January 2, 2014

Thursday 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
(from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems)

3 comments:

Katherine Thomas said...

Thats a breath taking photo and beautiful poem. But you know what? I'd rather have handwritten words on paper, no matter how fragile... than thumb-typed texts hastily punched into a device without much thought behind them...

Kameshwari said...

Another ritual is shared here. I still have a little basket filled with last year's shopping lists, post it reminders, insurance company phone numbers and personal notes to self and a number of other pen or pencil scribbled notes on torn envelopes and hastily ripped legal paper. The viewing of this flame and the meditation on this poem, somehow gave me the sensation that all of my scraps of last year have been tossed into the fire.

You give us another inspiring meditation.

Mystic Meandering said...

Inspiring indeed! Starting with the incredible photo, Cate! You and the lens are one!

The poem evokes emotions to be sure. I love the idea of hand written notes tied to the doorknob! Wouldn't that be delightful in the age of technology. We definitely have lost the sense of the personal... Necessary losses I guess. In cyberspace one wonders if anyone is really there, or if it is all just an illusion..."where there was something and suddenly isn't" - everything dissolves in the fire...