Countdown to 2017: Tend the Fire



Simon Vouet, “Father Time Overcome by Love, Hope, and Beauty,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Toll the New Yearโ€™s bells,

sing, ring, out with the old,

tick tock, the Doomsday clock,

crash, boom, the bombers croon,

disaster looms,

resist, persist,

as midnight strikes,

what is and was

and what will be,

shadows still,

not foreordained.

Sing, ring, in with the new,

the bogus god,

jittery and twittery,

embodiment of hate and fear,

hollow crowned,

filled with vain conceit,

yet mortal.


From ashes, hope rises,

like the Phoenix,

even now,

(See the flames flicker?)

glimmering, gleaming,

in the darkness–

gather round,

the embers glow, the fire grows,

no dying of the light

but gently, delicately

feed the flame,

tend it carefully till the dawn.







21 thoughts on “Countdown to 2017: Tend the Fire

  1. I really loved this poem, Merril. It reminded me of something by Auden. Last night, as I swung from one year to the next, I must admit I felt quite intimidated. Can I live up to everything which is to come? I cleaned both the inside and the outside of the fridge and the kitchen table. Two bags of plastic bags to be recycled. This is the very tip of the iceberg. I’ve decided that I need some lanes for the new year. Some markers so I stay on track at least some of the time. It is quite daunting. We each live with our own failings and Dec 31 and January 1st is where we become super conscious of all of this and I do feel a bit crippled. Need to take a few deep breaths and prepare for the challenges.
    xx Rowena

    • Thanks so much, Rowena. I’ve never been compared to Auden before. I’ll take it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was thinking about you as I saw photos of fireworks in Sydney long before midnight here. I’m sorry you’re feeling intimidated, but I suppose the up side is two bags of items to be recycled. (And I suppose that could be a metaphor, yes?) I guess we all need that extra push once and awhile. Unfortunately, the New Year doesn’t do it for me. I admit to being apprehensive about the world this year, as I’ve never been before. Perhaps that will energize me in new and productive ways. In the meantime, I have multiple deadlines to meet, and I’m going to have to push myself on those. ๐Ÿ™‚ Deep breaths and hold on tight! All best in 2017.

      • Thanks very much, Merril. I am trying hard but get derailed so easily…especially by my writing and photography, even if it is a good thing. Today, I was photographing our crumbling gingerbread house when I had the idea of photographing it with the sunflower behind it and it reminded me of the villagers in the Ukraine who had passengers and bits of plane falling through their roofs and into their homes. It funny where these accumulating creative steps can lead you.
        Good luck with all your deadlines and the New Year.
        xx Rowena

  2. Keeping the light glowing, fire embers warm seems like a positive way to greet a new year in, with a little “flash!” ๐Ÿ™‚ Merril, I read this with some trepidation since the negative edges were there. But light and love overcame darkness, by morning’s light. Hurray! Thanks for this, Merril.

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