HAPPY NEW YEAR, the clock struck twelve, we finally made it,
Saw off 2019, just the year before, now feels like the days of yore,
Stared down a new decade wide-eyed despite some frightening warning signs,
Mother Nature unleashed her fury, revealed the cost of complacency,
The nation’s burnin’, painted the sky red, it’s like the seventh circle, would’ve filled Dante with dread,
Reduced homes and possessions into toast, folks frustrated as the PM copped it most,
Firies and volunteers shone, without blinking they went straight to war,
Victory achieved but came at a great cost,
Can’t reclaim what’s irreplaceable, the properties damaged and lives lost,
The year started rough but surely that had to be it,
No way, José, things are about to go to shit,
Bushfires, explosions and other natural disasters, political unrest and discord within the royals,
Forget the new Roaring 20’s, get ready for an annus horribilis,
A true test of mettle and patience in the face of unexpected surprises,
Heard whispers of a monster awakening in the Orient,
Stormed the news and social media, the world carried on despite warnings,
Shouldn’t have left that guard lowered, the monster wasn’t missin’ it,
The fallout felt across continents, social hierarchies ruined, death and destruction came, too, for the affluent.
Contagion became reality, harkened back to bygone eras,
Of plagues, pandemics and epidemics experienced by our elders and ancestors,
First three months seem like ancient history, unwanted changes applied to daily living,
Special events postponed or cancelled for the first time or in a while, gotta be a mind-fuck for those born in modern, gentler times,
Dark chapters from history repeated, in more ways than one,
We’ll cover those later, let’s first focus on this one,
The whole world placed in lockdown, life as we know it on hold,
The endgame’s unknown, mentally and emotionally could be a slippery slope,
Can’t go wandering far, unless you’re fixing to get fined,
Handshakes, hugs and kisses can put your loved ones in strife,
Home and work life came together, school, too, for parents and students,
Grinding to make ends meet while also playing teacher,
High-wire balancing act got ‘em stressin’, inching towards the end of their tether,
Families and couples separated, the monster kept modes of travel grounded,
Tragic consequences for patients on the wrong side of borders,
The economy’s in a shambles while society’s crumblin’,
Peep ‘em in the supermarkets, it’s a feeding frenzy in the ocean,
Grown adults fighting over toilet paper like a shiver of sharks on a carcass,
Fuck evolution, this here’s devolution, common sense and rational thinking obliterated, individuals regressing back to children,
Asians attacked for this virus, regardless of nationality, background and culture,
Fellow humans came swooping like a pack of rabid vultures,
It’s back to the Chinese Exclusion Act during days of the Bubonic Plague,
Yellow Peril reincarnated, the Asian race must take the blame,
Media headlines fuelling tensions while politicians empower the ignorant,
Compellin’ ‘em to acts of violence, high off of hatred and substances,
But what of doctors and scientists from the place of origin that warned of the beast’s presence ‘fore they were silenced?
The everyday citizens and those affected? They didn’t ask for this,
Treating ‘em all like accessories to murders, are y’all fuckin’ serious?
The spread was a global effort, exacerbated by deniers and conspiracy theorists,
Lit up tension between states, whole countries now divided,
Screw-ups rolling out the conveyor belt, hotel quarantine being in the thick of it,
We ain’t going nowhere with all these divisions,
From teamwork and cooperation there can be miracles,
The battle ain’t over but the light illuminates in the distance, only we are responsible for the speed of its arrival.
Stir-craziness in lockdowns and existing social tensions are liable to explode into something serious,
Kicked off with Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd lit the fuse, now they’re protesting on the evening news,
Five-O swore an oath to serve and protect, but does it apply only to certain lives?
For folks of certain skin tones it seems like one giant lie,
They’re marching in the streets crying no justice no peace,
Juneteenth ended slavery yet oppression still permeates society,
Disbelief simmered for too long, can barely keep the lid on,
In the midst of Covid and economic ruin, the contents explode ‘round the kitchen,
It’s all out anarchy, businesses are plundered and burning,
Shades of Watts and L.A, even Greenwood and Wilmington,
The anger’s understandable, must be exhausting constantly looking over shoulders,
Unfairly branded a criminal based on stereotypes on race and skin color,
The message is noble, it’s time to end racism, but y’all behind the movement dropped the ball with your actions,
How will lootin’ ease the problem? Even black-owned businesses are targeted,
Fighting fire with fire, innocent lives the collateral damage, like scenes from a war movie, what good will come out of this?
The picking and choosing among y’all is startling, does every Black Life really matter?
The rage is palpable for victims of cops and Caucasians, what of lives lost in gang crime and violence y’all started?
Y’all turned certain victims into heroes and martyrs, even if they were proven criminals,
Shouldn’t have ended six-feet under or seriously injured, should have known better, that cops got nervous trigger fingers,
Where’s the marching for David Dorn and Patrick Underwood? For Oluwatoyin Salau and Bernell Trammell too?
That lil’ kid from Chicago and Secoreia Turner? And while we’re at it what about young Cannon Hinnant?
Lost their lives to black-on-black crime and BLM riots, black-on-white for Cannon, the latter three were children, why don’t any of their lives matter?
How’s gaslighting POCs into playing victim helpin’ while forcin’ guilt upon White individuals?
How’s antagonizing other races a solution? What happened to ‘anti-racism’?
And why are y’all beefin’ with free-thinking Black men and women?
How are education and manners traitorous? Unlike y’all they’re rising above their own bullshit experiences,
Miss ‘em with that victim mentality, finding real solutions leave no time for hate and hypocrisy,
No doubt bad seeds exist in law enforcement, a solution’s overdue and we’re sick of waiting,
But good ones still exist among the ranks, leave ‘em be they don’t deserve your wrath,
Realize, too, that racists come from all backgrounds and colors as do the victims,
Stereotypes and labels based on appearances gotta be done with, period,
Social and economic ruin’s accelerated thanks to y’all, if that was the goal then mission accomplished,
2020 lit up many fires and counting and y’all are the ones dumping gasoline and lighter fluid.
Cancel Culture’s presence exploded, invaded the minds of the bored and insominiac,
Us VS Them is where it’s at, non-conformists be damned,
The extreme ends of both sides guilty, firing shots at one another daily,
In the eyes of the sane and rational y’all are equally loony,
Opposing facts rejected even when valid, what’s wrong with addressin’ all sides?
Folks be triggered by counter-arguments, brawling over beliefs and lifestyles,
Peeps softer than tissue paper, children display greater levels of resilience, pushing back will shake foundations then demo the whole building,
Calling others ‘sheep’ is green lit, as is throwing stones from behind that glass,
Cancel those that live and think otherwise, foolish words that fit the narrative get a pass,
Attempts to rewrite history by cancelling the ugly chapters, y’all living in Germany under Hitler?
Stalinist Russia? Castro’s Cuba? What are the positives of censorship and propaganda?
Suppressing parts history rather than learning from it, tell us, what are its benefits?
That’s some 1984 shit, it’s a disservice to future generations,
And censoring counter-thinkers? How’s that advocating free speech and tolerance?
That serves to suggest that y’all will crumble when you find your views challenged,
Others are starving and dying, the monster’s still running rampant,
Left wing, right wing, y’all are on the same bird, ponder that in between your whining.
All eyes on the Divided States beyond Epstein and his minions,
Four years in the making, guaranteed to get the entire world talking,
Tokyo 2020 called off in a hurry while this one’s immune to cancellation,
Stole the thunder from headlines worldwide, this here’s the election,
Battle between geezers, one questionable and the other vile,
A showdown for the ages, pun intended, between the bellicose and senile,
No golfing or swapping war stories over a barbecue, hold the whiskey, hookers, viagara and chialis, though the insults and trash-talking were nothing short of childish,
It was only going one way, the world saw it coming, Donnie pissed off one too many, came back to haunt him against Joey,
Defeat’s a bitter pill for the egotistical, can’t do nothing ‘bout it, though,
Questions raised, also, regarding how that soon-to-be-Octogenarian will go,
Memory lapses and foot-in-mouth syndrome, these be troubling signs,
Body’s breaking down, too, better have medics on stand-by,
Month-long clown shit over with, the people have spoken,
No surprises, though, if they’ll soon be saluting Madam President Harris.
But it need not be all bad, there exists some silver linings,
Look beyond the headlines and block out doomsayers, you’ll find what’s worth celebrating,
The absence of cars and public transport turned out to be nature’s perfect tonic,
Started healing itself, the air, land and sea, the reduction in pollution’s drastic,
The time’s right to pursue that long held dream, no more excuses,
Turning lockdown into a blessing, a year for fine entrepreneurship,
Opportunities for growth and learning, plenty of time for soul-searching,
True passions and talents are discovered, for some better late than never,
Creative juices flowin’, conspired to unleash inner entertainers,
Kept the public in stitches with at-home lockdown antics,
Family ties rekindled, got all the time in the world for bonding,
The monster held the world captive but could never dampen spirits,
Frontliners shone like true heroes, forget the comic books and sports reports,
Fighting fires and assisting the sick and unfortunate, they rose to the occasion,
Trying times stripped bare individuals, true colors done exposed,
But real ones still walk among us, shining bright as beacons of courage and hope,
2020 draws to a close, there’s two ways to look back on it,
As one to forget or the gauntlet that sharpened fortitude and character,
Moment of silence for the departed, sympathies to those hurt by losses,
Respect to the warriors on the front line, but to you too for crossing the finish line,
Did what you had to do to get by, went about your biz and raised your kids,
Fought to keep that head above water, you’re still swimming, life doled out tests and examinations and you passed ‘em with flying colors,
Credit, too, to the young and the students, toughed it out in unpredictable conditions,
Your determination served y’all well in addition to your teachers and parents,
It’s time for new beginnings, start drafting those resolutions,
Some hopes and wishes going forward, for the world and its inhabitants,
That nature will be respected, without it we are nothing, ‘bout time we treat it right, gotta stop pollutin’ it,
That cleanliness and hygiene continue to be practiced, we saw some dire consequences,
That nothing or no one will be taken for granted, that friendships, relations and families continue to be cherished,
That the little things won’t go unnoticed, the smallest sparks can also make a difference,
No need for a dance floor, DJ or fireworks, but do take time to savour and appreciate ‘em,
That folks stop arguing for the sake of being right, instead work towards a common ground that feels right,
That the unaware are taught and educated rather than bullied, mocked and belittled,
That the sins of the wretched are not dumped on their community, why should the innocent pay for their iniquities?
That folks be measured by their character, rather than culture, background, beliefs or skin color,
That people can still come together despite differing lifestyles, values and opinions,
That the media will be responsible, as will politicians and leaders,
To hell with divisions and manipulation, fuckin’ hell can we all just work together?
Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, hoping that enough can strive to make an effort,
Need not require heavy lifting, just good old-fashioned dedication,
Strap yourselves ready, time to leave 2020 in the pages of history,
Bring on 2021, make it a great one, no turning back now, let’s get into it.