Saturday, January 10, 2015

If this is January

January is the slow, quiet time of year
when we sit back and relax
after the rush of the Christmas season
and bask in the sun, warming our backs
and eating sweet oranges.

Not a time when crime explodes in our faces:
When young men go missing
and their bloated, blackened corpses are found
and skinny young dark men arrested
and charged nine long days later.
When carnage runs wild, free as blood
as crazed men burst into houses
and slash you to death with
a butcher's knife,
when in a family of six,
five coffins are lined up
the next day.
And on the streets and social media,
church-going people bay for
vengeance and retribution
and of taking the law into their hands.

If this is January
slow, quiet January
I dread what summer will bring.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Hello again, January

Chilly mornings
wrapped in fog,
leaves shiver
on thinning trees,
the sad wintry sun
cannot break through
the greyed out landscape.
Inside the house
echoes bounce off white, naked walls
stripped of Christmas trimmings.
Hello again, January,
to you I raise
a gently steaming cup of tea.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

The Long and Winding Road That Was

A confession now that 2014 is well and truly in the past. In 1994 my mother had died of cancer, in 2004 my sister had a fall where she broke her spinal cord and became a paraplegic. How apprehensive I was when 2014 arrived, wondering what calamity might be in store. I could hardly bring myself to look at this cover of Our Daily Bread with Alex Soh's beautiful shot of a cyclist travelling down a rugged, winding road between hills and valleys. The curves in the road seemed to me to conceal something frightening. As Christmas time arrived, I breathed easier. The year seemed to be letting itself out quietly. But as news of the QZ8501 came, I thought no, anything could still happen. Eventually it was only this morning that I could bring myself to look at this picture with an easy mind.

To the good Lord who guided me through the long, winding road that was 2014, I am so deeply, deeply grateful.