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Happy New Year!

one more for 2019

This has been a good year for getting my found poems published and here’s one more for 2019, out today: Literary Orphans 39.

Each issue of LO honors a musician whose grit and energy is admired by the editors. This one salutes Kim Shattuck, and here’s Mike Joyce’s Letter from the Editor with more about Kim.

I’m grateful to Mike and the Literary Orphans team for including three of my found poems in this issue. And I’m grateful to you for following my posts and offering your Likes and Comments.

I hope 2020 brings the clear vision the number suggests. Happy New Year!

found poem: a trove



Somehow, another year has gone by. Although 2016 was full of creativity, love, and meaningful experiences, much of what lingers is a sense of loss and uncertainty.

I hope 2017 will be better than we expect. Certainly, like every year, it will contain surprises, triumphs, and disappointments, profound sadness and immeasurable joy.

For the moments we are here, it is extremely gratifying to have you as companions on this journey. I am deeply grateful for your views, likes, subscriptions, comments, and shares, for your friendships close and far, and for your steadfast and honorable witnessing. Thank you.

J.I. Kleinberg
post #1956, 31 December 2016

found poem: Minute

view from year’s end

2015-12-31 goldfish
Up here on Sumas Mountain, the thermometer reads 24 degrees and though the sky is clear and it’s sunny in the valley below, the sun hasn’t yet made its way over the mountain. There’s enough frost on the grass that it almost looks like snow. In the small pool at the front door, the two goldfish move very slowly under the ice. A few birds flit among the blackberry stalks.

From this chilly vantage, at year’s end, I find that the forces of optimism and despair continue to battle for my attention. Although surely the scale of self-centered fear, shortsightedness and greed are greater than ever — impacts amplified by the sheer numbers of us on the planet — what I understand of earlier eras suggests that where human nature is concerned, little has changed. On the other hand, there is art and community, nature and beauty and love. There is the opportunity to create. These are likely evidence of privilege and freedom, for which I, for one, am very, very grateful.

Under the stiffening layer of ice, we move as we’re able.

With gratitude for your attention and wishes for a better 2016,

found poem: the Year

the ram’s horn

LRK with shofar 1992My father’s faith was as solid in him as his bones. His father was a rabbi and as my father was growing up, the stories and practices of Judaism were familiar friends.

He was not a literal believer, but saw each tale as an opportunity to question and his intellect ranged through a wide field of philosophical thought. As he grew older, he seemed less inclined to formal practice, rather than more, but he still treasured the traditions of the table — and the deep connection to family that they symbolized. We celebrated the Jewish holidays with cousins — my father’s beloved nieces and nephews — and for quite a few years he was the eldest at the table.

The blowing of the shofar, the ram’s horn, at Rosh Hashanah, marks the call to the sacraments of the new year. Its blasts are heard traditionally at the holiday morning service, but the shofar made its way to our dinner table and each year the youngest acolyte would blow the prescribed notes.

Now and then, not every year, the shofar would get passed to someone else at the table who would purse their lips and blow — more often than not little more than a puff of air, no sound at all. In this photo, perhaps my very favorite of him, my father, who’s 80, shows his absolute delight at having coaxed a note from the unmelodic ram’s horn.

Beyond faith, beyond even my father, his expression seems to say something about the possibility of joy in the world.

A worthwhile wish for the New Year. L’shana tova.

the bank…

found poem…

December 31…

number 31A year feels like nothing to wrap and send on its way. Wisps. Yet it is marked on my face, on my belly and hips, on my skin. It is marked in this slow dune of words. In the crawl of the sun across morning skies. Poems written. And unwritten. People lost. It is marked by the unpunctuated litany of torment and greed and hunger and hope. By the onward roll of eclipses and solstices. By the urgent shouldering of salmon into streams. It is marked in a love maturing. Friendships deepening. In the garden’s young dwarf balsams and hellebore sports, the cycle of weeds, the drift of leaves gathered behind the hydrangea. It is marked by the raucous wheelings of Caspian terns, the eagles come to the river, the swans bent-necked in cropped fields. Colored lights. Kids on new bikes. It is marked by the shuffling of calendars, the best-ofs, predictions, resolutions, prognostications. It is marked, at last, on this final morning of the year, by a warming shawl of gratitude — for tenderness, for sharing and laughter and curiosity and delight, and for the continuing capacity to discover, in the world and in myself, something new.
number 31

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