When You’re Not Done With January

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When You’re Not Done With January

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

It might just be the tortoise in me. That preference to move slowly—to process slowly, to act and re-act at the pace of sub-normal. January appears to be trying her best to leave me in the dust. She is plowing ahead and building up steam, finding steam in the gray matter she makes her hallmark. Her trademark color of sky and air. Moving forward with the confidence of a triathlete on steroids. While I haven’t chosen my 2019 leather day-planner calendar thing yet. (Decision fatigue has followed me into the new year.) She delights in clean slates and fresh starts and new beginnings which she parades in front of me like a braggadocios half marathoner with a proclamation sticker adhered boldly and proudly on her mini-van bumper.

And. yet for all of this January this and January that — I have grown to love her. And for the first time in my nearly 60 years I am begging her to stay, to linger here awhile.

I find her enthusiasm contagious. Let’s go she says, into the fog of the unknown. Let’s run, she says, it’s all downhill from here. Let’s start again, she promises, she flirts, she calls me to the land of new mercies.

And then she leaves.

She disappears into the month that ends with a thump on the 28th day. She leaves me alone just as I believe I may have found my stride. She disappears into the fog of snow and ice, a thaw and even a hint of spring. It’s as if she finds the whole month a game of hide and seek. Of go and stop.

But she is my muse. I find her inspiring and a companion on the days that darken in a snap. I find her filled with promise that is usually attributed to springtime.

But whether or not I am ready to say goodbye, like many things I have grown to love, slowly, over time, on the back end of the curve — I must say goodbye to January in a matter of days.

Yet I will fold her promises of new beginnings, press them into my flesh.
I will hold her contagious enthusiasm for the blank page which says “what if,” written in January’s magic disappearing ink.

And I will say, not “goodbye” but “see you soon.”

Because though I have not allowed her to be the pace setter she has tried to be, I have learned to make my way. Like a January storm that muffles the world, she has both quieted me and energized me. She has brought me the gift of a new day again and again.

And she has mercifully shown me that the way to go is forward, always, into the fog of uncertainty. Into the haze of gray waiting for the clouds to pass. Into the day after and the day after that—with a January hopefulness that is nestled into the crunchy crust of frozen ground and muted skies.

Because just as I will not say goodbye to January, January will not speak goodbye to me. And we will silently go into the month that says, 28 days is enough for anyone who learns to love a day well.

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The Mirror


The Mirror

I look back
My eyes jump, dart, make every effort to look away
From  the chain of our DNA
Sitting here in the polar cold
It is time, while there is still time

Fingers frozen, numbed by the January winds
Blowing up through the hundred year old pane of glass
I pause my own poetry
Raise the mirror that shows me more, of her and me
And of our love for poetry

And with my nose, whose tip is cold
And with my fingers fighting hard to write
I fight back
At war no more
With the past

Warmed by old words I may have read
But never truly heard
I raise high my white flag
And rest my eyes, in peace on the page which holds years of her steady work with words

The echo of her heart and mind, mirror image of bits of me
For she penned words of beauty, in the back of her chapbook
Beside the photograph of her
Beaming bright, dressed in canary
Her color, not mine
Before dementia came and stole so much
I could close my eyes and swear
Swear, these words were mine
But I would not take, what is not mine
But she has given me, parts of her
I swear

“She takes delight in emptying on paper an
image that haunts her and carving it until
its beauty and truth emerge. Only then
does the poem speak.”

I could close my eyes and swear

January, Please Stay

January, Please Stay


Reveal the hidden
Within the frozen
Buried deep within the arctic tempered
January, you give us pause
Cause us to hunt
Long and hard
Beyond your surface washed in
Battleship and slate
You seem to keep your brush in tones
Of every shade of grey

But I believe you have secrets
Mystery buried
In these monochromatic days

Coded and encrypted
Still hidden
Earth’s cumulus horizons wear
Her clouded smokey veil
Once we decide to see
The beauty in the shadows
There is glory all around

The lens of longing
Melts mere grey

Revealing nature’s song
Her symphony
A hallelujah chorus
Rocks sing out
In harmony with
Trees, naked, stripped

Quiet preacher of cold truth
please stay

Pour out your liquid silver
Let us cherish it as gold

Linger longer
In the cold with lessons of the Truth

Sit us by the embers of a January hearth
And teach us once again
Your January lessons
School us gently
In your mysteries
We are a people slow to learn
The truth

January, oh January please stay
If only one more day

Joining Laura



Drips grey like a leaky fountain pen
Spills battleship, concrete, slate and
Every shade in between
Blanketing the tops of trees, no leaves
Vulnerable, branches bear, shaking at the root
In the frigid air
Suspended in a cavernous sky
Like a
Monochromatic monstrosity
The canvas wide and bleak
She sees
Sees past the bullying mid-winter blues
Yes, January
Keeps a secret
Hides it in the vortex of a
Cross- continental
Arctic blast.
Longing and desire
Grow in
Fallow fields
Laid to rest and wait
Patient in her knowing that the future is redeemable
There is hope
Oh what restless souls we are
Missing the beauty buried in the
Aching earth
Cold and lonely for new growth
But January says
Hold on
I am the doorway through which you step
From cold and void
To feasts and merriment
Hold on fast in dormant days
And know the season
Of rejoicing lies this way.
Oh January
Help us see
The beauty that is in the days
So cold and gray, seeming barren
Nestled in a quiet snowy wait
Point us to the future where
Color spills out new birth like grace
On the other side of
A world
Colored but for a moment
In endless shades of grey.



Joining friends Sandra and Deidra