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January 2021 

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January 14, 2021

Happy New Year Everyone!

Two weeks into the new year and I still see houses with Christmas decoration up. I guess they’re trying to hang on to whatever joy they can find in this dark time we’re in.

I just posted our new newsletter, have a look. It’s a continuation of our January poetry themed newsletters.

I was trying to remember how we came up with the idea of featuring poetry to start the year back in 2004. I think it came from this cultural project that we had back then. We had interns that helped to make a calendar designed to inform people about Asian holidays celebrated around the world and here in the United States. Have a look at our 2004 calendar.

One of the first dates noted in the calendar was Kakizome – the traditional Japanese (and I believe other Asian cultures too) practice of writing poetry at the beginning of the new year. What a marvelous tradition – doing something creative that expressed our thoughts, hopes, and desires. At the cusp of the year ending and a new one beginning, it seems like the perfect time to do some contemplation and put it down in writing.

Poetry’s power to comfort was the topic of one of our articles when we reboot the newsletter last May. A nonprofit mental health organization’s website summarizes the power of poetry nicely.

So if you’re in need of some comfort, please read our newsletter and perhaps write some poetry of your own. Maybe it could bring you as much joy as Christmas decorations. Couldn’t hurt.

Here are my New Year’s haikus -

They Know No New Year

All seems as normal

Grandma greets her grandchildren

Ah, I spot a mask

.

Lazarus Everywhere

Tan threads in a pot

Watered small sphere hopes of life

Moss roses, come forth!

.

Oh! Carole

Ahh, Rhymes and Reasons

I’m listening and hear you

It’s my own Canaan

.

Haikus copyright © 2021 by Leonard D. Chan