Before I forget, I’ll tell you one thing about me – I’m a poet. That’s all you need to know just now, but there’ll more later……
Just recently a niece of mine got married in Sydney. Her new husband is Macedonian and I was asked to write a customised poem for them. To ‘get’ the poem you need to know that she’s a nurse and he’s often involved in building projects. The happy couple don’t much like their veggies either.
There are eight rays of sunshine on the Macedonian flag spread out over a blood red field. So today I bring you eight wishes.
I’m not going to wish you the moon and stars,
And a fortune to put you at ease,
I’m just going to wish that you’re just like flags
Fluttering round in the breeze.
Fluttering round in harmony,
And fluttering round apart,
Because all that vigorous fluttering
Is very good for the heart.
I’m not going to wish you a night on the tiles,
The brandy, the vodka, the wine,
I’m going to wish that you’re just like clocks
Ticking away in time.
Ticking away in the present,
-For clocks can’t tick in the past-
And the joys that live in the moment
Are better than those that have past.
I’m not going to send you some vegetables,
Neither lettuce, nor spinach nor kale,
I’m just going to wish you the passion of love
And the grit to make sure you don’t fail.
I’m not going to wish that you grow apart,
Like ghosts that pass in the night,
I’m going to wish that you learn to knit
And keep your stitches locked tight.
Knitting away to a pattern –
The stitches of faith and of truth,
Those lessons you learnt from your parents,
The messages taught in your youth.
I’m not going to wish you sweet fragrance,
Or bubbles to use while you bathe,
I’m going to find you a pack of cement,
A mixer, a trowel and a lathe.
I’m going to hope you keep building,
Though your hands and your nails get rough,
All that mixing and grinding and smoothing
Will remind you that loving is tough.
I’m not going to wish you an ache or a pain,
Or a gruesome plague, or worse,
I’m going to pray for the gift of health
And a permanent tender nurse.
A guardian angel in day time,
A dragon with wings at night,
All those angels and dragons and nurses
Will help if it comes to a fight.
And I’m not going to wish you the horrors of war
The battlefields spattered in red.
I’m going to wish you the safety of home,
And that you’ll be happy in bed.
I’n not going to wish you a thunderstorm,
Or a shower or rain or snow,
I’m going to wish you a fountain of light
And that old Macedonian glow…
Of the sun on the gleaming poppies
As the Vardar sweeps down to the sea,
And I’m going to wish you the language of love –
Whatever that language may be.