Looking back and looking forward
This New Year’s Eve, we pause to grieve
before we look ahead.
The year gone by (I cannot lie)
was marked by death and dread.
First Kobe died and then we cried
because George couldn’t breathe.
We held our breath with hopes his death
would not be disbelieved.
Black Lives replied and then decried
injustice masked too long.
Protests took shape and so did hate
with wrong replacing wrong.
And COVID spread as Fauci led
the charge to stem the tide.
He gave us tasks and we wore masks
but sadly countless died.
Hurricanes would be the blame
for costly devastation.
And fires raged largely uncaged.
A hellish conflagration.
The virus leapt while widows wept
and closed our schools and churches.
We worked from home and used our phones
to order what we purchased.
As jobs were lost, the COVID cost
kept mounting without peaking.
The lines for food and work pursued
drove desperate souls to drinking.
The White House race proved a disgrace.
Our country was divided.
We bled and bled both blue and red.
Our unity was blighted.
It’s been some year. Both hope and fear
have occupied our hearts.
The vaccine gift gave us a lift
just as a new year starts.
May ’21 before it’s done
be filled with joy, dear Lord.
May lives be spared and homes repaired
and needed jobs restored.
May faith grow strong, so too the song
that praises God for blessings.
And may it be the year to see
our grateful hearts expressing
a love of life, disdain for strife
and dreams for which we’re longing.
A world where health and honest wealth
finds everyone belonging.
We started the year 2020 with hope
with focus and vision no reason to mope.
But then Kobe left us. His daughter did too.
Then something more dreadful would come into view.
COVID they called it. A Grinch-like disease.
This heartless invader brought us to our knees.
Wash your hands. Wear your mask.
Keep your distance. Stay home.
And in lockdown we panicked, together alone.
Our nation divided by blue states and red
grew angry and violent as George Floyd lay dead.
Those protests and riots made headlines and news
as COVID deaths mounted and we looked for clues
for how this grave virus could finally be stopped
and how to find justice for those killed by cops.
It seemed like our nation had ground to a halt.
The culprit was COVID. That’s who was at fault
for shutting down restaurants, churches and schools
and emptying stadiums with endless rules.
Businesses languished while tent cities thrived.
The death toll kept rising. Just who would survive
the first wave and second? Would there be a third?
Immunity beckoned by vaccine and herd.
And now it is Christmas with vials en route.
but the Grinch known as COVID maintains his pursuit
of holiday bedlam and holiday grief.
Can Christmas be salvaged? Is there no relief?
This vandal’s relentless. The world’s robbed of joy.
These silent nights find me a heartbroken boy.
There’s coal in my stocking. My list’s been ignored.
Our halls still need decking. I’m lonesome and bored.
While socially distanced alone by the tree,
I’m dreaming of normal (not snow). May it be!
I’m cherishing family from whom I’m apart.
I’m replaying memories tucked deep in my heart.
And though I am grieving what won’t be this year,
I’m grateful this Christmas that I am still here.
I’m grateful for loved ones. I’m grateful for friends.
I’m grateful that soon COVID’s looting will end.
Why nativity figurines should wear masks this year
Their governor said, “Pay your tax!”
Our governor says, “Wear your masks!”
The Holy Family (just like us)
were people of their day.
Both Joe and Mary were confined
by regulations of the time.
There were no halos on their heads.
They were like you and me.
And that’s what makes the “Good News” good.
The baby born midst hay and wood
came to a world of average Joes
to demonstrate God’s love.
In Jesus’ parents I see me.
Just as I am (without one plea)
except a prayer to trust God’s plan
when prone to fear and stress.
It’s helps to know they understand
when I draw near my “Bethlehem”
without a room and most inclined
to question what to do.
That average Joe who paid his tax
and those like me who wear a mask
have much in common. We are they
for whom the Savior came.
Longing for a full house instead of playing solitaire
A December to remember?
Given the cards COVID has dealt us,
I’m guessing the odds are pretty good
we won’t easily forget this month
(or this year for that matter).
Feeling rummy (even without gin)
we need something to bridge the gap.
Even when we have Trump,
we find ourselves Biden time.
Our mandatory masks
have covered our poker faces
in an effort to reduce the gamble of infection.
I’m tired of playing solitaire, aren’t you?
I’m ready to cash it in.
At least that’s the way I feel
most of the time.
But when the chips are down,
I find the means to see you
and raise your hopes.
A full house may be closer than you think.
What this season of COVID has birthed within us
Nine months to ponder.
A pregnancy of sort.
God-with-us grew within us in this time.
He kicked and we responded.
Faith developed. Hope took shape
in the poetry of Life that didn’t rhyme.
In this season of gestation,
what’s been born was birthed by pain.
Yet the pangs of COVID have not been in vain.
Midst the trials, there’ve been blessings.
In the challenges, good change.
And though there’ve been some losses,
we’ve had gains.