halt this sorry plot.

The priest he spoke a whisper

To me hypnotized at bay

He said son you must remember

There is no other way.


A rose coloured beast

In a form fitting dress

Is not a pretty sight

For the young or distressed.


A finality charm descends

Upon those gathered at the fore

One last chance to make escape

Before fate has closed the door

50,000 reasons

May have brought me here

But only three ask me remain

Is it love or is it not?

Is it commitment or is it not?

Is it life or is it not?

I look to her and see

What I should have seen before

She loves me, I love her

And we will face together

Whate’er life has in store.


This rose coloured beauty

In the form fitting dress

Is now my lovely bride

And I will always love her best.


Rose Coloured Beast did not win the $50,000. My archaic, cliche-ridden amalgamation also failed to make the cut as a notable entry to be broadcast over Sydney radio. No Robert Frost medal. But I received something far more valuable than $50,000 or three minutes of fame. You see, my wedding was exactly 20 years ago today. We now have two children, a great home. The commitment that we both made on that day has been so worth it – far more valuable than what that Sydney radio station offered two decades ago. I love you Lucy and happy anniversary!


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