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James Crews: New Year

It’s so cold on this January morning

the condensation in the corner of each window

has frozen to the glass, cannot be wiped away.

But the wood stove’s lit and breathing

like an animal asleep, giving off its heat.

I think of all the losses of this past year

as beads on a necklace that keep falling off,

the empty string still tied around my neck.


And yet—two of the most beautiful words

in the English language—sudden gratitude

rises up with each creak of the floorboards

and swoop of the barred owl from tree to tree,

for staying alive to all this, even the blank

face of the silent phone, even the restless hours

before dawn, my eyes working much harder

yet still somehow able to see through the dark.

Copyright 2023 James Crews

James Crews’s books include Bluebird (Green Writers Press, 2020) and The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy (Storey Publishing, 2022).

James Crews (Storey Publishing)

9 comments on “James Crews: New Year

  1. Lisa Zimmerman
    January 19, 2023

    “for staying alive to all this, even the blank

    face of the silent phone, even the restless hours

    before dawn”–

    I love how James’ poems call me back to the simple gratitude of living ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Deborah DeNicola
    January 19, 2023

    I love how his poetry is always uplifting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loranneke
    January 19, 2023

    Two words for the poem: “sudden gratitude”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Barbara Huntington
    January 19, 2023


    Liked by 1 person

  5. kim4true
    January 19, 2023

    Thank you, James.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sean Sexton
    January 19, 2023

    Lovely James!
    It is a new Year isn’t it!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2023 by in Most Popular, Opinion Leaders, Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , .

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