Monday, December 31, 2012

The Last Night of the Year

Sadly, 2012 appears to be both the pinnacle and the nadir of the story of The Civil Wars.

I will miss their divine harmonies. Indeed I will.

As for 2012, well...

I suppose it could have been worse.

Mojo remains unemployed amidst the Great Recession that has so many others searching desperately for work and hope. My heart hurts for her. I hope that the coming year finds her working, and content.

My children continue to grow and thrive; may that never cease.

My soul continues to seek for a reason to hope, and my heart for a hope within reason. My body continues to falter beneath me. Every night I go to my rest aching and rise still restless and sore in the dark pre-dawn.

I understand that this is the cost I am paying for the adventures of my youth, and while I would not give back those times I cannot but rue the hard days ahead.

To my friends - and if you are reading this you are my friend - I wish the hopes of happiness and the blessings of peace and the love of those you love.

I wish you joy, and the strong pull of good muscles and hard bone as you enjoy the blessings of your mind and body in the coming year.

To my country...well, I have little hope and less expectation. May you surprise me with a glimpse of a probity and righteousness that I fear you have lost to the broad road to Hell that is wealth and sloth.

May we all wake tomorrow to a bright morning and a fair day. May you and yours be gentle, and greet the day with a kiss and a caress from the one you love. May your hopes be luminous, and the road rise to meet you. May you be blithe, and bonny, and good, and gay. May all your hopes for the coming year be fulfilled, all your fears be unrealized, and your uttermost dream be fulfilled.

May you in your sleep tonight take flight and that journey bring you safe and whole into the dawn tomorrow.

New Year's Day

The rain this morning falls
on the last of the snow

and will wash it away. I can smell
the grass again, and the torn leaves

being eased down into the mud.
The few loves I’ve been allowed

to keep are still sleeping
on the West Coast. Here in Virginia

I walk across the fields with only
a few young cows for company.

Big-boned and shy,
they are like girls I remember

from junior high, who never
spoke, who kept their heads

lowered and their arms crossed against
their new breasts. Those girls

are nearly forty now. Like me,
they must sometimes stand

at a window late at night, looking out
on a silent backyard, at one

rusting lawn chair and the sheer walls
of other people’s houses.

They must lie down some afternoons
and cry hard for whoever used

to make them happiest,
and wonder how their lives

have carried them
this far without ever once

explaining anything. I don’t know
why I’m walking out here

with my coat darkening
and my boots sinking in, coming up

with a mild sucking sound
I like to hear. I don’t care

where those girls are now.
Whatever they’ve made of it

they can have. Today I want
to resolve nothing.

I only want to walk
a little longer in the cold

blessing of the rain,
and lift my face to it.

~ Kim Addonizio


basilbeast said...

Well that's hardly a cheery hip hip and cheerio plunge into 2013!
Frustrated virgins who never plucked their roses and shed blood on the thorns, and romantics wandering in miserable weather alone, listening to the sucking mud.
Reading the news overnight, Obama is set upon doing the same things he's always done over the past 4 years, each of them ending with a hope for a better year.
I don't know how to analyze or figure out what he does, neither does Klein

and it wouldn’t have been possible without the White House’s baffling inability to stick to a negotiating position.

This past year was rough on us, and 11 wasn't a romp through the park either. I can commiserate with mojo's lack of employment, we seemed to live by the skin of our teeth for so long.

So, coming back round to the poem, I read it as a tale of our modern-day Plutocrat. No love but only the stored away financial treasures they so zealously guard. The sucking sound, the morass of treasure draining their souls, vampire-like, a life-sustaining slow death.

You got your problems, I've got ours, and we're still here, and I do hope that what I say every once in a while is encouraging.

A trio of links found overnight that may do that.

Hope you guys have a better year than the last.


basilbeast said...

I have an artillery question of sorts if you're willing. I won't go into the background details, unless you ask.

But, if I fire say a half dozen rounds from an AK 47 at a close to a 90 degree angle up into the air and one round happens to fall upon a hapless individual, will there be injury or death?


Podunk Paul said...

Thank you for the New Year's wishes, so well expressed and so heartfelt. We readers, scattered about in odd corners of the world, each with our troubles and small triumphs, are indeed your friends.

FDChief said...

Thanks, guys; hope that '13 is good to you, as well.

Well, Basil, the final jeopardy answer is: possibly depending on a whole bunch of factors.

First of all the round will not be falling particularly quickly. Muzzle velocity of an AK-47 is about 2,100 feet per second. The bullet will be falling at what's called "terminal velocity". For a falling bullet that's about 270 fps, so something like 1/10th of the muzzle velocity.

Still, 270fps is no joke, and if the round were to strike you right on the top of your head, say, or in the pocket between your collarbone and scapula where it would pass through vital organs, wouldn't be very happy about that.

But the real problem would be actually HITTING the person. We used to laugh about our high-angle projos passing through the airliner flight paths; "Little bullet, big sky" was the catchphrase. So the real "unlikelihood" would be actually hitting the person.

But if you DID hit them...well, at the very least it would hurt. And if the person was VERY unlucky it could kill.

There are verified cases of sailors and Marines being killed in the Pacific on VJ-Day by projos fired by guys firing into the air. Most of those, though, were 20mm and 40mm rounds...

Lisa said...

Happy 2013, Chief; as always, you express yourself as a particular and a universal so well.

Our biological impulse to perdure will carry us on through life's toughest brambles, and our succor is in having friends like yourself. I think I can speak for all of us in your virtual community in saying that we are grateful for the camaraderie which you facilitate and over which you preside.

FDChief said...

Thanks, Lisa; you remain one of the true delights and splendors of a sad and weary world. May your light continue to burn bright in the coming year; waes hael!

Lisa said...

Your kindness always brings me good cheer.

Drinc hael :)