Beth's Birthday and other wishes

Signed off my accounts for the year (yay!) pressed on with the story, designed a dinosaur card for Betty and spent a good couple of hours on housework. Also chatted with Mum, who is chafing under the lockdown restrictions and to Mas too. Both doing well considering. Also chatted with Anton.

Betty's birthday, and after work Lorraine went her place to drop off a bag of presents. She was having an excellent 29th birthday hanging out with James and Amy. Once home, L and I had a cheeky curry on the gold sofa, which I collected from Red Chillies. Lorraine had got through another difficult week, and I am proud of her. 

I reread She Had Some Horses by Joy Harjo, written in the 80s this is an amazing book by the current US poet laureate. She has just worked on a Norton Anthology collection of Native Nations poetry. I think Joy Harjo's father was Cree. 

Got a lot of love on facebook for Mum's waterlines picture. I put The Next Wish with it, and explained how the path led up to the wishing pool, and that the poem was about Mum, me and Tobs making wishes.

I've been there lots since with Lorraine and other friends and family. It is such a special place.  

The next wish

Climbing the waterlanes to the wishing pool

an eleven-year-old boy, his mother

and younger brother tugging the damp hedges.

On hands and knees they unwind time,

each writing three circles on the drinkable water,

anticlockwise, leftwards, sinister

but altogether familiar.

The older boy wishes a girl in his class

will one day marry him, the mother,

pretty and practical, unwishes her husband

while on the spot, the brother

conceives some mercurial scheme.

All three, in sharing this ritual,

strengthen the family.

Three circles, then the cool fingers are lifted

to drip one finalising drip

into the still centre of the expanding rings.

Next morning the older boy returns

having slept uneasily on his wish,

touches the cold water and revokes it.

The pool and the poem open time.


First to be said before it can be done;

every expression, every wish or poem,

changes what is to come.

A wish alters everything, and this poem

—having rewritten the past—

informs me. One day I'll take

my family to the wishing pool

to make tight new rings in the water

and watch with contentment

their inevitable broadening.

This I shall never revoke;

this is the next wish;

this poem is the next wish.

The pool and the poem open time.