This poem was published in 'over and out from down under'' and it seems to have developed a life of its own. It was read in eleven different countries in 2009 and every New Year I get e mails from people in really out of the way places telling me somebody read it att heir New Year celebrations, or asking permission to perform it at Poetry readings, although t was unplaced when Irfead it at the Waimate Womens Institute Eistedfodd.
So here it is again with greetings to everybody.
All day to-morrow caravans and cars
will drive through out gate and
make a circle round the green
like the wagon train in westerns.
Awnings will spread, children scatter
to take up games laid down last summer
except Jason and Dulcie
who will stroll to the beach because
now they are fifteen
he shaves twice a week
and her breasts are budding'
We will set trestles under the oak tree
for drinks and salads and things
ladies bring on plates,
not forgetting sausages, steaks
and fillets of fresh salmon
wrapped in foil,
Fred's new barbecue has a grill,
hot plates, a rotisserie and
an oven for warming bread
Men will gather to admire but
talk about bonfires on beaches
and sausages on sticks.
"Has anyone seen Dulcie?"
her mother will ask.
At ten o'çlock Alice and Bert will tune their guitars
Mothers will send children to wash hands.
'Where the bloody hell is Jason?"
his father will snarl.
At midnight we will sing Áuld Lang Syne'
and toast the new year, absent friends,
whitebait, salmon, sea run trout
and anything else we can think of.
Anglers from the next camp
will come first footing and when
there are no more bottles or cans
we will make tea and toast the dawn.
Jason and Dulcie will stroll
back from the beach,
last nights stars
still bright in their eyes.