U.A. Fanthorpe, Not the Millennium

Wise men are busy being computer-literate. There should be a law against confusing Religion with mathematics. There was a baby. Born where? And when? The sources mention Massacres, prophecies, stars; They tell a good story, but they don’t agree. So we celebrate at the wrong midnight. Does it matter? Only dull science expects An accurate audit. The economy of heaven Looks for fiestas and fireworks every day, Every day. Be realistic, says heaven: Expect a miracle. From U.A. Fanthorpe, Christmas Poems (Enitharmon Press, 2002), p. 61

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I heard a girl singing

Everyone I know agrees that 2016 has been a bad year. Too many good people died (one a close friend of mine) and too much rubbish happened. 2016 should not have been, or so we all seem to think. But as the year came to an end, I heard a girl singing, and I think it might turn out alright. And it’s not that I’m ignoring the rest. I’ve heard the racist slurs that we wanted to have left behind in the seventies, and the economic forecasts, and the bombs going off, and the bulldozers in the jungle, and the bells tolling—so many bells tolling—the bells that seemed not to stop tolling all year. I’ve heard it all. And grieved for our losses. And despaired for our futures. But then I heard a girl singing, and I began to hope again. She was a bit younger than our...

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