New Year New Day 2015

New Year New Day 2015 

by Jan Godown Annino

Pairs of coots, licorice gumdrops on the surface

Great blue herons, statues ready to spike fish (frogs, snakes…)

Black anhingas tend wings, arched in pine tree branches


Watch animals

Read poems

Make notes


My handsome returns from a marsh path, with sightings to report

If we had opened a fortune cookie the night before

it could have read: You will be rewarded for seeking joy in Nature

©Jan Godown Annino


Now we are back, after dark, from a wildlife refuge that lures us down a spindle road in marsh and through ponds to the saltwater coast. Earlier on Day One, 2015, we welcomed young friends in for Italian cookies.

The night before, plunging into NYE we had laughed and clapped in front of a wide stage, with a friend our age, as national & state & local foibles paraded  through a comedy cast who we knew.

After this fine fuss I feel celebratory and exhilaratory about the year ahead of work, the writing work. So I hope these lines from poet Alexis Rotella, who put them in “Purple,” feels like a gift to you, as they have become to me.  With my appreciations for your poem-sharing & story telling that buoyed me in 2014.

from Purple by Alexis Rotella

“In second grade Mr. Barta

said draw anything:

he didn’t care what.

I left my paper blank

and when he came around

to my desk

my heart beat like a tom tom.

He touched my head

with his big hand

and in a soft voice said

the snowfall

how clean

and white

and beautiful

© Alexis Rotella

STEP LIGHTLY: POEMS FOR THE JOURNEY, which is one of the poetry books I like to travel with, especially to a wildlife refuge, is how I learned of Alexis Rotella, through one of my favorite poets, Nancy Willard, who collected the volume.

If you meandered here via Poetry Friday, or even if you didn’t, you’ll be well-rewarded with a toggle over to the nourishing Miss Rumphious Effect, today’s host.



20 thoughts on “New Year New Day 2015

  1. Jan, nature provides such treasures for us. I love the fact that this is the way you end your poem. Perhaps, you will allow winter to whisper to you and post a poem with an accompanying photo for the Winter Whisperings Gallery. I sent the invitation on my Poetry Friday post. I hope you will join me.


    • Hello Myra,
      I’m glad in interests you. I just saw that you are on that lovely side of the world there.
      Let me know if it would help you if I can find a copy over here.
      I liked your visit with T.S. Eliot at Gathering Books.


  2. Happy New Year, Jan! I enjoyed reading both of these gentle poems very much– your “fortune” at seeing so many lovely marsh creatures, and Rotella’s inspiring teaching moment. It sounds like your 2015 has gotten off to a splendid start. Looking forward to sharing another year of Poetry Friday with you!


    • It feels exciting to be here & I sense that mood in your posts, too, Michelle! Listening to the hearbeat of your world as you share on Today’s Little Ditty sounds like a potent focus.
      A bit offtopic here but, having been thunderstruck with the fox on WINTER BEES I’m tickled about your visit next week with Joyce Sidman (not to mention RED SINGS FROM TREETOPS & her other titles of delight…)


  3. I had a sort of a close-to-the-city marsh day in a Metro Park south of downtown Columbus yesterday. No amazing bird sitings, but we saw a turtle moseying along under the ice in a pond we were crossing on a boardwalk! He found his way into my poem-a-day for today!


  4. Your post is a joyous start to a new creative year, Jan – thank you. Thanks too for sharing this fine poem by a fine poet.
    And I should have figured you were also a Nancy Willard fan – one of my favorite writers, ever. Got to meet her years ago and will always treasure that. Happy 2015!


    • Dear Robyn
      Sometime I want to hear your Nancy Willard meeting story.
      When she autographed my copy of STEP LIGHTLY I didn’t want to use it the normal way for months, other than to look at the moon sketch she mad, thinking I might spill tea or crumbs over it. Now I take it near water and sand but treasure it too much to not have it near.
      Bet the South Carolina new year will be sweet for you & your family.


  5. I love how you captured your special ‘marsh’ day, Jan, & am even more excited that you saw anhingas, a favorite bird that I see rarely (every few years…). And that poem by Alexis Rotella might be one that all adults who have or who work with children should read-beautiful. Thanks for all, best wishes for a marvelous 2015!


    • Dear Linda,
      Thank you for your visit & these very lovely thoughts.
      When you are in North Florida plan to stay with us (we have a pool so don’t be shy about the summer when school is out) & it’d be fun to get you some more anhinga-sightings for your bird life list.


  6. Jan, such a lovely poem about what was obviously a very lovely day 🙂 Love the “fortune cookie” 😀 And this poem by Alexis Rotella is wonderfully inspirational and very reminiscent of the book by Peter H. Reynolds called The Dot which is what inspired International Dot Day. If you haven’t read it, you absolutely MUST! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      • SO glad you know The Dot and I love Peter Brown’s work, too! I had the pleasure of meeting him recently. Nice guy as I know Peter Reynolds is. It’s one of my dreams to get to meet all of them at Fablevision some day 😀


      • Hello again Lynda & thanks for your very kind ways. I owe ‘ya!
        Peter Reynolds & Peter Brown are names I have been known to switch.
        Some time I’d like to hear your story of meeting Peter Brown.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hehehe…and you keep calling me Lynda, too! You’re cracking me up! I can be terrible with names, too. I keep lists when I can for that very reason lol

        And the Peter Brown story isn’t a big one, but unforgettable, none the less. It was at the Princeton Book Festival. I got him to sign MR. TIGER GOES WILD (believe me, I wanted more than one book, as I did for so many others who were there!). I told him we’d “met” online, told him my handle and I was impressed and flattereed that he remembered me and my avatar 🙂


      • Dear Donna Marie!
        Thank ye for this great story.
        writersideup is memorable, if that was the handle & how often is that kind of moment going to happen?
        Donna Marie, Donna Marie, Donna Marie.
        I think I’ve got it.

        guess who?


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