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January 1
by Aamie Burnley

The cold kiss of Janus brushes my face.
His breathless sun labors to rise,
A silent sentinel
Against the empty lavender skies.

The eyes of Janus dress me for dawn,
With earth clad in crystal lace,
An iridescent pall
To veil the night’s gasping face.

Janus sits above the gates of time.
To summon the crisp solitary morn,
The labors of the past thrust aside:
A new year is born.


Aamie writes: “I grew up in the rural south, the middle child of middle class working people. In my family, boredom was not allowed, and in the absence of television and digital entertainment, I turned to the woods and streams, where I was alternately a daring explorer or a forest nymph. You will feel this close to nature connection in many of my poems. I was the little girl who lived in the funeral home. I learned early that life can be short, and that there are many ways to die besides growing old and giving up the ghost. These observations slowly shaped my worldview into something of an eclectic existentialist, and my work is tempered with a deep loneliness of heart and longing for rational answers to what Albert Camus calls ‘the unreasonable silence of the world’.

“The muse of poetry has always been close at hand. I was trained in the art of elocution, and had access to a wonderful library of classic literature. Now, as an overeducated dabbler, I can resolve all the loves and losses of life as I condemn them to that peaceful grave of the page.

“I am a single parent of four of God’s most nearly perfect creations, and certainly the most mischievous and exasperating human males who ever walked. I have one grandson, who is, in fact, the most precious thing to ever draw the breath of life. My sons and I live in the home my grandfather built in 1930, and I now run the family business: a short string of funeral homes.”


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