Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Poem

Burning the Old Year

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.


~Naomi Shihab Nye

“Burning the Old Year” from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

6 comments:

Jessie Carty said...

love that! such a fan of naomi. i have one of her books but i need to get more!

Rethabile said...

She's always good, isn't she?

January said...

Always! Happy New Year, my friend.

Jennifer said...

Perfect final post of the year. Thanks for that.

Jill said...

Happy New Year, January! I have this collection, but I've don't remember that poem! Thanks for posting it! ~Jill

January said...

Thanks Jill. Happy New Year!

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