Rather than solicit New Year's resolutions, we've asked Baltimore area poets and others to contribute haiku, the 17-syllable form of verse traditional to Japan, that speak to the year ahead.
Each haiku (and near haiku, give or take a syllable or two) represents a dream, a hope, a concern; for home, community, the world. Some are joyful; others reflect guarded optimism or despair.
Compact and portable, the haiku below give readers a thought to carry with them on the journey through 2005. -- Stephanie Shapiro
White as snow, newly fallen... then Caw! Caw! Caw A crow tracks across it.
-- Elizabeth Spires, Baltimore poet and professor of English at Goucher College
Each New Year
Sea glass in the sand. Such treasures to discover, Cradle in our hands.
New Year's first faint light Begins to push back the night. Pray we get it right.
-- Michael Glaser, Poet Laureate of Maryland and professor of English at St. Mary's College
Haiku for the new year
In my grumbling city may our wisest food and drink settle our upset bellies
-- t.p. Luce of Baltimore, author of thaBloc: words, photographs and baltimore city in black, white and gray
Defense of Peace
Guns gases knives tanks bombs won't reside in wise haiku or in politics
Under the skin of a miracle someone -- prophet or poet -- is riding the waves
-- Rosemary Klein, executive director of Maryland State Poetry & Literary Society, founding editor of Three Conditions Press
another year turns my unbound heart, hands and feet -- fly with painted wings
frosted white fences mittens appear in the snow the copper roof shines
-- Christine Higgins, a poet who lives in Towson, teaches creative writing and works part-time at a drug treatment center
My daughter, away at college, I will see her soon, but not soon enough!
My husband's cancer is gone. My brother's lungs are clear. More of this, please.
-- Kendra Kopelke, Baltimore poet and director of the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts, University of Baltimore
Mt Vernon New Year's Eve
George Washington wears a skirt of light. Peace, hope, gay marriage of red and blue
Mayor's Workout Resolutions
Less weight, less waiting on the Beltway, JFX. More slots, fewer shots.
-- Reginald Harris, Baltimore poet and information technology training manager for the Enoch Pratt Free Library
Last year slid by me as if I were standing still. What resolutions?
Setting sun's fading light recedes across frozen snow -- pushed by fresh cold dawn.
-- Cynthia Sanders practices law with Astrachan Gunst & Thomas and practices motherhood with D.S. Bakker, for Anna and John
The Haiku Says It All
I have a new name I am the queen of vintage Appointed by me
-- Vanessa White, owner of Vanessa Vintage Treasures in Federal Hill
Poverty rains down on Baltimore streets hail the bullets
-- Dominique Stevenson, co-area director of the American Friends Service Committee's Baltimore Urban Peace Movement and mother of four
After midnight kiss, old year memories scatter new year dreams gather.
-- Linda Joy Burke, Howard County performance poet and writer
Sharp stick slices black ice. Spring thaw will erase our names. Till then, we're signed on.
Fresh snow. No footprints yet. How soon? What style, length, depth? Whose will they be? Mine?
-- Lucy Hoopes, Baltimore writer, co-owner of EditAction editing services, teacher of creative writing at the Jewish Community Center