Remembering “Invictus” for the Coming Year

Christmas is over. Daughter and wife have retired for the evening. The fire is mostly embers with a few last flickers of flame. Underneath the tree, the floor is bare. The dog is asleep on the floor. The cat is asleep in her “bed” on the loveseat.

Satiated with Maureen’s sumptuous feasts, two of them, and Christmas concoctions, i am thinking of hitting the rack early. My planned evening entertainment was cancelled. My Commodores were not allowed to  beat Stanford in the Hawaiian basketball tournament because of COVID among the Cardinals: “No contest.”

The rain outside is intermittent. The house is quiet.

The next week is packed with getting ready for the New Year.

For some reason, i am struck with William Ernest Henley’s poem Dave Carey used to quote in his motivational speech about his years as a POW. Although the poem is oft faulted by critics, it was one of my favorites before i had heard Dave recite.

It’s time to get ready for the next year:


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.   

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate.
I am the captain of my soul.

Bring it on.


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