“Poetry is a necessity of life. It is a function of poetry to locate those zones inside us that would be free, and declare them so.”
C. D. Wright 1949–2016
A Resolution to Stay Resolute
‘I’ll be glad to see the back of you’
I imagine Mum’s voice as she adds
‘we must count our blessings’
and the ashes of memory remind
that I’ve survived worse…
sure there’s been deaths
but not the heart-wrenching agony
of losing a partner, a child, a parent, a sibling,
a dearest friend…
the world remembers WW1, WW2,
other monumental massacres
wearing cloaks of nationalism,
colonialism, fascism, marxism
and all the other isms used
as excuses to slaughter
2016 no exception
millions fled by foot, lorry, boat and air
seeking solace and peace
but finding what Dad often quoted
‘man’s inhumanity to man’
fulfilling the truism
‘man was made to mourn’
tonight social media will update
conflict and celebration
twins staring at skies ablaze
benign or malignant memories
depending on the hemisphere
will we ponder or explore ‘the missing’?
the melancholic melody masking the year
the absent card, letter or phone call,
the bombed house, the razed street
signals of the uncertainty of life
moths blundering into flames
fallen leaves crumbling to dust
dogs chasing tails
bears hibernating till good times return
birds soaring to great heights if not caged
sperm whales plunging the ocean’s depths
humans circling outer space seeking
the perfect planet as we fuck-up Earth
reflective and resolute
a ‘to do list’ will not be written
wordless feelings weigh like stone
while memories of what I didn’t do
swirl and shout like New Year revellers
singe and sizzle like failed fireworks.
‘We’ve been through worse and
come out the other side…’
Mum’s voice trying to tell me something?
Happy New Year
Like many others, I will try and remain positive, ache for the Hogmanays of the past when life seemed simpler, happier, and as we farewelled the ‘auld year’ we really did look forward to a better one.
I need the whispers of voices like Mum and Dad to keep perspective, shake me from being too solemn and sober – the generation born in the shadows of WW1, who survived the Great Depression and WW2 – they did indeed ‘come through’!
Let us hope 2017 is a happier new year.
Safe celebrating tonight – I’m hoping to count my blessings, shake off the solemnity and may not remain sober!