Aaron Blomeley, 80
Chirn Park, QLD
Aaron Blomeley is an environmental hydrologist with the heart of a poet. Aaron has a lifetime of worldwide travel under his belt and is just about due for his OBE (Over Bloody Eighty). He writes poems for his grown-up kids and stories for his grandchildren. Last year Aaron Blomeley was the poster boy for Gran Slam. In 2020 we welcome back this moped-riding, inspirational facilitator to enlighten and enliven us with his vibrant imagination and animated performances once again.
2021 New Year
New Year has come and sadly, it has gone
I ponder resolutions made over many years…
I remember appointments with the gym
Forgotten, again – three years in a row.
It almost puts me in tears.
Resolutions have been important to me
But in the abstract, uncoupled to my needs
Doing more exercise, dropping some kilos,
saving money, spending less time on the screen
These, I realised, were just hollow seeds.
Before looking at the year ahead
I should look at the year gone past
When the world was given a push
Heralded by fires right here in the Australian bush
People died, houses destroyed, wild life gone
Bad to begin and worse to come
when soup was eaten by a man with a bat
Living in Wuhan, so say some.
A virus spread like fire in the forest
Not flames hot but cunning swine
Society was beaten by this merciless beast
Armies, navies and airforce all useless.
Whatever their reach, their strength had ceased
For people, you and me,
schedules came a meaningless task
A walk in the morning became our gym
No trips to plan
No socials without a mask
I drank dregs of coffee and looked around
Inequality had raised its ugly head
The rich got richer and, oh yes, the poor got poorer
It seemed a retread was about to be shed
Words of Robyn Williams came to my head
‘Cocaine is God’s way to tell you clear
that money you have, but way too much’,
He said with a sneer.
New Year? Reflection on 2020 hurt my soul
In sunny Oz, the fire retreated but not defeated
An unfinished task for us to behold.
People hovered, kindling that could relight the fire
While the authorities used quarantine and masks
To keep fire from spreading, leaving us all in the mire.
Early one morning it dawned on me,
Could 2021 be an opportunity for growth
A growth for me? If so, what should it be?
And at plus 80, poor me,
Not something I sought with glee.
I stood up straight and lifted my chin
COVID 19 cannot change who we are
But amplify who we already are.
To ignore that would be a sin
Cranky people get cranky
Generous people get generous
The paranoid get more paranoid
The creative more creative
Where did that leave me?
Assertiveness is part of me
Aggressiveness is part of me
But these can be diluted, softened
by a touch of empathy.
Flowers for Algernon, a book of fiction
I read when a callow youth, talked of rapport.
Resolution for 2021? Read it again and learn some more
I will learn a touch of empathy
Be patient with others
but also infinitely patient with myself.
Time will tell. Let me see
2020 Been and Gone
by Aaron Blomeley
2020 will come to pass.
It may pass like a kidney stone
but pass it will
Leaving a gap
filled with weeping grass
When our children call
‘How’s your day?’
They will chant
‘A total 2020’
And that, itself, will tell it all
Black summer bushfires came at first
sending smoke way up high
Blue skies disappeared behind a pall of grey
While fragments of life fell at our feet
Then a pandemic, at first unseen
Brought protests, lockdowns and punch ups too
Toilet paper became a spoil of war.
We fought denialism and witnessed the triumph of science
We cringed at domestic chaos and wondered why
While loneliness and separation
led to embracing furry friends
And as the year unfolded,
unremarkable people became the most remarkable.
Sacrifices were made, with the occasional bloomer
111 days of lockdown for poor Melbournians
who did this to protect us all
We pulled through with grit, care and a touch of humour
While fortitude, communal fortitude, covered us all
What else did we learn?
The pandemic gave glimpse to the benefits of cleaner air
Grounded flights, empty roads; blue skies.
We discovered working from home really works
And noticed that women leaders lead the best
Emotions laid bare
We were extraordinary in this extraordinary time.
To celebrate the year of 2020, what would be your favourite song?
Catch My Disease by Ben Lee
This Year by the Mountain Goats
Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis themselves
but I cannot go without a thought for the future
We discovered a pandemic that has no respect
It rang a bell
We learnt to share our knowledge, for mankind is one,
but will we remember the lesson
Only time will tell
Climate change, excuse the pun, remains a question hot
But it’s a fact, 2020 will be the third hottest year we know
Even Verkhoyansk – pronounce this if you can –
The coldest place where people live
reached 38 degrees in a day last July.
We believed the science of pandemic
Yet deny the science of climate change.
For this poor Earth… when was the second hottest year we know?
Why, 2016 of course and there is more to come.
So please, please…let us learn,
This Earth, this planet of ours, is one.