Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year Blossoms

You, hope of early spring,

Ablaze upon the lifeless branch,

Bloom forth amidst the snow;

Extinguish the burning cold

And conquer the dark night

With your bright courage!

Raise your sweets to heaven,

Herald of the coming year;

Push back for us the past

With your strong hope,

That we, too, may rise again

And persevere anew.

The TFE has suggested that we light a candle for loved ones we have lost. I offer this poem as my candle in honor of those friends and loved ones whose lives made mine brighter with their sweet lights and whose spirits will always shine on for me, especially Grandma Jo, Donnie, and Uncle Sanford. The poem is both a prayer and an acclamation.

The plum blossom, one of few flowers that blooms in the snow, is a traditional sign of the New Year for the Chinese. The words on this scroll, part of an ancient poem, roughly translate: “The fragrant blossoms bloom, unaware of the cold winter.”

I wish for you a season filled with blossoms and a year of unending joy. Happy New Year and to Auld Lang Syne.

Thanks to the TFE and Dave of Pics and Poems for the inspiration, and to for the image.


  1. Lovely words--the Japanese New Year poems also are very moving, & yours is much in that spirit. A very happy New Year to you & yours!

  2. Karen, this is a lush poem about the brilliant plum in winter. What wonderful rhythm and powerful, graceful words. I feel the hope, and the courage. God bless the plum trees in our lives that keep our hope alive in the coming year. Fondly,

  3. For us it is summertime here in Australia, but I take the message as extending to us here as well, until our winter comes again and with it your summer.

    Best wishes, Karen, and happy new year.

  4. Beautiful in words and sentiment. Happy New Year Karen. 2009 was a greater year because you were in it. Looking forward to 2010 and all of the blossoms. :-)

  5. thank you for posting this inspiring poem.

  6. Karen, I love "Extinguish the burning cold..." Actually, I love the whole poem. Thank you, and Happy New Year to you.

  7. A beautiful poem and a delightful illustration, full of hope.

  8. Beautiful poem, beautiful words and flower!
    I found you thanks Carmen who mentioned you in her blog today... I am so glad she did. Came to stay
    Happy 2010
    Will be reading more of your lovely work!

  9. Thanks for the mention. Lovely post. May you and all yours enjoy a very happy and peaceful New Year.

  10. Though I will learn again to fight I do so because of hope.

    Be well Karen, the contest of the year will be upon us and this time next year we will look both back and forward knowing we blossom all the year long without regard to season. That is the nature of hope.

  11. A beautiful poem Karen, giving us hope for the coming year.

    I wish you a very Happy New Year Karen. Thank you for all your lovely poems in 2009. They brought so much joy to us. Looking forward to many more in 2010.

  12. Karen, gorgeous poem, and the image to go with it is just perfect.

  13. I love the lines, "Raise your sweets to heaven, Herald of the coming year." It's a nice compact piece that says much.

    Happiest of New Years to you and your family, Karen!

  14. John - Thank you, and Happy New Year to you, as well!

    Chris - Flowers in the snow - so many exist in our lives, and I am thankful for each one of you.

    Elizabeth - I hope you had a New Year's picnic today! Please think of symbolic winter as you enjoy your beautiful summer. All good thoughts include my Australian friends!

    Cat - Blessings to you on this special, hope-filled day!

    Cynthia - Thank you for coming here and commenting!

    Sandra - Happy New Year to you and your family, as well. I look forward to reading more of your adventures in 2010.

    Rinkly - Welcome to my blog, and I thank you for your comment!

    Dulce - Welcome! It's good to meet any friend of Carmen's. May yourself at home!

    Dave - Thank you, and I look forward to continuing to read your interesting, informative, and intriguing posts in the new year.

    TWM - My courageous friend, you have reopened my eyes in the last few months, and for that gift I thank you. Your spirit inspires hope in and of itself. Blessings.

    Margaret - I so love having made friends around the world through the love of language! Thank you for bringing us Germany and India and Ireland! I look forward to more in this new year.

    Niamh B - Thank you! Happy New Year!

    Poetikat - You are one special Kat, Kathleen. Blessings to you and Kevin in this new year.

  15. Brilliant poem ,Karen, full of hop, a bright/ shining/ glowing, poem.Put me in mind of Sylvia Plaths epitaph.Thanks and a very Happy New Year to you and yours! May we rise again!

  16. a true hymn of optimism. I liked the image you selected, too. I found the introduction and explanation about the Chinese tradition helpful.
    I'm sending my best new year wishes to you and youe beloved ones.
    great backdoor view!!!

  17. Though it is summer there, we all share the new year, and the change of seasons.

    Thank you for your kind words on my poem for Time to be the Mom. I have enjoyed your writing this year and also TWM and Dave's.

    No Worries, mate. because LITSNT (life is too short not to)

    I hope to learn more fruitful blossoms in the new year, Ha!

  18. Now when I look back. I have no clue how I ended up making such good friends over blogs. But am so glad it happened. It was a year of most significant developments and life changing decisions. And somehow walking along all of you made it much easier.

    Thanks for your poems and your presence.

  19. Dave King lead me to your blog and I was glad I'd come when I read your delightful poetry and saw the illustration. Best wishes for 2010 and more poetry.

  20. Dear Karen,
    First time here and your post is evry touching!thanks for the kind gesture.
    even in snow a tree!
    Wishing you A Wonderful New Year filled with peace,happiness and prosperity!

  21. Happy New Year, Karen! What a perfect poem and picture for the new year. I love your back door snow pics. The snow is so long as I don't have to go out in it! LOL! It's to be in the 60's and clear here today. Love & Blessings, dear poet-fried.

  22. Karen, yes, let's find hope in the cold of last night. Let's raise our eyes to hope. wonderfully said. "L"

  23. Absolutely beautiful, and a very touching notion... poems burn brightest and longest, after all. A Happy New Year to you!

  24. Eejit - Thanks for the nudge and for your comment. I had to look up Plath's epitaph (got side-tracked reading all sorts of famous epitaphs) but am honored at the comparison. Happiest New Year! Here's to getting the bus back on the road!!

    Rachel - Thanks, and to you, too!

    SzelsoFa - Thanks! I enjoyed your Silvester pics! Happy Silvester!

    Dianne - I'm pleased to have made your acquaintance, too. You're so right - life is TOO short to worry! Happy New Year there in your southern clime.

    Ani - Happy New Year, friend! It has been a wonderful year in that we've made so many connections and have learned so much about one another. The world is a little smaller and safer, I think, because of those connections. (I look forward to Jason's big contest! I don't know if I'll enter, but I'll read them all - including yours!)

    jinksy - I've seen you often at Dave's, and I always read your comments there. Thanks for stopping by here. Please come back.

    anupama - Namaste. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments. Know that you are welcome to come back! Happy New Year.

    Marion - One snowfall is beautiful. Two is too many! At least I've added some sunshine pics, which make the snow especially beautiful. Thanks for your comments on the poem.

    L - Welcome! I hope for you that your new year will be filled with the peace you need. Thanks for coming here and for remaining a friend.

    Joseph - Thank you, poet friend! Happy New Year to you, too. I hope you're having a nice break from school, and I look forward to your new offerings.

  25. Very nice...A pleasure to read... happy New year!!!:D


  26. Kelvin - Thank you, and thank you for the lovely poem tribute on your site.

  27. The fruit on the snow - so much like life, filled with hope and inspiration. This is such a lovely tribute poem. Happy New Year, Karen -with love.

  28. Best wishes, Karen, on the dawn of this new year. :)

  29. Kaye - Thank you, and Happy New Year to you and B. and all the family!

    Jason - Best wishes to you, too!

  30. i didn't know that about plum blossoms - but i do know this feeling. this is a burst of breath - and i really like the language you used - elegant and timeless.

    and wow - that's your backyard? you live in a christmas card? great shots!

  31. joaquin - The language may be a little too elevated, but as a new year tribute, I thought it might be okay.

    Yep, that's my backyard. See why I love the country? It's beautiful - until you have to shovel the driveway daily for weeks and weeks!

  32. This one touched my heart, Karen. This time of year is such a reminder of those loved ones who have left us. Your poem is a shining light and tribute for your loved ones, but it is also a gift for us.

  33. Jules - Hi, friend! I'm glad to touch your dear heart. Thank you.

  34. I have a special place in my heart for plum blossoms, and your poem just cements my love for them. :) I cannot think of a better harbinger for the new year! And the language is spot on for shaking off the old, and turning our faces to the sky ahead.

  35. Hi, Sarah - I thought of you when I posted this. I can't wait to get my fingers on your plum blossoms.