Our Hearts Ye Mend


At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men

and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.

To our secondborn, your word was given
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven

To my beloved, your word came
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk:
As we arrived at the beginning of a new year, thinking about the year gone past and looking forward to the year ahead, this poem is an expressions of our hearts, that in the coming year, my family (Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and me), focus solely on the Lord God who can mend our hearts to Love him and love all. During the watchnight service on December 31st, at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI), we picked promise cards for each one in the family. The poem is written by compiling the verses from our promise cards, as a personal reminder to us, but we pray that you personalize this for yourself by replaced the pronouns and words like “our” with “me” or “my” and any personal pronoun with your name or “I”.

The promise  cards picked for 2016.
For Reuben (our firstborn): 17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. (Jeremiah 30:17)
For Ittai (our secondborn): 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. (Isaiah 60:20)
For Sangeetha (my beloved): 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
For Mano: 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

Promise Cards 2016

A line-by-line exegesis of the poem [in square brackets] is given below:

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men
[Matthew 22:37-39]
and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
[Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34]
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen

[Matthew 6:13;John 10:11-18]
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten
[John 10:27; John 14:15]

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
[Promise verse for Reuben – Jeremiah 30:17]
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
[Jeremiah 30:17; John 19:30]

restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
[Psalm 23:3; Hebrews 2:14-15]

and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.
[Psalm 71:15-16]

To our secondborn, your word was given
[Promise verse for Ittai – Isaiah 60:20]
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
[Isaiah 60:20; 2 Corinthians 4:6]
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
[Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; Romans 8:22]
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven
[Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22]

To my beloved, your word came
[Promise verse for Sangeetha – Isaiah 41:10]
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
[Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23]
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
[Isaiah 41:10; Luke 1:30]

for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.
[Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 13:8]

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
[Promise verse for Mano – Isaiah 58:11]
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
[John 15:2-5 {the Church’s theme verse for 2015}]
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
[Galatians 4:9; Galatians 6:14]
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.
[Psalm 47:8; Colossians 3:15]

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

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Only Love


With the break of dawn of another year, here,
Lord, let me not stop my ear
but incline it to thee with reverential fear
for your word says, “He who has an ear, let him hear.”

“Let all that you do, be done with love” is your command
and when I see you face to face, and you demand
an account of my life, as I enter heaven’s gate
May I be able to sum it as “Only Love, no hate.”

To love you first, for you first loved me,
May all the days of this year and my life be
and to love fellow men as I would myself
locking all four forms of pride and hate, in a keyless shelf.

Your promise to our firstborn
was that you will always watch over him and keep him from all harm.
To our second born, you avowed
that with unfailing kindness and an everlasting love, have you him, loved.
My beloved received this affirmation
that you have set her feet on The Rock solid foundation.
and to me, O LORD, you pledged
that you are a shield around me and it is you who lifts up my head.

Faith in you I have, and in it, let me stand fast,
Eagerly awaiting your return, my hope in you, I cast,
But the greatest of these that remain, is love, that is, charity
for without it, despite all my gifts, I must file for bankruptcy.

Let me learn to forgive, and by that set myself free
from the prison of hate that jails no one else but me
and to owe no one nothing, save love, is my plea
Only Love, no hate, no hate, Love Only.

With the break of dawn of another year, here
Lord, let me heed to your word, with my mind clear
To love like you did sacrificially and do all things with charity
Only Love, no hate, no hate, Love Only!

From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk: 
As we arrived at the beginning of a new year, reminiscing on the year gone past and looking forward to the year ahead,this poem is requisition of our hearts, that in the coming year, my family (Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and me), have love, only love, in our lives.During the watchnight service on December 31st, at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI), my wife, Reuben and I picked promise cards for each one in the family and the cards we picked were as follows:

For Reuben (our first born): The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (Psalm 121:7-8)
For Ittai (our second born): The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3)
For Sangeetha (my beloved): He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (Psalm 40:2)
For Mano: But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. (Psalm 3:3)

This poem references those promises so that it can remind us of God’s promise to each one of us personally. Additionally, by way of voting (poll), the theme that was picked for the ACFI church was “Let all your things be done with charity” taken from 1 Corinthians 16:14, which is also referenced in the poem as a reminder.

It is written with pronouns such as ‘I’, and ‘me’ to make it personal to the reader. I reckon you substitute your name or your family’s wherever appropriate to personalize this poem for yourself and be edified.

An explanation of the poem in square brackets has been given below. There are some sections of the poem that may need further explanation, and if you need any clarifications or have comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. God bless.

With the break of dawn of another year, here,
[January 1st, 2014]
Lord, let me not stop my ear
but incline it to thee with reverential fear
[Lord, let me listen to your voice respectfully]
for your word says, “He who has an ear, let him hear.”
[and heed to the voice of the Holy Spirit of God; Revelation 3:22]

“Let all that you do, be done with love” is your command
[Church theme verse – 1 Corinthians 16:14]
and when I see you face to face, and you demand
[1 Corinthians 13:12]
an account of my life, as I enter heaven’s gate
[Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10]
May I be able to sum it as “Only Love, no hate.”

To love you first, for you first loved me,
[Matthew 22:37; Matthew 6:33; 1 John 4:19]
May all the days of this year and my life be
[Psalm 90:12]
and to love fellow men as I would myself
[Mark 12:31]
locking all four forms of pride and hate, in a keyless shelf
[The four forms of pride are pride of education, pride of  beauty, pride of authority and pride of wealth]

Your promise to our firstborn
was that you will always watch over him and keep him from all harm.
[Reuben’s promise card – Psalm 121:7-8]
To our second born, you avowed
that with unfailing kindness and an everlasting love, have you him, loved.
[Ittai’s promise card – Jeremiah 31:3]
My beloved received this affirmation
that you have set her feet on The Rock solid foundation.
[Sangeetha’ s promise card – Psalm 40:3]
and to me, O LORD, you pledged
that you are a shield around me and it is you who lifts up my head.
[My promise – Psalms 3:3]

Faith in you I have, and in it, let me stand fast,
[1 Corinthians 16:14]
Eagerly awaiting your return, my hope in you, I cast,
[Revelation 22:20]
But the greatest of these that remain, is love, that is, charity
for without it, despite all my gifts, I must file for bankruptcy.
[1 Corinthians 13:1-3]

Let me learn to forgive, and by that set myself free
from the prison of hate that jails no one else but me
[Ephesians 4:32]
and to owe no one nothing, save love, is my plea
Only Love, no hate, no hate, Love Only.
[Romans 13:8]

With the break of dawn of another year, here
Lord, let me heed to your word, with my mind clear
[Romans 12:1-2]
To love like you did sacrificially and do all things with charity
[Ephesians 5:25]
Only Love, no hate, no hate, Love Only!

On a deeper note, the Bible says that God is Love and Jesus is God, which means Jesus is Love – He is Love personified and so “Only Love” also means “Only Jesus.”

Make me strong


Jesus, my LORD, my God, as the new year dawns,
my earnest prayer is that you make me strong,
for through you, I can do all things
and to this promised word, I cling, my King.

Give me a new heart that is after your very own
One that will be faithful to the end, and never you disown.
Put in me, your Holy Spirit who renews
so that through my life and my lips, I will not your name misuse.

Help me to endure all trials and temptations
and through them not forget to fear you and love you by keeping your commandments
for in it, is my whole duty; my life’s summation
that I may receive the crown of life, at the coronation.

Every word of yours is pure, and I put my trust in you, so be my shield
as I sow you, Saving SEED, in this perverse and faithless field
that find your gift of Grace and Love offensive, who refuse to yield
to your Sovereignty and futilely their idiocy against you wield.

Let me not have my eyes on the perishable things below
but let me seek and set my affection on the things that are above.
Let me die to sin and self, since I am risen with you
being your appointed watchman, on the streets, the pulpit and the pew.

As the god of this world and the world brings me distractions,
let me never lose focus and always exercise my faith in you only with action.
So that with you and your people, all my interactions
will bring God the glory and you total satisfaction.

Jesus, my LORD, my Savior, as the new year dawns
my earnest prayer is that you make me strong
for ONLY through you, I can do all things
and to this promised word, I cling, my King.

From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk: 
As we arrived at the beginning of a new year, reminiscing on the year gone past and looking forward to the year ahead,this poem is requisition of our hearts, that in the coming year, my family (Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and me), are in STRONG through Christ Jesus.During the watchnight service on December 31st, at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI), my wife, Reuben I picked promise cards for each one in the family and the cards we picked were as follows:

For Mano: If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)
For Sangeetha: Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5)
For Reuben: Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12)
For Ittai: A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  (Ezekiel 36:26)

This poem references those promises so that it can remind us of God’s promise to each one of us personally. Additionally, by way of voting (poll), the theme that was picked for the ACFI church was “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” taken from Philippians 4:13, which is also referenced in the poem as a reminder.

It is written with pronouns such as ‘I’, and ‘me’ to make it personal to the reader. I reckon you substitute your name or your family’s wherever appropriate to personalize this poem for yourself and be edified.

An explanation of the poem in square brackets has been given below. There are some sections of the poem that may need further explanation, and if you need any clarifications or have comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. God bless.

Jesus, my LORD, my God, as the new year dawns,
[Jesus is my personal LORD and God – January 1st, 2013]
my earnest prayer is that you make me strong,
for through you, I can do all things
and to this promised word, I cling, my King.
[Philippians 4:13; Not only is Jesus my LORD and my God, but my King as well]

Give me a new heart that is after your very own
[Ittai’s promise card  – Ezekiel 36:26]
One that will be faithful to the end, and never you disown.
[Matthew 24:13]
Put in me, your Holy Spirit who renews
[Ittai’s promise card – Ezekiel 36:26]
so that through my life and my lips, I will not your name misuse.
[Titus 1:16]

Help me to endure all trials and temptations
[Reuben’s promise card – James 1:12]
and through them not forget to fear you and love you by keeping your commandments
for in it, is my whole duty; my life’s summation
[Ecclesiastes 12:13; John 14:15 – If we love Jesus, we will keep his commandments]
that I may receive the crown of life, at the coronation.
[Reuben’s promise card – James 1:12]

Every word of yours is pure, and I put my trust in you, so be my shield
[Sangeetha’s promise card – Proverbs 30:5]

as I sow you, Saving SEED, in this perverse and faithless field
[Matthew 1:21; Genesis 3:15; Luke 9:41; John 16:9]

that find your gift of Grace and Love offensive, who refuse to yield
[John 6:61]

to your Sovereignty and futilely their idiocy against you wield.
[Romans 1:21; Acts 26:14]

Let me not have my eyes on the perishable things below
but let me seek and set my affection on the things that are above.
[Mano’s promise card – Colossians 3:1-2]
Let me die to sin and self, since I am risen with you
being your appointed watchman, on the streets, the pulpit and the pew.
[Ezekiel 3:16-22; The Song of Solomon 3:3; Isaiah 26:1; Nehemiah 7:3]

As the god of this world and the world brings me distractions,
[2 Corinthians 4:4; James 4:4]

let me never lose focus and always exercise my faith in you only with action.
[Hebrews 12:1-2; James 2:17]

So that with you and your people, all my interactions
will bring God the glory and you total satisfaction.
[Matthew 22:37-40; Matthew 5:16]

Jesus, my LORD, my Savior, as the new year dawns
[Jesus my LORD, my God and my SALVATION]

my earnest prayer is that you make me strong
for ONLY through you, I can do all things
[Not by might, not by power, But By Jesus Christ and only by His Spirit in me]

and to this promised word, I cling, my King.
[Jesus, the KING OF KINGS – my King]

Constant Communion


O Lord, it is the first of the year
And this, my earnest request, I pray thee hear
That with you, ‘I have Constant Communion
For fruitless will I be, without that union.’

‘Behold, I come quickly’, came your word
And in me, your Holy Spirit stirred
And on this impending Truth, I gird
So please show me each moment, my prayer you heard.

In my family that loves you, I see
That your favor is life for life, and not momentary
And in all of the issues that life deals
We can hold fast, for with your stripes we are healed.

No weapon formed against thee shall prosper, you promise.
And on this, help me have the faith of the centurion, not Thomas.
And in the coming year, anticipating your return, our lively hope
Help me to lean on you at all times, when atop mountains, in valley depth or any slope.

Fixing my eyes on Jesus, let me march into battle
Bridle my tongue, lest I dishonor you by my prattle
In your presence, let my words be few
So I may experience your faithfulness and mercy, each day anew.

O Lord, it is the first of the year
And this my earnest request, I pray thee hear
This one thing, I desire and seek
To love you and be loved by you, I plead.


From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk:
As we arrived at the beginning of a new year, reminiscing on the year gone past and looking forward to the year ahead, this poem is requisition of our hearts, that in the coming year, my family (Sangeetha, Reuben and the one, soon to be born), and I are in CONSTANT COMMUNION with God.

During the watchnight service on December 31st, at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI), my wife and I picked promise cards for each one in the family and the cards we picked were as follows:
For Mano: … in his favor is life (Psalm 30:5)
For Sangeetha: … with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)
For Reuben: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper … (Isaiah 54:17)
For our son (to be born): Blessed be God, … for he has begotten us into a lively hope … (1 Peter 1:3)
This poem references those promises so that it can remind us of God’s promise to each one of us personally. Additionally, by way of voting (poll), the theme that was picked for the ACFI church was “Be Ye Ready for Jesus Christ” taken from Revelation 22:12, which is also referenced in the poem as a reminder.

It is written with pronouns such as ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘we’ to make it personal to the reader. I reckon you substitute your name or your family’s wherever appropriate to personalize this poem for yourself and be edified.

An explanation of the poem in square brackets has been given below. There are some sections of the poem that may need further explanation, and if you need any clarifications or have comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. Your comments and thoughts are most welcome. God bless.

O Lord, it is the first of the year
[January 1, 2012]

And this, my earnest request, I pray thee hear
[Incline thy ear unto me; Psalm 102:2]

That with me, ‘I have Constant Communion
[My new year’s request to Abide in Christ; John 15:5-8]

For fruitless will I be, without that union.’
[For without Christ, I can do nothing; John 15:5]

‘Behold, I come quickly’, came your word
[Revelation 22:12]

And in me, your Holy Spirit stirred
And on this impending Truth, I gird
[The return of the Lord to reign is not only impending but inevitable; 2 Peter 3:9]

So please show me each moment, my prayer you heard.

In my family that loves you, I see
[In Sangeetha, my wife (a favor from the Lord), I see God’s love and forgiveness and my Son, Reuben, reminds me of God’s unconditional presence, provision and protection as a father to me; Proverbs 18:22]

That your favor is life for life, and not momentary
[My promise card – Psalm 30:5]

And in all of the issues that life deals
We can hold fast, for with your stripes we are healed.
[Sangeetha’s promise card – Isaiah 53:5]

‘No weapon formed against thee shall prosper’, you promise
[Reuben’s promise card – Isaiah 54:17]

And on this, help me have the faith of the centurion, not Thomas.
[Prayer for a faith that marvels Christ and not be one who doubts his word; Hebrews 11:1, Luke 7:9, John 20:29]

And in the coming year, anticipating your return, our lively hope
[Reference back to Revelation 22:12 and the promise card that was picked for our son, who is to be born; 1 Peter 1:3]

Help me to lean on you at all times, when atop mountains, in valley depth or any slope.
[Trust in the Lord at all times and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5]

Fixing my eyes on Jesus, let me march into battle
[Hebrews 12:2, Ephesians 6:10-18]

Bridle my tongue, lest I dishonor you by my prattle
[James 3:1-10]

In your presence, let my words be few
[Ecclesiastes 5:2]

So I may experience your faithfulness and mercy, each day anew.
[Great is his faithfulness and his mercies are new every morning; Lamentations 3:22-23]

O Lord, it is the first of the year
And this my earnest request, I pray thee hear
This one thing, I desire and seek
[Beholding God’s beauty, until we see him face to face upon his return; Psalm 27:4]
To love you and be loved by you, I plead.
[To love God and to be loved by Him is what makes CONSTANT COMMUNION with him possible, for if we love him with all of our heart, all our of soul, all of our mind, all of our strength; we will obey him and keep his commandments and we will abide in him and be fruitful as he expects us to be; John 14:15, John 15:7-8]

I wonder why


Lord, with the rising of the sun, a new day does dawn
and as I reminisce of the days gone by, I wonder why
I, a mortal sinner am beloved by a God who is Love personified!

What You have in store for me,
I pray that I will see
and this is what I pray,
that in all things I trust and obey.
May my heart yearn after your own
and through me, your GOSPEL sown.

May I always seek to conform to your image
and not be held the world’s hostage.
To die to sin and self is my plea
and exercise my soul each day on my knees.
Each moment I pray, to me you speak
so that O King, of yours, a faithful servant, I’ll be.
To be pure and prepared I earnestly seek,
Looking unto Jesus who can make me complete.

Should you exalt me, Lord,
let yours be all the glory.
Should you humble me, Lord,
may my life be still a story
that brings honor to Your Name
whether it is pleasure or pain, famine or fame.

Should it be Lord, that by Your plan
my breath should fail and my life pass,
let those who succeed me, remember me
merely as a sinner redeemed by the Cross,
for my fruits and not my gifts,
for each soul that to Your Kingdom I lift,
not for the things I have done in this world,
but for those in the one to come.

Lord, with the rising of the sun, a new day does dawn
and as I reminisce of the days gone by, I wonder why
I, a mortal sinner am beloved by a God who is Love personified!

Not Mine, Not Mine, Not Mine …


LORD, a period  (year) has come and gone by
and as I reminisce, I ponder, Why
me, a mortal of the dust modified
even today, am as valuable as the apple of Your eye!

With the ebb and flow of life, I floated
and when events unveiled my way, with pride, I bloated
but when health and wealth not as I wanted unfolded, I viled
only to realize now, that in you, my providence was always control as you simply smiled

A broken and a contrite heart, You will not despise
and with that hope and promise, I now stand wise
never again to hurt Your heart, I pray
lest I run the race in vain and at the end be a castaway

Even when through the vale of death’s shadow and uncertainty, I tread
With You on my side, I have nothing to dread
Cause the panorama of my life, before my eye you spread
Let my life be like Yours, abundantly alive, not dead

Reach the Unreached, me an Ambassador’s task You gave
and oft in that edict, I waved
to show ‘tween the crosses (of repentance and rebellion), You on your Cross (of Redemption) bridged as ‘The Way’
and showcase You, the glorious light of ‘The Truth’, ‘The Life’, hidden in me, a jar of clay

Many a times, Lord, of Your expectations, I waned
and some mortals and You, You alone, O Lord, I pained
Yet every morning, like refreshing dew, Your mercies rained
and Faithfulness, GRACE and Salvation, I gained

Forgive me Lord, when at times, on the problems I gaze
and help me Lord, that from this moment on, it’s on Your promises, I daze
and let me not crawl, nor walk, but run the race
not by my might, nor by my power, but by Your Spirit, His pace

When the Lion roars, the beasts of the field stand still
Help me to know my place and Yours as Lord and be still
I beseech thee, O Lord, that You, me with thy Holy Spirit fill
and as the break of yet another period (year) dawns,
Not Mine (in thought), Not Mine (in word), Not Mine (in deed) Lord, be done, but Your will

LORD, a period (year) has come and gone by
and as I reminisce, I ponder, Why
me, a mortal of the dust modified
even today, am as valuable as the apple of Your eye!

From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk:
As we come to the end of another year looking forward to the next, this poem is  reflection of my family (Sangeetha, Reuben) and my life, in the past year and requisition of our hearts, that it not be Mine, not Mine, not Mine for the coming year. It is written with pronouns such as ‘I’, ‘me’ to make it personal to the reader. Words in parenthesis are not meant to be part of the poem, but for the readers understanding, it has been provided.  There are some sections of the poem that may need further explanation, and if you need any clarifications or have comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.