The New Year – time of change, time of new starts.

Both poems today, the first by Jackie Kay, the second by Matt Goodfellow, capture the mood of the early days of January. They come from the spirited compilation A Poem for Every Day of the Year, edited by Allie Esiri (Macmillan Children’s Books, £16.99).


Remember, the time of year

when the future appears

like a blank sheet of paper

clean calendar, a new chance.

On thick white snow


you vow fresh footprints

then watch them go

with the wind’s hearty gust.

Fill your glass. Here’s tae us. Promises

made to be broken, made to last.


Something’s moving in,

I hear the weather in the wind,

sense the tension of a sheep-field

and the pilgrimage of fins.


Something’s not the same,

I taste the sap and feel the grain,

hear the rolling of the rowan

ringing, singing in a change.


Something’s set to start,

there’s meadow-music in the dark

and the clouds that shroud the mountain

slowly, softly start to part.