Friday, December 30, 2016


 I was going to try to eulogize 2016, a year which (like many others in human history) doesn't deserve a eulogy. Plus, Edgar's lines from King Lear keep going through my mind: "And worse I may be yet. The worst is not / So long as we can say 'This is the worst.'"

But the practice of haiku and its related forms, and poetry in general, has conditioned me to try to find the beauty of the moment, even while knowing that beauty will not last. Or perhaps it was my propensity to try to find the beauty of the moment that conditioned me to become a poet. Whichev. Here I am, a poet doing poety things, such as creating haiga to acknowledge the passing of one calendar year into the next, looking for a beautiful image with which to adorn the acknowledgement.

No, I don't want to waste this moment by bidding good riddance to the past. Let's live in the here-and-now, which is not the opposite of memory and imagination, but which is informed by memory and imagination. Let us inform. That's a wonderful word, inform: it speaks to knowledge and awareness but also to tangible things, images, things with form, things that remind us of the need to explore reality even as we try to alter that reality. Each of us can find a way to inform. It speaks to critical thinking, as well as to creating. It speaks to the many ways of making meaning out of chaos.

If 2016 taught us anything, it taught us that. We must make meaning out of chaos. We must begin with this moment.



old year, only this—
in the setting sun

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