BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 29. 2010 -- I created this sonnet a long time ago at a delicatessen that's now torn down at the end of Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, Calif. It's meant to be read in the last minutes of the old year to welcome in the new one.
You may not get the reference to "crackling leaves," so I'll explain: long ago it was the custom to burn calendars at the end of the year, and the pages of calendars were called "leaves."
> Click on speaker symbol below to hear me read:
A Sonnet For The New Year
The old year fades to next, and gone are days
When laughter leapt with love, and love cried out;
And days when songs like these set love ablaze,
As though from Rapture's mouth, are hurried out;
O grief-torn days, o reborn days, all gone;
And days of peace and prayer, of rage and fear,
And love unwon, the old year rustles on;
And gone the day when love set loose a deer,
All done. And as the hour winds around,
Let's fill the final minute with a poem
The years may pause upon; I hear the sound
Of crackling leaves, and wend me off towards home.
Our moment's made of light, and on its steed
Let's ring the New Year in: Good luck! Godspeed!
-- Joseph Patrick Shea
Copyright 2013 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.