Our Executive Director Tony Earnshaw reflects on January resolutions, and on where our focus should be, in a new poem for the new year.
As part of our show Passion for the Planet last summer audience members were invited to plant seeds and to water them. The result was the vibrant splash of colour pictured above. A reminder that we can create new beginnings, that seeds which we plant can produce something beautiful, an encouragement as we start a new year.
I took the photo on a planning trip for our next project and it was moving to see the bed of flowers, evidence that we had been before and that our activities in Gateshead were bearing fruit already. This gives added impetus and energy to our plans for the summer 2022 project, of which more later.
As we start a new year it’s traditional to make resolutions, many of which fall quickly by the wayside. Maybe it’s more important to plant a seed, something we should be doing every time we write, create, perform.
So, following on from Susan Quilliam’s recent blog invitation to choose a word for the year, mine is ‘planting’ – and my reflections on January resolutions, and on where our focus should be, are embodied in the poem below which, as some of you will notice, leans heavily on Louis MacNeice.
The wrong time
It’s the wrong time of year for weight loss So cold we need our starch A stone lost in January Returns with more in March So it’s no go your mind gyms and it’s no go your diets And it’s no go your healthy food, let’s find some fat and fry it It’s time for self-obsession So eat the stuff you’re keen on Keep fuelling for survival Till you can’t get your jeans on So it’s no go your morning runs and it’s no go your press ups And it’s no go your fitness lies, just laze right there and fess up It’s the wrong time of the year for improving For changing our lazy ways Much better to light up another And cough through the smoke-filled haze It’s the wrong time of year to cut carbon To learn again how to walk When the money men and the statesmen Would much sooner posture than talk So it’s no go your windmills and it’s no go your solar And it’s no go your moaning when the Arctic feels like Angola And it’s no go complaining that we’re in such a mess When half the population still reads the Daily Express And it’s no go Mauritius, sinking beneath the sea And it’s no go the finger pointing at you and me And it’s no go the migrants looking for somewhere to land Let ‘em sail like the Flying Dutchman, they should have had something planned And it’s no go your wildlife and it’s no go your cancer And it’s no go your prudent man and it’s no go your chancer Just wrap me up in an outsized flag and hang me out to dry And say this is the generation that didn’t even try
© C A Earnshaw