New Year’s Resolution - D.R. James

A cliché of diamonds staccatos
across this first verse of sun, across
undisturbed snow as white and composed
as Styrofoam  ̶  till you can’t dismiss

what’s winking, what truly is twinkling,
or then the burly squirrel bounding through,
a cartoon ball bouncing out its tune.
Granted, this should finally do you good.

In fact, it should go on resounding
against the discordant rounds without
and within, against the monotoned news,
the refrained and distasteful self-

revelations, against the flatted notes
of familial failures, of aging and its kin,
against the perennial drone toward ever more
of the ho-hum. Yes, you’d think it should . . .

and it does: this New Year lyric ̶  landscape
writ bright with ice diamonds, wet confetti
free-falling at will from still branches  ̶  sings,
albeit pianissimo, against it all.

First published in Psychological Clock (Pudding House Publications, 2007)

D. R. James lives with his wife, psychotherapist Suzy Doyle, in the woods east of the Lake Michigan town of Saugatuck, Michigan. With six grown children between them and six small grandchildren they are kept plenty busy, but, when not, they like to cycle along many miles of their country roads and/or veg on the deck watching the birds and deer. James has taught writing, literature, and peace-making and coached struggling students in study skills and college-life management at a small liberal arts college for 35 years. His poems and prose appear in a variety of journals, and his most recent of nine poetry collections are Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2020), Surreal Expulsion (The Poetry Box, 2019), and If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press, 2017). His micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is free, fun, and printable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project.