This is the last time I will write my life
Into a daily sonnet, those things great,
Exciting, middling, sad, and sometimes strife,
Through stubbornness one cannot understate.
Tonight, I’ll sing to thousands and the sky
To fete a civic gem’s centenary
Then dinner, where we’ll bid the year goodbye
And sonnet cycle done successfully.
Tomorrow, will it feel strange not to write,
Thus letting loose the stories in my head?
Or will those nagging feelings in the night
Inspire me to read a book instead?
To paraphrase the words of one less boring
Who knows? I’ll get the sled. Let’s go exploring!
Wan winter sun, the second to the last
Of this, the year I chose to sonnet daily,
Your rise announced all starts of poems past
And now, upon the end you shine so palely
Upon this concept that I’m now outlining,
Which has already set my scansion spinning
I know what words may yet survive aligning,
With confidence I lacked at the beginning.
And yet I feel that I have hardly started,
Since every day’s addition is discrete,
With each idea previously uncharted-
It’s hard to see this as a single feat,
Unless it is embracing introspection,
And finding good alongside imperfection.
I soar above the waves with little clearance,
As if an unseen cloak fashioned of breeze
From choppy waters wanting interference
Protects me over other devotees.
I rise in joyful arc into the sky,
Then turn my shoulder to the sea below
To dive upon what fodder I espy
And fill my bill, and through its grace I grow.
The ancients thought that I would pierce my breast
To feed my young, a sign of sacrifice,
But for the fish that I would fain ingest,
I’m not a favored heraldic device.
Thus, any symbol others may exalt
I’m sure to take with a large grain of salt.
As one conversant with verse, rhyme, and scansion,
And long-familiar forms of poetry,
It’s not surprising I should seek expansion
From borders of familiarity.
Though language’s music is eternal,
Specific phrases and their orchestrations
Can bring about acknowledgment internal
That such things, as Wilde wrote, produce vibrations.
And so when watching other tales that came
A few years after those I know too well,
They cannot but my memory inflame,
Along with pride that it was done so well.
Though kismet might have lighted my ambition,
T’was perspicacity made me audition.
It’s one thing to lack motivation when
There are a dozen things you’d rather do,
Like listen to beloved comedians
Pretend to fly a man to Timbuktu.
It’s quite another when you’d rather write
The thoughts to form the basis of a story
And not the piece that must be done tonight,
As it occurs in mental territory-
Ideas, like rabbits, tend to reproduce
When shielded from the crush of worldly stresses,
Yet their abundant presence can’t reduce
Anxieties that spring from their excesses.
Wild fancies sparked from works of great renown-
If only I had time to write them down!
Though Boxing Day has long-observed traditions,
In my household, we’ve had to make our own:
A day of rest for Christmas-worn musicians
We celebrate by tuning out the phone,
Then making copious puns with cherished friends
And toasting the atrocious ones with glee.
Or being glad when water line descends
When snaking plumbing that’s been clogged with tea.
Whatever rite or ritual we choose
Be it necessity or frivolous,
Enlightening or simply to amuse,
The impetus to do it came from us.
Our guiding principle is one puissant:
Enjoy the day by doing what you want.
Sometimes, a family Christmas will consist
Of sitting on the carpet with your spouse
While both of you are alternately kissed
And cuddled by the canines of the house,
And rather than a sleigh ride through the drifts,
A walk around an isthmus in the bay,
Instead of six-course dinners after gifts,
A simple meal for two will do today.
Each commonplace activity gains meaning
When busy lives demand time spent apart,
So gratitude for festive intervening
In moments such as this will fill my heart.
May pride and expectation someday soften,
That we can all enjoy such things more often.
A heavy box arrived, one surface ripped
And fearing for the worst, I looked inside,
But for the contents I was ill-equipped,
And so I held them to my chest and cried-
Two volumes, out-of-print and long desired
And added to my wish list as a lark;
A gift whose choice seems perfectly inspired,
And in that perfect moment hit its mark.
The box contained no clue as to the senders,
Though only my immediate family
Knew of that list, so there were few contenders,
And he admitted his identity.
Dear brother, I wear thanks upon my sleeve
For that which I’m so lucky to receive.
A day of tediousness and pointless stresses
Combined with ever-growing to-do lists,
Is one that unavoidably depresses,
Inexorable snappishness persists
Until this truly frivolous annoyance
Must needs compete for vanishing attention
Against the zenith of Baroque flamboyance;
Complexity defying comprehension.
As dark can only be destroyed by light
And hate can only be destroyed by love
Banality with Bach we all shall smite,
Via Vivaldi we’ll raise songs above.
When days are filled with sputtering invective,
My concert nights help put things in perspective.
And endless litany of work demands
That’s followed by the thrill of voicing song
With cherished friends and those with gifted hands,
Then followed by new music in a throng,
Supplanted then by comprehensive mope,
Upon deliverance of lousy news
About a thing for which I’d dare to hope,
Yet gentle hugs frustrations can defuse.
Discouraged, sad, and tired though I may be,
My last work day is scheduled for tomorrow
Before few precious days of liberty-
To think on that will soften any sorrow.
Tomorrow, I shall sacred songs employ.
Though glad of comfort, I hold hope for joy.