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Haibun: long month

Photo credits, clockwise from upper left: Kristine Wook, Cristina Eisenberg, Nathen Domlo,

By Elizabeth Cunningham

On January 1st I hang up all the calendars we’ve received. Puffins and moose, frozen waters, snowy peaks in dawn light. Lately when I pass them, I am taken aback. Is it still January? And simultaneously: is it really a new year, with a new administration, (sworn in surrounded by national guard camped out in the cold because of an attempted coup only the week before)? How can a month be so long; how can a year already feel so old? When do I get to flip the calendar to February? When will the flurry of executive orders touch the hard ground, seep in through all the strata of our nation? So much change happening, so much more needed. (Build back better, build back green). Covid evolving more quickly than the vaccines. Yet in the midst of nightmares, I do have dreams: urban gardens and beehives; DAPL and other pipelines closed down, ceasing to violate sovereign lands and waters. The quiet (may I live to hear it) when all transport is electric. Is it still January? (It won’t be by the time you read this post). There is a different kind of calendar in my backyard, sunrise rolling along the ridge, moonrise making everything look strange and new.

one month, another
this calendar odyssey
into the unknown