Finding my New Year’s Resolution with the help of Philip Appleman, my friend Becky, and Monty Python!

Earlier today as I was casting about for a New Year’s resolution, I came upon Philip Appleman’s poem New Year’s Resolution. The segment beginning “Resolved: this year” seemed good, instructive:

Resolved: this year

I’m going to break my losing streak,

I’m going to stay alert, reach out,

speak when not spoken to,

read the minds of people in the streets.

I’m going to practice every day,

stay in training, and be moderate

in all things…

(From:  “New Year’s Resolution,” by Philip Appleman, in New and Selected Poems,1996)

Later today I discovered that my dear and long-standing friend, Becky, closed her thoughtful and fun-to-read New Year’s Eve blog post with Monty Python’s “Galaxy Song”.  The song invites us to put our lives in perspective, just as this time of year does, as well: “So remember when you’re feeling small and insecure / how amazingly unlikely is your birth…” How perfect is that?

Check out this version of the Galaxy Song to learn some astronomy (in less than three minutes) and to be reminded that our trip through the Universe is completely wild and fast. See if this doesn’t make you want to get out there and experience it all.

Happy New Year to you. May 2014 be truly memorable-in-a-good-way and personally meaningful.

In the darkness of the barn their woolly backs were full of light gathered on summer pastures.

Above them their white breath was suspended, while far off in the pine woods, night was deep in silence. Heinrich_von_Zügel_Sheep_in_a_barn_1885

Heinrich von Zügel. Sheep in a barn. 1885

Sheep in the Winter Night
by Tom Hennen

Inside the barn the sheep were standing, pushed close to one
another. Some were dozing, some had eyes wide open listening
in the dark. Some had no doubt heard of wolves. They looked
weary with all the burdens they had to carry, like being thought
of as stupid and cowardly, disliked by cowboys for the way they
eat grass about an inch into the dirt, the silly look they have
just after shearing, of being one of the symbols of the Christian
religion. In the darkness of the barn their woolly backs were
full of light gathered on summer pastures. Above them their
white breath was suspended, while far off in the pine woods,
night was deep in silence. The owl and rabbit were wondering,
along with the trees, if the air would soon fill with snowflakes,
but the power that moves through the world and makes our
hair stand on end was keeping the answer to itself.

“Sheep in the Winter Night” by Tom Hennen, from Darkness Sticks to Everything © Copper Canyon Press, 2013.

“The Dog Song” by Nellie McKay “…find yourself a hound and make that doggie proud”

THE DOG SONG
by Nellie McKay

I’m just a walkin’ my dog
Singin’ my song, strollin’ along
It’s just me and my dog, catchin’ some sun
We can’t go wrong

My life was lonely and blue
Yeah I was sad as a sailor
I was an angry ‘un too then there was you
Appeared, when I was entangled

With youth, and fear, and nerves
Jingle jangled vermouth and beer
Were gettin’ me mangled up

But then I looked in your eyes
And I was no more a failure
You looked so wacky and wise
And I said, Lord I’m happy

‘Cause I’m just a walkin’ my dog
Singin’ my song, strollin’ along
It’s just me and my dog, catchin’ some sun
We can’t go wrong

‘Cause I don’t care ’bout your
Hatin’ and your doubt and I don’t care
What the politicians spout

If you need a companion
Well just go right to the pound
And find yourself a hound
And make that doggie proud
‘Cause that’s what it’s all about

My life was tragic and sad
I was the archetypal loser
I was a pageant gone bad

Then there was you on time
And wagging your tail
In the cutest mime
And you was in jail

I said woof, be mine
And you gave a wail
And then I was no longer alone
And I was no more a boozer

We’ll make the happiest home
And I said Lord I’m happy
‘Cause I’m just a walkin’ my dog

I’m just a walkin’ my dog
Singin’ my song, strollin’ along
It’s just me and my dog, catchin’ some sun
We can’t go wrong

‘Cause I don’t care ’bout your
Hatin’ and your doubt and I don’t care
What the politicians spout

If you need a companion
Why just go on by the pound
And find yourself a hound
And make that doggie proud

‘Cause that’s what it’s all about
That’s what it’s all about
That’s what it’s all about

That’s what it’s all abow, wow, wow
That’s what it’s all about
(Pant, pant, pant, pant, pant)
Good dog

Nellie McKay – The Dog Song Lyrics | MetroLyrics