At New Years Eve
we’ll stand in the back garden
to watch sparkles and flares,
listen to the bangs and screeches
of city and county fireworks.
No scent of cordite will mar or jar
the sweet rural air.
Nothing shall destroy the calm of the countryside,
the homes of small animals and birds.
There’ll be no sky lanterns to pollute the night.
We’ll reflect on 2020
—the Covid year—
and be glad to see the back of it.
The coming year will be better,
it couldn’t be worse, we’ve decided.
We’ll think of lost friends,
the marvellous NHS;
of sights previously unseen,
and poor planning that made the year dire.
Despite all, we are still human
and so, full of hope.
Will a breath of snow whisper past?
Will frost tweak at nose and toes?
No matter what, the ceiling
of the country celebrates time,
We’ll stand in the back garden
and sip spiced hot wine.
Sotto voce: in an undertone Presto: very fast Forte: loud; strong Staccato: brief; detached Allegro: fast Adagio: slowly Tosto: swift; rapid
Tutti: all; everyone Vivace: lively Tenerezza: tenderly Eco: echo; an effect in which a group of notes is repeated
T’was the night before Christmas and, in our house, nothing was stirring, no rat, bat or grouse. But mousse made appearance and trifle with cream. It’s Christmas Eve, time to fantasise, dream. The tree is waiting for baubles and balls, holly and ivy to deck up the halls. Home is so … homely at Christmas and neat, with carpets fresh vacuumed and dusting complete. Parsnips, potatoes, sprouts and fine wine, sherry and cabbage and walnuts sublime; bacon and turkey, pudding and snow, pigs in their blankets, tree lights all aglow. I’ve laid the wreaths for the parents long gone; yesterday’s garland a baby’s swan song. Christmas memories of bygone years. Now, look to the future, enjoy a few beers.