Fat from festive meat
we rise from fusty beds
to saunter through the samey sales
displaying goods that we would like
and tacky trash that we don’t need
all for half of last week’s retail price.
We storm heaped halls with gastric greed
to raise our weighty store of treats,
selecting children’s food that children shouldn’t eat,
and children’s drinks that children shouldn’t drink,
adding trendy fizzy wine
in case a neighbour calls in by surprise.
As we display this toxic waste
on tables laid with paper plates,
we flick away mistakes we made in 2 0 1 and 8
and soon we celebrate the dawning of
the final slice of this decade.
Around the globe
at spaced-out times, midnight strikes.
While fireworks flash
and mobiles hum with messages of risen love
and bloodstreams pump with liquid cheer
we raise a long-legged crystal glass, and toast
the birthing of another year.
Another year, and still
next morning dawns the same as yesterday.
We wake with hopes defiled by stiffened bones and aching head,
to ascertain how easily our drunken vows
can be returned to barren dust,
to join the wasted lore of history
along the planet’s turgid crust.
Sober now, we recall
the calendar is just a tool
that helps us map the time and organise our lives.
The opening page contains no magic cure,
and yet we fling last-minute dreams
of global health and lasting peace
toward a blurry breeze each New Year’s Eve.
But if we eke out all our vows
freeing them to thrive throughout our lives;
if we strive each day to turn away from pricking pain
and reach for solidarity;
if we close our eyes to our own gain and focus on another’s needs;
if we try, at every opportunity
to make our world a kinder place,
I believe we will succeed.
My New Year wish for everyone:
May we all find ourselves in a kinder place in 2019 and throughout our lives.
May we all share the kindness.
©Jane Paterson Basil