two sides of the new year

Stamp Engravers

Stamp Engravers

“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” Criss Jami

When all things seem to fail, stand on your inner strength, shovel today’s challenges for your tomorrow’s freedom.
― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

You’ve got a chance to start out all over again. A new place, new people, new sights. A clean slate. See, you can be anything you want with a fresh start.
― Annie Proulx, The Shipping News
After working together to care for the container of our circle last week, we discussed fresh starts for this year. For many, this prospect was exciting and refreshing – we discussed what we look forward to and what plans and resolutions we have for ourselves as January continues. For others, though to reflect on the past and, in some cases, what is difficult to move beyond.

In the pieces below, you’ll see a many views of the new year. It aligns with our discussion of Janus, the two-headed Roman god – the poetry reflects perspectives that look ahead, look back, and tell the story of everything they see.


Two faces,
two places.
A mix of evil and good.
You think you know where I stand
but it was never where I stood.
You see the dark,
I am the light.
What you think you see,
well, it isn’t quite.
You see behind,
I look ahead.
We paid my dues,
I’ve made my bed.
What you see with your eyes,
that isn’t my soul.
It isn’t the story that you’ve been told.
They wounds still heal,
and time moves on.
I’ll play the game.
I’ll be the pawn.
What you can’t forget
is I am the Queen.
I’ll fly by night and steal the scene.
I’ll always win.
I’ll never fall.
I took off running from a crawl.
Was that checkmate?
Yes, I think so.
The game is mine.
Now watch me go.



I sometimes feel as though I am trapped inside my own demise. That I contribute to my own hurt and misery, and that I continuously throughout my lifetime have put a great deal of effort into causing a lot of the pain I’ve experienced. When will it be time to stop that cycle? When will I finally learn to break free?

I’ve found that I attract this dark cloud frequently, and let it reside above me for some time. I’m used to it being there so I don’t think anything of it. Maybe one day, just maybe, I’ll find that rainbow above that dark cloud, and make a change. Is it possible? I certainly hope so…

I guess we will have to see what happens next.



What was I supposed to do, the thought that I lost the battle, shaking the sins from all my mistakes when will time pass freely. Trying to escape from a life of darkness. Please break away from a life of darkness. Please break away these weighted chains. I’ve become numb, feeling like I’m staring down the barrel of a gun. Every day is a struggle. All beaten and bruised but I’d rather fight than just give up. You’ve suffered enough. Just let go of the past. No longer want to live a life of pain. Don’t include me in your pain no longer.



The New Year brings its same sorrows for at a time where most are looking forward, I am trapped inside the past. The days of January haunt me and even my dreams are not spared. I see him at night transported to our lives three years ago. A January that was cold and unforgiving. You might call it a nightmare to see him again in such a state but only here do his eyes still hold my gaze. I can not call him back to suffer in this world again but I miss him.

I feel the hold his absence has left upon my life. I feel it aching across my chest and time does not make it any easier. Not here, not in January. If I were to take a knife and plunge it through my chest, I wonder if I would feel it at all. I feel like I have already reached my capacity for pain. How much easier it would be to endure such a wound because those wounds bleed. Blood, your life-force, has the ability to help knit you back together. My wounds don’t bleed. They leave me open, gaping, aching. I can curl myself around this pain and try and pull my edges back together. There is still a hole. I am nothing more than person orbiting a core that is empty. I have not gravity I am falling apart.

I move forward or it is backward? Walking backward into the future. It hurts, it hurts but the pain marks promises. Promises. I have so many promises to keep. My course is set.



Looking back is not always a bad thing.
You often think, Look where I’ve landed.
Well, maybe it really wasn’t
as awful as I once believed.
I have learned so much here.
I have met incredible people.
I see the world through different eyes.
Yes, there are condescending people,
hiding behind useless badges.
They are not any better than us.
In fact, they are so very far behind.
I have realized so much about me.
I can do anything, I have arrived.
Through words, I am accomplished.
I just never took the time to see
all the things in my life
and actually appreciate every
aspect of every circumstance.
Maybe this is not making sense.
What I’m trying to express:
I am so looking forward
to what my inner strength will bring.
One thing I can say for sure.
I will always land on my feet.



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