Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Man Who Wished on All the Wrong Things

I’ve wished a hundred thousand
stars -
on passing cars

On bottle caps
and flickered glows
through window panes
of TV shows

On broken bits
of cookie crumbs
and salt I rubbed
off of my thumbs

On eggshells
and neckbones
and bluebells
and headstones

On pennies dropped
through sewer grates
and signs that welcomed
me to states

and tears I wiped
onto my sleeves
and mission bells
and maple leaves;

I mailed them to
the wrong address
without a stamp –
they’re lost I guess

But now and then I wonder
when I wished ‘em, where they went
and if they’re as sad as I am
that their magic got misspent.


Karen said...

Reminds me..."If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride," and the lyrics from some old Donovan song rattling around in my head, "I wish I had a wish to wish my wishes away."

I wonder how many wishes I've made and how things would differ if they'd have come true? I think it's a good thing I'm not in charge!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

This poem is a wonder.

I'm in my classroom and cannot write more. I'll return this evening to read, and feel, and think, and appreciate it more thoroughly.

At first glance, I am charmed, as I am sure I will be on second, third, fourth, and forever glance.

Brosreview said...

This is truly very well-written. I can feel this one. Great job!!!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Your magic didn't get misspent. You spend it here for all of your admirers. You take an ordinary bolt and weave gold and silver strands throughout -
Material of the finest ream.
Wishes that turn into a dream.

I loved seeing all the things that you have wished on. I remember as a child, watching and watching for that first star of evening, so I could make a wish. (I still do it)

Wonderful, lyrical verse full of fun, curiosity, magic, and a little melancholy.

Little Girl Lost said...

dear joaquin,
1. what a beautiful name you have...
2. The poetry was so amazing in Cat's tapestry that i was in total awe of all the other poets who had contributed (except Aniket maybe, because he is a dear friend of mine).
3. your poem there was magical. i loved it, and my mom who watched it with me loved it too. she had tears in her eyes :)
4. i had decided to visit your blog today, but you beat me to it .
5. i LOVED your blog. i love poems and these were just so beautiful!
6. this last poem in particular made me feel like these were thoughts i've had but was never able to put into words.
7. i will keep visiting, whenever you write...
8. it would be nice if you could follow or blogroll me or something, so that i can share my writings with you from now on.
9. Rivers I Have Known is not exclusively a poetry blog, but i do put up poems here sometimes. please tell me what you think of this
thank you.

trooping with crows said...

(I have tried twice to leave my comment, so here goes...I'll try once more)
Very clever little poem. It has that cute/sad quality to it. Hope this is not autobiographical, Joaquin! I want all your wishes to come true.
"I mailed them to the wrong address.." Awesome!

Aniket said...


First of all loved your poem for Catherine's 'A Tapestry of Spring'.

And I have to say I loved this one even better...

"On broken bits
of cookie crumbs
and salt I rubbed
off of my thumbs"

Loved it through and through.

Also nice to see, all my poet friends are here.

I hope to be a regular here from now on. :-)

Julie said...

Joaquin, your poem at Cat's site is absolutely excellent! Awesome. I love hearing it read. I have listened to it many times and keep going back to hear it again.

This poem also blows me out of my seat. I am always impressed with your wit, but I also love that it's tinged with darkness. Maybe I'm just seeing the darkness and humor coupled, because that's how my brain works. But I see it and love what it does to me.

I love it all, but these stanzas jumped out and shook me by the shoulders:

"On eggshells
and neckbones
and bluebells
and headstones

On pennies dropped
through sewer grates
and signs that welcomed
me to states"

I love how you have that "stamping" rhythm going on in the eggshells stanza, and then you slow it just a bit with the penny. Having a penny drop through a SEWER grate is perfect!

The themes you come up with always hit me in the heart. I feel like I've been wishing on all these things, lately...ha! The last stanza is an awesome ending. I love this poem.

Catvibe said...

Joaquin, this poem has so much melancholy. It really took me back to many places where I wished a magic wish, and for what? Even if I got what I thought I wanted, was it really? Love it. Thanks also for posting the movie on your sidebar, it looks GREAT there! And again for your amazing talented poem that was such a joy to read and work with in my little movie. I thank you. I would like to trade links with you, I keep having to go through all kinds of strange routes to get here, and really all I want to do is click to here off my blog! Thanks again Joaquin, your poetry is just awesome.

Moanerplicity said...

This was so beautiful, it made something within me ache. Wishes are such sacred things, and so often we dare not speak them names out loud. Perhaps we feel the gossip of star will reveal them to a universe unready to receive their fragility. But the visual life you gave this poem made something inside my soul nod with profound approval.. and another part of me weep.

So well done!


Anonymous said...

Well as one who spent 30 years in the postal service - I believe they are still sitting in the Dead Letter Office in an old metal desk just waiting to be rediscovered --
expect them to be headlines news one day "Lost misson bells and maple leaves, found in an envelope of cookie crumbs and headstones"---

Sarah Hina said...

From white stars to salt crystals, and the spectrum of colors in between. The wisher is the only thing that could bring meaning to such a whimsical, and disparate, collection. I love the idea of imbuing so many objects and actions with the hope of a heart. Even if the wish falls short of its arrival.

Just flawless rhythm and rhyming, Joaquin. It's such a sweet relief to read your poems, for they never stumble or bend too hard. Your magic is alive here, and no word misspent.

joaquin carvel said...

karen: i wonder that too - and think you're right. :)

k.: what an amazing thing to say - thank you. i am going to watch for that star tonight, and send a good one your way.

borosreview: thank you - glad you felt this one.

lgl: thank you, several times. you and aniket have the best dear friend/mortal emeny thing ever. and i got you blogrolled - for some reason i haven't been able to add to my links lists the normal way but i found a work-around.

troop: thank you for your tenacity - and good (ummmm) wishes. but like karen said - i'm not sure they'd all work out the way i think they would. maybe there's a poem in there somewhere...

aniket: great to see you here - thank you for dropping in and leaving such a wonderful comment. the best thing about "tapestry" (as amazing as it is) has been the people i've discovered through it, yourself included.

julie: thank you - i love that you see humor & darkness like that - and so glad you mentioned the rhythm shift - i wasn't sure if it worked or not - you made my day!

cat: thank you, again, for your amazing production - and for the community you clued me into. and thank you for this comment - wishes sure are funny things.

moanerplicity: wow - thank you - that means a lot to me.

soulintention: thank you for the huge smile when i read that - i love that idea!

sarah: thank you - i'm a little dumbstruck - but very grateful for your words.