Friday, December 29, 2017

New Year's Eve (2017 Revision)

I can't compete with Tennyson's
Ring out the old (that rhyming psalm
He wrote for "In Memoriam"),
The best of year-end benisons.

But here I shall enumerate
My wishes, hopes, prayers, and concerns:
I'll tip my hat to Robert Burns;
And yes, I just might stay up late,

Taking a drop to ward off thirst!
And so, before Times Square goes mad,
Here are some of the thoughts I've had
Upon December thirty-first.

I shun the louts, the mouths that shout,
The vandalizing gusts of wind
Thrashing the trees with fury blind --
I'd rather be inside than out.

Give me a friendly gathering:
A cup of kindness, "Auld Lang Syne,"
Some evanescent quarts of wine --
A festive warmth as glad hearts sing.

Or bless me with the joys of home,
Companionable solitude
Away from rowdies brash and rude:
I need not travel, need not roam.

Give me surroundings safe and sweet:
A bed, some books, a cup of tea --
Grace, peace, and domesticity
As midnight bells ring to complete

Obsequies of the twelvemonth past,
To signal January's birth
As corks pop, souls carouse with mirth,
And pyrotechnics burst and blast.

Could some God grant to wounded hearts
The healing of their every ill,
Grant that the hungry have their fill,
And grace us, as this year departs,

To hear the cry of strife-torn lands,
To lift the poor man from his heap,
To dress the dead in restful sleep,
To hold a frail child in safe hands --

No, blameworthy is any plea
For heavenly help unless our hands
Work to fulfill the great commands
Of love and solidarity.

So let us greet the sequent year
Raising our good deeds as a hymn,
Steadying those of tottering limb,
Strengthening those who live in fear.


  1. I love this, Tom! It's very beautiful, meaning and expression so perfectly at one. So glad you shared!

  2. Thank you, Beth! And thank my mom, who urged me to indite some occasional verse for the new year. (Did I just say "indite"? Sheesh!)

    I'm very glad you liked the poem.

  3. Very nice. And the fact that you successfully rhymed "Tennyson's" and "benisons" is admirable indeed.



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