Various and Sundry Poetry

a poem for the new year

I am tired of resolutions, those promises borne of guilt
around which I manage to skirt indelicately each year,
shuffling past the gym membership, the calendar of art classes,
the workshops aimed at improving what, apparently,
I don't trust I can improve on my own.

But when I look back at these dozen months,
it's hard to muster the self-criticism required
to ordain the itinerary of the next dozen. I see only footsteps
which delivered me from there to here, the path I cobbled together
out of necessity, what I have done and seen and felt wonder at.

It's not that I don't believe in the act of etching fresh purpose
into the life that is yet to be. I'm a sucker for adventure,
for the stretch and pull of the heart. I'll take, even, the challenge
of sleeker thighs, the dexterity a paint brush requires, the unending
desire to get better at everything, to keep building my little pile of stones.

But let me not forget the leaves and all their miracles.
Let me hear the tumult of the ocean for the invitation that it is.
Let me understand how to sit at love's table, to eat from its generous plate.
Let me remember to add wood to the fire when the light dies down.
Let me see my own hands, how far I can go just by reaching.