Welcome to 2014 – A New Year’s Poem



(January 1)

                  “The past is a different country.

                   They do things differently there.”

                                      – Harold Pinter


the past where they do things differently

& the future we’re ever forging into 

meet on the cusp of another year

as it slips into memory –


but we need to dredge it up, to keep it,

this precious cargo from the past,

unbound & carried with us

in all its overtones & shadows,

in the memories that tear us apart,

& the longing for what is gone

& the obsession with what could have been.


we need to hold our memories,

to float them on the ether of our brain cells,

let them settle onto our skin

& become part of our own dust,

for they’re our only possessions

as we travel with unrecognized luggage

along these strange new roads

where time is never in our grasp.


the past where they do things differently,

the continuous cusps, the waves

breaking wearily behind us,

the wake along the water, the undertow beneath –


ever walking on the cusp,

like squirrels balanced on power lines,

some days more fully the best of ourselves,

we turn our expectant faces

distinctly to the future,

like flower petals at their peak,

& still manage to feel the rumblings

of all the tunes we’ll never forget.


© Helen Iacovino

At pow-wow in Toronto, June 2013


At pow-wow in Toronto, June 2013

To start my new blog, which will focus primarily on sharing my poetry, I decided to begin with a family photo.