Reprint

And the new year has arrived (optimistically, on my part, anticipating no nuclear holocaust or meteoric impacts or other unpleasantness of any other sort intervening between the time of composition for me and its arrival in the dark of night just after the new year embarks with you). I probably should apologize for yesterdayʼs wasteland of woe. I also have a poem. I printed it earlier here, last year, but as its subject is the turning of the year, recounting a few events from December 31 and January 1 (from nearly thirty years ago), I thought it might make an appropriate statement for the dawn of this new decade as well.

At the time we lived in the little apartment upstairs in the green house on Maple Street.

Ornithomancy

Birdomen, speak me your meaning:

yesterday you arrived
in dusklight
around nightfall,

circling with silent wings
to find your place
in our fir tree,

sweeping to stop a third of the way
from the top, hidden
among the spiraling branches;

and orbited beneath the tree—
me seeking to spot your plumage,
invisible in the foliage,

until my noise and prying eyes
sent you skittish, wings spread
crimson against the dying light,

southwestward behind the garage,
and gone, a cardinal sign
by sunset at December’s end.

And today, new year, my wife finds you
herself, outside the window,
but you fly off when I peer out,

a rush of red speeding southwest away,
just a glimpse of scarlet
to incarnadine the rust and greenishgrey

of this sullen, cold and troubled day.
Now upon the turning of the year you come,
coloring with fire the Janustime.

1 January 1983

No great shakes here, just a poem. And no, I donʼt plan for this year to be a celebration of old posts (although I do anticipate shortening my average length when posts appear), but I like this poemʼs delicate optimism and tenderness for this new year, looking both backwards and ahead. May your 2011 be colored bright, too.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A

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