From Gillian to Barack

Peace in the New Year

*Wales’ national poet Gillian Clarke has written a poem marking Barack Obama’s inauguration as US president.
Clarke said she was “delighted” to have been commissioned to pen the poem for the historic occasion_. BBC News

New Year 2009

Venus in the arc of the young moon
is a boat the arms of a bay,
the sky clear to infinity
but for the trailing gossamer
of a transatlantic plane

The old year and the old era dead,
pushed burning out to sea
bearing the bones of heroes, tyrants,
ideologues, thieves and deceivers
in a smoke of burning money

The dream is over. Glaciers will melt.
Seas will rise to swallow golden islands.
Somewhere a volcano may whelm a city,
earth shake its skin like an old horse,
a hurricane topple a town to rubble

Yet tonight, under the cold beauty
of the moon and Venus, something like hope begins,
as if times can turn, the world change course,
as if truth can speak, good men come to power,
and words have meaning again

Hope spoke the word ‘Yes’, the word ‘we’, the word ‘can’,
and a thousand British teenagers at Poetry Live
rose to their feet in a single yell of joy

Black, White, Christian, Muslim, Jew,
faithful and faithless. We are all in this together

Ie. gallwn ni. (Yes, we can)*_ …Gillian Clarke

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