On the cusp of 2020, this week’s poem welcomes us into the intricate bright work, the undoing and the doing, of releasing the past year and meeting the new. Here’s to plenty of beauty and delight on all of our paths into the year.

Born in the Bronx, the son of German immigrants, Richard Foerster is the author of eight poetry collections, the most recent of which is “Boy on a Doorstep: New and Selected Poems.” For the last 33 years, he has lived on the coast of southern Maine.

 Invitation to a New Year

By Richard Foerster

Glassed in, here at the edge

of my stony Atlantic, come watch


the opposites commingle and expire –

the braidings of chimneys, sea-wraiths

tangoing till extinction – and let

the raveled years unthread.


Let’s recompose the world’s clatter –


make it shimmer like Ravel.

But ah, the burden of this light, ice

fallen from the eaves, the brittle fire

of that promised star. Yet come,

let’s clear the path.


Megan Grumbling is a poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Invitation to a New Year” copyright © 2019 by Richard Foerster, reprinted from Boy on a Doorstep: New and Selected Poems, published by Tiger Bark Press. It appears by permission of the author.

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