New Year’s Eve

January Afternoon, Coles Bay. Oil on Masonite, 12 by 6 in

The Last Afternoon of the Year

On the last afternoon of the year
when a drizzly mist gave way to golden light
and the sun touched the edge of the western hills,
we two went walking.
“A hopeful sign, this glowing sky?” we asked.

Far off, a scattering of ducks,
closer in, the disappearance of a seal.
Midway, two buffleheads meandered west,
as if linked by thin, elastic thread.
Like us, I’ve come to feel.

The trepidation of a New Year’s Eve,
With all its auguries,
faded with the light.
I do recall
some idle clattering
round about midnight.

(December 31, 2016)


January Afternoon, Coles Bay

All day it rained.
Then as sun drew low,
clouds thinned to stragglers.
Lights came on in houses; no one walked the beach.
The Inlet, exhaling with the breathing of the sea,
laid bare the flats
over which the gathered rains and silt
meandered to the ocean.
The land wears down; the bay fills;
mountains heave and sink.
The creek, silent all summer,
whispers its purpose.
Transient, I
try – to recall mine.

(January 25 2016)


5 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve

  1. Dec 30, 2020, at 9:50 PM, Poems, Pictures and Stories wrote

    I love these evocative poems AND the painting! Where is this painting?

    > >


    1. Coles Bay is on the west side of the Saanich Peninsula about 6 km south of our house by road. The view is looking SW towards the Sooke Hills from the mouth of a seasonal creek.The painting is one of 4 small preparatory paintings culminatining in a 4 x 6 ft canvas, all developed from the same photograph..


  2. Thank you. Happy Hogmanay to all Christine Johnston

    On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 9:50 PM Poems, Pictures and Stories wrote:

    > fmboyce posted: ” January Afternoon, Coles Bay. Oil on Masonite, 12 by 6 > in The Last Afternoon of the Year On the last afternoon of the yearwhen a > drizzly mist gave way to golden lightand the sun touched the edge of the > western hillswe two went walking..“A hopeful ” >


  3. Hello Penny and Farrell, Thanks for these touching and appropriate poems Farrell, fine reflections at the end of an unremitting and unrelenting year of one challenge after another. My sense is that it’s challenged each of us to really think about what’s important in our lives and to drop some of the superfluous stuff that we thought was so necessary! I have really felt the sadness of not being able to spend meaningful time with our daughter and her family who live ten minutes away from us. On the other hand I’ve been Facetiming our son Luke who lives alone in Barcelona every Sunday – a thing we’ve never done before which teaches me that we’re incredibly adaptable as humans when we’re pushed to the wall and can cope with change much better than we perhaps imagined before. I have missed our choir rehearsals very much, yet the ones we have now are better than not seeing each other at all, also frustrating for me who has no idea how to do the personal recording that’s needed now yet I do enjoy seeing everyone. May you both have more positive and happy experiences in this coming year that negative ones. Since that’s as much as we can hope for! Cheers, Pauline



    1. Thank you, Pauline. We are learning how to use Zoom to connect with our son (Ottawa) and daughter (Halifax) and their respective families. Thanks to Nick’s diligence the choir concert went well and in some ways I find the Zoom services to be more intimate than the “real thing”. We have also enjoyed the live-streamed jazz concerts coming out of Hermans. Could be worse, but I still long to brush off my good suit and shine my thin-soled oxfords and go dancing to live music. Farrell


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