A Poem for the Lunar New Year


It’s now already almost 2 weeks into the Year of the Fire Rooster/Phoenix, and we’re almost into the Snow Moon/lunar eclipse/comet.  Still thinking about the new beginnings that any new moon, and perhaps especially the one of the Lunar New Year, heralds for us, and the new moon as a time of incubation and introspection as well. Here is a Lunar New Year poem that I wrote a few years ago.


by Helen Iacovino

from present & past lives,
from inner lives & second chances
the music drifts like snowfall
through a cat’s closed eyes & nine lives,
going into everything, going deep, exploring –
there’s something the cat sees or senses,
a crescendo building in the world –

now the time is ripe for waiting –
the new moon a sliver in the evening sky,
as from the west a new year approaches
carried on the moon’s back
where Coyote’s eyes shine through it –

there is something the cat
knows but will not tell us.

incubating, holding back,
the waiting boat
drifts on the river,
gathering its energies,
seeking the right currents,
for the sleeping cat at daybreak,
for Coyote’s signal to the world.

something stirs in the west, a river, a cloudbreak,
something settles, a door
closes while nobody sees it,
as the old leaves of last autumn
swirl in a final eddy
across the day’s fresh snow.

© Helen Iacovino

First published in Trust the Dawning Future, a poetry chapbook published by the Canadian Unitarian Council