And As The Seconds Tick Away Towards The New Year…

As I raise my flute in drunken glee,
I look upon what was once a live tree.
So concerned with this planet and global warming,
my resolution to do better can wait til morning.

For tonight, I celebrate with friends and acquaintances,
spreading well wishes and exchanging whispered confidences.
The wrongs of this world, for just one night
can wait a little longer for us to do what’s right.

A sick child with no health care will have to hold on
until I open my bleary eyes to greet the new dawn.
The Black man being dragged by the Ku Klux Klan
should have seen them coming, he should have ran.

Of course I care about the people who have addictions
just like I care about my neighbor who can’t afford her prescriptions.
I know about the homeless who have formed a tent city.
But for just this night, champagne will take away my pity.
And as the seconds tick away towards the New Year,
even champagne cannot stop me from shedding another tear.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland

I wrote this one because as we celebrate the ringing out of the old and in with the new, I cannot help but believe that more misery, cruelty, suffering, chaos, war and all things of horror, will follow us into this new year and beyond, for what will have changed?

As we head to our parties tonight, break out our party favors and drink our champagne toasts at midnight, wish each other a “Happy New Year,” are we really going to think that this year will be any happier than 2017 or 2016 or 2015? What is going to change to get us to actually mean it when we say, “Happy New Year?” It will be just another year of the same because we won’t change. We will continue in our old ways of ignoring those who are less fortunate. We will pretend as though there are not wars being fought just because. We will never for a minute think that we have aided and abetted in the destruction of this planet through our selfish acts as we scream, “Happy New Year To One And All!” If we really meant that, we’d know it because it would show, but when you look around, does it show? Does it look as though we give a damn about the children who go to bed, hungry? Does it look like we give a damn about the homeless? Does it look like we care about those who are in unimaginable pain because they have no health insurance? Does it look like we are going to start doing something to hold our elected representatives accountable for the way they continuously make the working poor pay for the idleness of the rich? Does it look like the ‘new year’ will bring about a change in the human psyche which seems hell bent on self-destruction? If any of you ponder these questions, I already know what the outcome will be. Exactly how you were in 2015, 2016, 2017 is how you will be in 2018 and on and on it will go until they plant you. Because we are always going to wait til tomorrow to ‘do’ better. Just like each and every year, we are bombarded with ads to lose weight and get in shape and some people actually make a resolution to do just that and then after a month, what happens? Back to square one.

And so, I will not say, “Happy New Year!” I will merely say, “Welcome to the rest of your life!” War, misery, homelessness, joblessness, starvation, income inequality, racism, ignorance, selfishness, arrogance, greed, lust, apathy and complacency and your solutions to getting through all of this; heroin, crack, alcohol, weed, mass murder and suicide.

“Welcome, To The Rest Of Your Life! Cheers!”

12 thoughts on “And As The Seconds Tick Away Towards The New Year…

  1. I totally agree with you, nothing is going change just going to get worse!!! Ignorance, Injustice, Corruption, Self-Hating Blacks and their self destructing ways, slavery the list is endless! I love how you choose to put it, “welcome to the rest of your lives.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment AfroDaisy. And although this one was not merely directed at Black people, we are done for. Hell! “Game Over,” for us! And that is why I have given up on writing about the plight of descendants of slaves or even descendants of folks who were dragged from Africa and who ended up on many an island plantation and who to this very day are still ‘slaving’ away, not on plantations, but on resorts while those who are descendants of those who were dragged there are scraping by.

      The white man will always make sure that he stays on top and the Black man is sadly making it even easier for him; enriching him through spectator sports and gaining all the injuries, singing for him while signing a contract that gives him control of his product even upon his death, playacting for him in Hollywood as ‘The Butler’, ‘The Help’, ‘Twelve Years A Slave’, ‘Mandingo’, ‘Roots’, Amistad’. Seriously? We have never made it off the plantation and yet we don’t mind rehashing our real role on film. And lest I forget, we love taking the most vile word in history that the white man used on us during slavery and apply it to ourselves and call it, “A term of endearment.” Now, that is an excellent, but disturbing example of ignorance and self-hating.

      But before I get too carried away on Black folks, whites have much that should keep them up at night, but doesn’t for they are the very ones who have caused the most destruction and damage to this planet what with their nuclear testing and wars where atomic bombs were dropped and stealing what does not belong to them, enslaving others on their land after having invaded it and either annihilated the indigenous population almost altogether or damn near. Their eugenics testing, incarcerating entire ethnic groups on bullshit charges, re-writing history to suit their own fucked up agenda and the list is endless.

      And so knowing all of this and that it will continue and get worse, I am supposed to be out somewhere in Times Square or at a party, wishing someone, “A Happy New Year?” Not in this lifetime!

      Again, AfroDaisy, I thank you for your comment.


      1. The pleasure is all mine, Queen. I really enjoy perusing through your blog, it is VERY INFORMATIVE… anyway, there are just way too many forces attacking and very few defending humanity and what is right. It’s very clear that the aim is to eliminate the minority, chasing greed making the world plastic & artificial. Those who are aware of it all and see the world for what it really are left feeling hopeless and so helpless. but i’m totally with you, it’s been game over for us, we can try to fight back but it’s just like a tiny little drop in huge ocean of injustice, fascism, corruption and just plain evil and greed. It’s just too much, it’s not all black & white, it’s aspiritual warfare aswell amongst many things. So, there’s nothing to be optimistic about.

        P.S. I really love how good you articulate yourself in your writing, even your cussing ways lol. Really makes for some good reading.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you AfroDaisy! When I first started blogging my cussing was at a minimum. In fact, my first 40 or so blog posts, I don’t think contain 20 cuss words in them but as you get tired, frustrated and pissed off over what’s going down and over the fact that there is not a goddamn thing you can do about it, it’s like what the hell? Why should I be all nice and calm and quiet and ladylike about things? I say what I mean, how I mean it and I make no excuses for it. If people want dainty, they can check out the next blog and the next, but here, they’ll get hit with the truth as how I see it and like I tell it; no holds barred.

        And you are so right! There is not a goddamn thing to be optimistic about. My optimism died decades ago when I started to see how things were changing so much for the worse and I thought to myself, no one seems to know that where we are headed, we really don’t want to go there and yet, here we are.

        I sincerely appreciate you reading my writings even though I use extremely colorful language more often than not! It shows you have a sense of humor. And I don’t know where I would be without mine.

        Take care!


  2. Great post, Shelby. This year in particular I couldn’t find a thing to celebrate in the New Year except more pain and suffering for the people around me. I still hold out hope, though, that in 2018 we can turn things around.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dr. Bramhall, you are the epitome of the ‘eternal optimist’. Unfortunately, from where I sit, the view ahead is dire indeed and I see not one let up in sight. I peruse your blog daily and 10 to 1, your posts are with me, there is no let up in sight. I beg you to prove me wrong. Sometimes, we have a hiccup wherein we actually get off our duffs and get cracking with a protest sign or two, we’ll crawl into a kayak or two and protest deep sea drilling and we’ll even chain ourselves to drill equipment at fracking sites, but unfortunately, far too many are not onboard and the few who are are getting old, worn-out and tired. We say that we have hope in the millennial crowd, I don’t know about that because many of them are lost. But of course I am notoriously short on optimism and long on pessimism and so who should listen to me? I am quite depressing. It is because I have seen too much and none of it was good and I have noticed that this world seems to be filled with more people who are apathetic and complacent than the opposite of that. I hope that you are proved right and that I am proved wrong. It is my sincere wish that it be so.

      I thank you for your comment, Dr. Bramhall.


  3. Great post. I really felt the same this NYE as I had to blast my tv to hear over the gunshots and fireworks. What exactly are we celebrating?

    Welcome to the rest of your lives! I’m sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kelley, we are celebrating war, misery, apathy, complacency, drug addiction, racism, prejudice, income inequality, homelessness, over 2 million Black men and women in prison, a school-to-prison pipeline and gentrification and the list is endless. And none of this is worth celebrating. I don’t know of any reason to wish anyone a “Happy New Year!” and the only reason we do it is because it is instilled in us to do so despite the fact of knowing that we are eyeball deep in shit! How can I know that I am eyeball deep in shit and then turn right around as if I don’t know this and wish someone a “Happy New Year?” I cannot. As horrible as these previous years have been for people, the situation is getting worse by the nanosecond and I’ll not pretend otherwise just for the sake of ‘tradition’.

      And please, by all means, share whatever you like. It is an honor! And I thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “until they plant you” best line ever! But I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. Another point I like to make about people and their so-called new years resolutions. How do you really plan on accomplishing anything if you start your “New Year” (Gregorian Calendar) off FUCKED (super drunk or high) up! It makes no sense. You already came into the year with a half baked mind. But who am I. People don’t really give a fuck. They want to act like it but they’re really cool with the way things are going until it smacks them in the face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment is right on point! After having imbibed for much of one night and got wasted, it is now time to get down to the business of ‘being a better human being’. Not possible. If a person was a piece of shit on December 31st, they’re still a piece of shit on January 1st.

      Making any kind of change should not be a ‘New Year’s Resolution’, it should be a conscious decision to do what you know is right and go from there. It is to know that what you are doing is not what you should be doing and you’ve decided that you want to try and make a lasting change and you are sincere about it. No one is sincere about a New Year’s resolution because many make the same one year after year.

      And as bad as things are, people act as though what they read that is happening across town is not going to come home to roost all up their ass. As long as they think that the shit is only going to hit the fan for someone else, they’ll not do a damn thing because of pure selfishness and from being self-centered. Not a goddamn thing is going to change except we’re all headed to ‘Miseryville’ and just how miserable we shall, be? It’s off the charts!

      I thank you for your comment 25, Black and Alive!

      Liked by 1 person

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