A Happy - if only - New Year
by David Betteridge
Empire is no more and now the lion and wolf shall cease - William Blake
The fox outruns the hunters
and their baying hounds.
The linnet, singing joyously,
flies free from her cruel cage.
The coral reef renews.
A New Year dawns.
Now at last we sense a gathering
of pace and purpose,
and a focusing of centuries of rage.
Those halt of tongue and thought
become articulate, and rising up,
with subject peoples everywhere,
gain confidence and ground.
The fox, the linnet and the coral reef:
three emblems of the fight we wage.
It is a fight from which we cannot cease
till we have forced from History, at last,
the Mercy, Peace and Justice that we seek.
David Betteridge is the author of a collection of poems celebrating Glasgow and its radical traditions, 'Granny Albyn's Complaint', published by Smokestack Books in 2008. He is also the editor of a compilation of poems, songs, prose memoirs, photographs and cartoons celebrating the 1971-2 UCS work-in on Clydeside. This book, called 'A Rose Loupt Oot', was published by Smokestack Books in 2011.