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January Poetry

Updated: Feb 20

Decisions To Make Janus, I seek answers from your forward-face,

The God who presides at all life’s gates -

I don’t wish to look back, except to learn…

So what is ahead and which way do I turn?

Do I choose wisely, as we oft hope in our visions?

Can you offer a direction to guide my decisions?

With eternal wisdom please help with this solution,

What in heck should be my New Year’s resolution?

By Sandra J. Little, Newbury NH

To A Future Loftier Being Fixed upon the cusp of New Year

lies a time tween now and then,

Tomorrow’s in the hands of cosmic Janus

vowed to no one, once again.


On New Year’s Eve we all resolve

to do things better, to make life sane,

Our good intentions come up short

when soon we run against life’s grain.


But it’s within us to shape change

for better future days,

We must look back to look ahead

to mend our foolish ways.


The great god Janus is example

looking forward from the past,

Now it’s time for new resolve

let’s make Olympus that will last. 


By David Balford, New London NH

Janus Ring out the false

                                    Ring in the true

                                                            -Alfred Lord Tennyson-


Oh two-faced God of duality,

soul mate to my Gemini spirit

in our kingdoms of plurality

we rule entrances and exits.


Beginnings and endings keep us busy,

knowing when to open or shut gates,

making hard life decisions easy

but hard for those we call our mates.


This month of January named after you

slams the door on the previous year

throwing open the portal to start anew.

Beginnings and endings cause us no fear.


Transitions are something we gladly bear

whether peace or war journey in the air.


By Dianalee Velie, Newbury NH

  Pondering the Janus Gate

Why are these excavated ruins

 Hung with fading stars?

Why are these surviving wraiths

still tethered to dark earth?



The gloved and laden hand

Keeps moving, pointing upward to

The flaring sun, the fate-pocked moon

Not pausing to set scores in rows.                  



Patient evergreen, surviving near

Earth’s crumbling walls, ash-tainted,

Stunned by shock of missile’s glare 

Then mourning ruins in still afterlight.



O Elpis, bearer of fresh hope,

From earth’s pinions to the uncaged skies

Bear us who wander, through the Janus gate        

To where the newborn phoenix rises.


By Joan T. Doran, New London NH Ode to Janus

It is that mystical twenty-four hours

when old becomes new, yesterday turns 

to today, as I leave behind and gather again

like Janus in the ancient Roman countryside,


I am turning backwards and forwards. I imagine

your strong hand guiding me across the threshold 

as I wait for the bell-ringing hour, as I call across 

winter fields, joyous yet fearful of the new year.


I know you are the god of duality. How can I have 

birth without death? A future without a past? You are 

young and old at the same time, looking behind 

at the last year while you walk into the present.


To you, Janus I raise my glass.

I honor this passage. You are

guide and mentor, gentle yet 

insistent. I call to my future, 


‘Happy New Year’


By Jennie Pollard, Windsor VT


Downtown Galway I'm confused.

Which way do I turn-

            To hear her heavenly Irish voice or stare at his heaping, pitiful walk?


As she sang her voice imitated all of natures pleasures and sweetness.

Her words not hollow but filled the air with meaning

A human voice that conveys past joys that invoke tears in bystanders eyes.


Across  Archway St. his walk was jerky, unbalanced, disjointed,on the edge of tipping backwoods.

Shuffling along as a good arm reaches for some imaginary, continuous rail.

A human body so twisted only a mothers love, keeps him from falling down.


Her songs so sweet it soothes the mind.

His courage so ingrained it inspires a struggling soul.

Peace comes to both between the bright and dark days of living.

Trust and truth blossoms in their hearts to live and survive.


By tom keegan

Bristol NH

  Janus' Keys  Exit---Enter

Womb             World

Begin  End

Await              Awaited

Sunlight          Darkness

Joy      Sorrow

Laughter         Tears

Love    Hate

Gain                Loss

Forward          Backward

Spring             Winter

Arrive             Depart



By Amber Rose Crowtree, Grafton, NH

Its January, I Am Tired Steamy 6:00 am at the Deli in the dark

Speaking in fragments the owner gestures to the cook

Hands her a sesame bagel, motions cracking an egg and gives her sliced cheddar

Coffee fresh from the drip pots floods my mug

Dried oak leaf hides under the mat

Spots from the spotless rinse blur the rear window

Two pair of tinted driving glasses equal less than one pair of plain lenses

Which giggle of the gear shift gives me extra traction, S, LD, SD?

Trade tractor trailers on I 84 for sheer cliffs on the winding Taconic

Leopard print gloves ease the tension of holding the wheel

Warm tendrils of heat fan over the seat

Jewels of sweet garnet wait in my cup holder for the ride

Wanderlust in my heart


By Kathleen Skinner Shulman, New London NH The Two Faces of Janus On New Year’s Day we look ahead,

but, also we gaze back,

on everything that we have gained,

but, also on the lack.


Wisdom in the living of

another year of life,

yet, the loss of those held dear,

a mother, husband, wife.


Our challenge to endure the fire,

forging opposites to one,

the driving force of gale winds,

and, yet, behind the sun.


If we stay the course set forth

by the eternal sight,

the sky above will birth the dawn,

no matter depth of night.


By Patsy Barrett-King, Newport NH

The First Traffic Engineer

In charge of intersections,

He was the first traffic engineer.

When it came to moving people,

Janus could always keep them clear.

Soon the crossroads were over crowded,

and people began to shout and fight,

Janus kept his cool, however,

and installed a traffic light.

This worked until the baby boom

even he began to doubt.

But inspiration struck

and he created the first round about.


By Doug King, Newport NH


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