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New Year Poem

By: Gary Paul Nabhan

I am going to tell you something awe full.
If you turn to wild nature in the winter, 
Not merely for exercise but for guidance 
You might find that hidden in the duff 
Are beings that are doing what you are doing: 
Taking a long sigh, stretching, then napping 
As the sometimes-harsh brilliance of the sun 
Soothes and warms rather than burning.
I do not know what to say any more 
About the human world of “civilization,” 
For it seems it holds more flaws and horrors 
Compared to the frolic and humor we once knew 
When we were children. We can’t dismiss it 
But we can open ourselves within and beyond it 
To embrace all that human brains cannot control.
I do not have any answers to console you through 
The longest, darkest nights, but can only point 
Like some Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever  
Toward what remains hidden in the cattail patch 
Or in the cave in the riverbank where no one else 
Has gotten down on their knees to peek for years.
Be alert to the clandestine treasures. 
Delight in any silly, surreptitious adventures 
That can sweep us away from the staid and solemn.  
Grow more attentive to the tiny wonders 
Beneath our feet, beyond our grasp or 
Above our heads that might humble us 
At the same time that they fill us with awe.

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