June Jordan

(9 July 1936 - 14 June 2002 / United States)

On a New Year's Eve - Poem by June Jordan

Infinity doesn't interest me

not altogether

I crawl and kneel and grub about
I beg and listen for

what can go away
(as easily as love)

or perish
like the children
hard on oneway streets/infinity
doesn't interest me

not anymore

not even
repetition your/my/eye-
lid or the colorings of sunrise
or all the sky excitement
added up

is not enough

to satisfy this lusting admiration that I feel
your brown arm before it


the temporary sacred
tales ago
first bikeride round the house
when you first saw a squat
carry babies on her back

opossum up
in the persimmon tree
you reeling toward
that natural
with so much wonder still
it shakes your voice

the temporary is the sacred
takes me out

and even the stars and even the snow and even
the rain
do not amount to much unless these things submit to some disturbance
some derangement such
as when I yield myself/belonging
to your unmistaken

and let the powerful lock up the canyon/mountain
peaks the
hidden rivers/waterfalls the
deepdown minerals/the coalfields/goldfields
diamond mines close by the whoring ore
at the center of the earth

spinning fast as numbers
I cannot imagine

let the world blot
obliterate remove so-
almighty/fathomless and everlasting
(whatever that may be)

it is this time
that matters

it is this history
I care about

the one we make together
as a lame cat on the loose
or quick as kids freed by the bell
or else as strictly
as only life must mean
a once upon a time

I have rejected propaganda teaching me
about the beautiful
the truly rare

the soft push of the ocean at the hushpoint of the shore
the soft push of the ocean at the hushpoint of the shore
is beautiful
for instance)
the truly rare can stay out there

I have rejected that
abstraction that enormity
unless I see a dog walk on the beach/
a bird seize sandflies
or yourself
approach me
laughing out a sound to spoil
the pretty picture
make an uncontrolled
heartbeating memory

I read the papers preaching on
that oil and oxygen
that redwoods and the evergreens
that trees the waters and the atmosphere
compile a final listing of the world in
short supply

but all alive and all the lives
persist perpetual
in jeopardy
as scarce as every one of us
as difficult to find
or keep
as irreplaceable
as frail
as every one of us

as I watch your arm/your
brown arm
just before it moves

I know

all things are dear
that disappear

all things are dear
that disappear

Comments about On a New Year's Eve by June Jordan

  • The Poet Poet (12/28/2015 10:43:00 PM)

    The trend has been set.......LONG poetry
    So many have started to post it
    I shall not lag behind
    long one I shall post too
    ere you all say
    poet eh poet em poet yep poet
    you know no poetry
    that won't be
    Glad i managed to read half of thee
    balance in dose two
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (12/28/2015 5:04:00 PM)

    very long poem... I wish I could write like that (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (12/28/2015 1:25:00 PM)

    I love the repetition of certain lines within the poem and the repetition of the last two lines- it gives roundness, an aspect of repeated cycles like the seasons: all things are dear
    that disappear
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/28/2015 6:24:00 AM)

    Wonderful and intriguing poem giving an inference that change is basic quality of life and with passing of time every thing changes too. Thanks for sharing.10 points. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (12/28/2015 5:23:00 AM)

    With the year coming to an end all things dear disappear for the new things to appear in the New Year! (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 11, 2015

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