A Poem for Starting A New Year or Day or Hour

One of the best gifts we received for Christmas was Mary Oliver’s book of poems Blue Horses. No matter where we open it, we find a few words that reminds us of a way of living and seeing we’d like to follow. (The epigraph features the remarkable Kabir quote, above.)

Here’s a catalyzing fragment from the poem “The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac”:

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

So why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching

The two ideas we find so perfect for starting the New Year (or a new day or a new hour, or even a new moment, for that matter):

“Why not get started immediately?”


The simple counting of blessings that place us firmly in gratitude (a fine practice).


If there are people you still want to give gifts to, Blue Horses is a perfect one, whether now, or throughout the year.

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