Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Looking Ahead

Amidst all the reasons to despair, I keep planting my flag in the fertile field of hope. Go on as if something called normal can continue and it makes perfect sense to start the year chanting ancient Buddhist sutras, memorizing a poem, writing a poem, playing Bach and jazz on the piano, riding my bike to the ocean, cooking a hearty black bean soup. 

But working on this poem while biking, I fell into the crack of hard questions to face. Like the scientist’s dire predictions of how much time our doomed planet has left. I get that their motivation is for us to get to work and of course, I hope we will and it will start to slow things down and dare I suggest, even reverse some of the damage? So I’ll leave my last line in with that cautious optimism, in hopes that it will remind us to get to that work. 

And here’s to a decade where the best of us rises up!


The time is 12:01
A new decade has begun.
Soon, the rising sun,
The toasted breakfast bun. 
New battles to be won,
New races to be run. 
New news that stings and stuns.
New outrages to shun. 
New frolics, and new fun.
Again, times’ threads are spun.

And then…
A mere drop of a hat, 
New years go by like that!
A flash, a finger snap…

And the decade’s done. 

We hope there’ll be yet more
As others have before.
But now knocking at the door,
The flames around us roar
‘Midst the receding shore.
 We now know a new fear.
At the next big turn of year…

Will we still be here?

January 1st, 2020

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