In the silent refraction of a New Year sun
as slowly in the thin Eastern sky
its distant yellow rays struggled,
January arrived to a silent world

Almost as if in slow motion, life passed
as through my window with early eyes
a perception of a whispered promise
echoed across a vacant sky

And the curl of a smile gathered pace
calming like a summer breeze
spoke long vicissitudes
with wisdom to a sleepy morning


Photo – Jempics


Start V

5 of 12 in the ’12 months VI’ series from Jemverse

January first of twenty-three
hip hip hip hooray
a brand new year to celebrate
right here on New Year's Day
And we welcome it together
with anticipated hope
the fortitude of eons
mechanism there to cope
The resilience of humankind
to rise above and prosper
whatever this year brings our way
a happiness to foster


Photo – Jempics

Winter IV

It came so fast, the iron chill as winter took a hold
and shivering we huddled to hide from bitter cold
Sometimes we would venture out for food or other things
but mostly hibernation from the numb the winter brings

And so it stayed for several months
this cocooned way of life
Long Johns, hats and gloves and scarves
whilst that bone chill was rife
Yet through it all the hope remained
a tiny spark yet still
one bolstered by a promise
that protected us from ill

The promise of a warmth to come when white turns into green
and life begins again from all the barren we have seen


Photo – Jempics

One IX

9 of 12 in the Jemverse series ’12 months V’

Maybe May will find me
on the beach once more
as warmer days get warmer
and summer waits in store
Maybe May will be the one
to see those doors flung wide
for long days in the sunshine
no more the place to hide
Maybe May will see these things
as they're the thing to do
for the fifth month and summer
are quite symbiotic too


Photo – Jempics

One V

5 of 12 in the Jemverse ’12 months V’ series

Emerging from long slumber
fresh, I breathe in the first day
and, calling aloud her name to the winds
claim this New Year's day for hope.
For here is positivity -
anticipatory emotion.
Yet, no insipidity here
as this is a cherished agency;
one that clings to the soul and sings
long and proud and true


Photo – Emily Rose Croucher

Last day bussokuseki

And so the last day
What philosophy inspires
to leave us with hope?
As the old fades to the new
and promise leaps to the fore
None, save a prayer for the bold


Picture – ‘Half moon bridge’ by Yoshida Toshi (1940)

The ‘bussokuseki’ is a poetic form of Japanese origin comprising a single 6 non-rhyming line verse with a 575777 syllabic sequencing


Just two days left of the year that has been
and I find myself drifting away
looking back to the past
with a bit of a blast
on twenty-one's last but one day

It's been one of pandemic but also of hope
triple boosted at its end as I am
I have exercised care
and am proud to share
I'm as healthy as I think I can

It saw six months of lockdown as we all worked from home
not that it much bothered me
as I still kept in touch
whilst not travelling much
and by vaccine remained Covid-free

And then came the freedom we had all waited for
as we slowly came back to the light
started driving our cars
and going to bars
staying out from morning to night

The summer months welcome as doors opened wide
and freedom seemed once again here
yet caution remained
with that freedom regained
as the atmosphere started to clear

Then the Omicron variant, a kick in the teeth
arrived as the year reached its end
two years of pandemic
evidentially endemic
though Christmas would still be a friend

Twenty one, will we miss it? Quite probably, not
as we look optimistic ahead
new year new beginning
as still there is singing
as we put the old one to bed

And hope again beckons as always it does
for the promise that all of us need
so may twenty two be
the one to set free
on that everyone is agreed


Photo – Emily Rose Croucher

Beginning XI

11 of 12 in the Jemverse ’12 months IV’ series

July the first and summer continues
warming up just a tad I presume
Cos with May the rain
in bucketloads came
which continued cool into June

So I'm trusting July will show us the summer
and the heat that all of us need
Cos we can't go abroad
a call Covid called
so we need a good summer indeed

July the first promise, you know you can do it
it's not really that much to ask
so do the right thing
and make our hearts sing
by proving you are up to the task


Photo – Jempics

Swathes of sun

It’s hopeful seeing swathes of sun
in the garden daily here
even though it’s three weeks hence
til longer daytime cheer
It’s not until the end of March
that British Summer Time
gives us more daily sunlight
as we turn to warmer clime

Yet still the grass grows longer
and each day the warmth it grows
and shoots in all the borders
with Springtime floral shows
So hope is what I cling to
now as winter fades away
and the Spring and Summer promise
gets much closer every day


Photo – Jempics

Beginning VII (aka Tri-tanka VIII-beginning)

7 of 12 in the Jemverse ’12 months IV’ series
(& 1 of 7 in Tri-tanka week)

And so March begins
The promises multiply
from nature and man
for spring time and other things
providing wisdom remains

And so March is here
with sunshine already strong
its lack-lustre passed
as it pushes to summer
encouraging new growth

And so March begins
May we please use it wisely
and bring fruition
for it has been a long year
and we are so very close


Picture – ‘Hayase’ by Yoshida Hiroshi (1933)

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