Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Better Tomorrow

Photo by Janet Pantoja, Woodinville, WA

—Yo Inlo (c. 1050-1100)

My candle burns a flame of jade.
The peachwood comb goes through my hair
This way and that. My head is clean.
The old dead hairs fall to the ground.
I build my topknot fresh and firm.

Would that we so might comb the State
Free of her follies and her greed!
So cast aside old dead ideas
And build new strength to face our foes!

Too soon my candle gutters down.
The flame of jade is lost in grease,
And sleep drowns my desires.

(translated from the Korean by Jean S. Grigsby)


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Next year, no verse a day, no villanelle
to tease the mind, to cherish, send away
into oblivion—the words that swell

in magazines and journals (Asphodel
or Lethe…)—little zines that never pay.
Next year, no verse a day, no villanelle

or sonnet, triolet, or terzanelle
will fritter dancing lines with rhymes so gay
into oblivion. The words that swell

inside a poet’s mind and seem to dwell
in ecstasy soon wither. Well-a-day!
Next year, no verse a day, no villanelle

to keep me writing, even as the bell
of midnight, New Year, is about to bray
into oblivion the words that swell

a decade that’s about to die. A knell
for great first drafts that never stay
next year. No verse a day, no villanelle
into oblivion? Those words that swell….


—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento

It’s that time again for
New Year’s Resolutions
but before we roll out the brand
new ones, this is a great time to
pick up last year’s models at terrific
bargain prices.

There are several low mileage
resolutions on the lot that don’t
show hardly any wear or tear,
in fact they are barely used if at all.

Kick the tires on this weight
loss program and take it home for a
30-day free trial.

Or picture yourself driving away in
this luxurious stretch exercise kit.

Ever say something you wish you
hadn’t? This convertible lets you
attribute all miscommunication to
wind noise.

Finally learn that elusive foreign
language by just browsing at the
extensive user’s manual that comes
with each of these nice imports.

We take trade-ins in any condition,
and your credit is always good
with us. You can do it, we can help.


Once again for New Year's Eve
I went folk country dancing or "contra-dancing"
no matter how "uncool" it is
Mind you I've lost friendships with other so-called "vegans"
who advocate where to get down and "party"
to go to places serving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution
(as if these are purely harmless recreation)
Of course offering no taxis or sober drivers afterward!
Well, I don't regret dancing someplace without that—
and yes people do have a good time anyway
And so I get home before 2 AM bar cut-off time
when the drunk drivers hit the road

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


—Photo by Janet Pantoja

A CALENDAR OF THOUGHTS . . . on pondering a new year
—Janet Pantoja

JANUARY is the month of ice, snow and rain,
completely and utterly winter's domain.

FEBRUARY is the month of Love
when Cupid brings blessings from above.

MARCH is very temperamental:
roaring, windy or quiet and gentle.

APRIL is the month of resurrection—
new birth is seen in every direction.

MAY is the month of flowers
watered and fed by April's showers.

JUNE denotes the beginning of summer
with multitudes of weddings by Cupid's lovers.

JULY is the proudest month of the year—
proclaiming independence, it joyfully cheers!

AUGUST terminates the summertime,
yet haughtily claims to be in its prime.

SEPTEMBER is the time for back-to-schoolers—
backpacks filled with books, pencils and rulers.

OCTOBER brings changes: leaves begin falling,
Halloween ghosts and goblins go calling.

NOVEMBER marks the essence of living,
Pilgrim dreams realized in Thanksgiving.

DECEMBER commemorates "Peace on earth, good will toward men" . . .
a remembrance—Chanukah, Kwanzaa and the Star of Bethlehem.


—Janet Pantoja

Today is done
Today is gone
Tomorrow is one step closer

Day by day
Step by step
Today begins tomorrow

Today is mine
Tomorrow is unknown
Make today a better tomorrow!

(First published in DADs DESK #5)


Today's LittleNip: 

I ain't got any new New Year Resolution
other than to help create a revolution
to make this community a better place to live
Let there be justice for all now
And not have to wait to go to heaven to see peace

—Michelle Kunert


—Medusa (with wishes for a peaceful and prosperous 2011 for all of us!)

 —Photo by Janet Pantoja