Home / Gran Slam / 2019 / Aaron Blomeley, 80

Aaron Blomeley, 80

Age: 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

Or perhaps

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.

Please explain.


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.

To find out more about the Gran Slam project and to see the rest of the incredible participants, click here.
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