New Year Poems

I could never get my Chanukah and/or Christmas cards out in time, so I started sending cards for the new year instead. Then I decided I liked it better—non-partisan, metaphorically rich. In 1980, I drew this picture, and used it as my card. The next year, I wrote a poem, illustrated it, and that became the card. Over the years, these yearly missives have become very precious to me, the emotional read-outs of my year in poetry and picture—the closest I’ll ever get to those once-upon-a-time- xeroxed "what I did this year" letters.

New Year Poems

Pick A Poem:

Poem #42 - New Year Poem 2022-23

The Insane Venture

This year will always
always be remembered
remembered forever
as the year of exposure
necessary transparency
and so finally
the budding of consequences
of all kinds—
budding, not blossoming—
blossoms still to come.

In line, in keeping, for me
also the year of the outrageously
insane venture
that we undertook with
much assistance but also against
too many odds
—undertook and accomplished—
one insane venture down.

Like the house committee investigation—
like the preceding 45-led years
since the escalator descent
into the madness of the infant king,
like the faulty re-emergence
in fits and starts from
the miasma of disease and its wake,
the level of stress
the prevalence of anxiety
moment to moment, day to day
was immense and incessant—
seemingly unbearable—so great
I thought so many times I could not
continue to withstand it
sustain it and yet
and yet it had to be done.

don't want to
do it all the time live that way
trade off parts of self
and soul as those who do
choose to or are forced to
and yet …
how else do we make things happen
in the external world?
how else do we live in this external world?

It’s an insane venture to live,
to thrive, to create,
to know, be known, to care,
to love, be loved
in these times in all times
against all odds
and darkest forces.

One insane venture
Lessons learned, both
exquisitely beautiful and exquisitely
But living day to day may not have such finite
start points end points sharp clean edges
rallying cries
finish lines.

Life goes on.

Shellen Lubin
December 26, 2022