Posted by: poet kate hutchinson | January 2, 2013

Hanging New Calendars


Based on Facebook comments, it looks like many of us choose New Year’s Day to pack away the holiday decorations and Christmas trees, restoring the usual order to our living spaces.  I do the same, breathing in the fresh January air as I vacuum up the plastic pine needles and glitter. . .and I always find slightly different spots for the furniture and knick-knacks when I bring them out of their hiding places, as if to convince myself that this day does indeed serve as a refresher.

But putting up the new calendars is what I look forward to most.  Since Half-Priced Books now lets us buy our calendars at 50% off earlier than January 1, I’d shopped for my 2013s long ago – this year settling upon “Trees” for my bedroom and “Bucks” (the deer, that is) for the den.  The “Hunky Priests of Rome” from my friend Robin will entertain me in the laundry room!

p1030081_rome-clergy-pazzi-calendar-priest_1000pxTurning calendar pages marks out time, but it’s another small way we can renew our outlook and resolve throughout the year.  This year, my writing-related goals are modest:  each month to read 1 book, write 2 poems, and make 2 blog posts.  But even this goal will require that I pare back on my usual time-wasters, crossword puzzles and news-surfing on the net.  It will also require that I use my time at school more productively, getting more paper grading done during periods when I’m not teaching.  I believe the trade-off will be well worth it, giving me a calmer and improved mindset.


Here’s a poem I wrote a few years ago that seems fitting today.  May you each find worthy goals for the year – and the resolve to uphold them!


Turning —

the final stitch on the altered hemline,

the garden’s stalks under cracking earth,


the last white swath on the wall into

Coral or Pewter or Mandalay Blue.barn


I check off yet another box on

the tablet in my brain, watching


evening light fade, then turn

the calendar to its final page—reliable


cardinal on bough or red barn in snow.88992772_480x480_f

One more ending chapter gets read,


its cover then closed and tucked

back into the slot on the shelf.


What else can we do before

closing our eyes to the day except


turn the last bowl into the rack to dry,

make fast the dot at the end of the poem?



  1. Thanks Kate. I am always amazed at the pictures you can paint with your words. Love You !

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