New Year Poem: Hunters by Pauline Yarwood

The page will have to be turned in the end.
Every year the unwanted pictorial calendar
and every year the predictable January Breugel.

Just now, for a while longer,
I'm grabbing on to the tail end
of the year I already have.

There's comfort here, warmth, and colour,
months to mull over, summer's music to remember,
a year, a beautiful year, safely lived.

Turn the page and you're up against it -
snow scene, skaters, country life pulling together,
the expectant glow of fresh starts.

I don't want a fresh start.
I want more of the same.

Look.  There's a darkening sky and
darker waters, the snow-laden deadening,
leadening of a life harshly lived.

And those hunters and dogs.
What are they hunting

Copyright Pauline Yarwood
from Image Junkie, Wayleaves Press, 2017

I too, have an ambiguous relationship with calendars.  At home, when I was a child, there was a ceremonial changing of the calendar after the clock had struck 12 on New Year's Eve.  The coming year was a blank; something to anticipate - something to dread. My father would step out into the starlit farmyard to bring in his piece of coal and then we would all go out and look at the sky as if it could tell us what the coming year would bring.  Then we would go back into the kitchen to sit around the big black range with its roaring fire to get warm again. Comfort and security, with a whole, dark, unknown universe on the other side of the door.

What will next year bring, I wonder?

Image Junkie is published by Wayleaves Press.


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