New Year's Day
At 6am on New Year's Day
While next door's lengthy Hogmanay
Was resolutely still in play
I wearily arose.
My brain was buzzing, anyway,
Too much to much doze.
I dressed, and found an old cagoule
(Remembering the forecast squall)
And stuffed it — an ungainly ball —
In my fleece pocket.
Then crept down to the downstairs hall
And made my exit.
The streets were dark; it felt like night
The more so for the frequent sight
Of homeward-headed revellers, tight
And waxing verbal.
One stopped, and asked me for a light
For something ‘herbal’…
I drew the odd uncivil jest
From trendy cliques in party best
Who were distinctly unimpressed
By my appearance;
I scowled, and scorned “such shallowness"
With silent vehemence.
Towards the centre of the town
Were several nightclubs of renown
Where people were still ‘getting down’
And stumbling out.
Kebabs and vomit spread the ground
For miles about.
I saw it all — this scattered world;
I saw my substance paralleled;
But my admittance was withheld…
Nor did I rue it.
The world and I would never meld
And we both knew it.
So I retraced, with heavy heart,
At which the skies saw fit to part
And drench the world and I with marked
The rain, unrivalled in the art
Of humane parity.
It drenched, and purged the sullied streets
From every trace of festal feats —
A chastisement, of sorts, which metes
A mercy also.
The world made swift in its retreats…
I lingered, slow.
Carolyn Whitnall, 2014
See Job 37:1-13 ("... he does great things that we cannot comprehend. For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour. ... Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen") and Isaiah 45:5-8 ("... I am the LORD, who does all these things. Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness ...").
[Thumbnail image cc from Dominic's pics on Flickr]