Aliud actatis annum iam sole

(a new year's thought)

the sun
cannot be worshipped
can take no grief
can hear no prayers
it really neither sets
nor rises
nor does it come
in different sizes
waking we
to meet its gaze
sometimes we
in drunken haze
err to think
for us it shines
blessing all
that we define
for our grace
mere kings
are crowned
it spies disgrace
where we abound
three hundred days
and nights we measure
omitting fights
for stolen treasure
when our souls
it warms we please
exclusive rights
to life with ease
When fifty more
expire well
we mix that grace
with dreams of hell.
Before our birth
it deigned to shine
to lend life worth
both mine and thine.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..