to january, with love


January is a schoolmarm in a one-room schoolhouse on the frozen North Dakota prairie. She wears a gray woolen dress and peers over her spectacles with sharp grey eyes. Better be on time, sit up straight, and memorize your lessons so you’re ready when called on to recite. Here’s a clean slate and a bucket for fetching coal.

January is a team of malamutes ready to pull new sled. They wiggle and whine as musher harnesses them together; experienced dogs in front. He pats each one and slips them treats as they lick his gloved hand. Well-bred and muscular, January’s eager for the arduous adventure ahead. With a shove and a shout, we’re off.

January is a precipitous game of chance. It freezes and sneezes as icicles and noses drip. Weather rages stormy blizzard, then melts to muddy puddles. Celebration left in the past, until someone’s birthday or you migrate south. Glum with fevers or gorgeous with snowflakes, January is faceted garnet – a real germ…excuse me, gem.

img_9435 copy



first month of the year

opens possibilities

Latin word for door







Joining Kim at dVerse Poets with this (rather unconventional) haibun for January.

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Jan 09, 2019 @ 16:28:05

    Yes! A schoolmarm and sled dogs – love it. Fun to personalize January like this.


  2. iidorun
    Jan 09, 2019 @ 12:04:52

    I love your characterizations of January! While I am not a big fan, your images makes me want to give this month a chance. Who would love a little doggy January! Gorgeous Haibun!


  3. Mish
    Jan 08, 2019 @ 19:53:47

    Love the metaphors and personifications of January! This is just wonderful, Lynn 🙂


  4. M
    Jan 08, 2019 @ 18:56:10

    a real card, is he ~


  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jan 08, 2019 @ 14:24:43

    I would love to go with sled dogs… and with malamutes it would be fantastic.


  6. kim881
    Jan 08, 2019 @ 02:35:06

    I love all three portraits of January, Lynn! The personification in the first one is spot on – a schoolmarm with a gray woolen dress and sharp grey eyes. The clean slate and a bucket for fetching coal are a perfect metaphor for the New Year. It’s the activity in the second one, the wiggling and whining that caught my attention – that’s what the weather is like over here at the moment – only we don’t have many huskies in the UK, much to my chagrin. The third one is a typical portrait, the one so many of us know. As you’ve shown, the first month of the year does open possibilities!


  7. Rob Kistner
    Jan 07, 2019 @ 23:25:43

    I loved this Lynn, wonderful images. Is that very last word door, or dour… 😉


  8. rothpoetry
    Jan 07, 2019 @ 21:02:56

    Nice Lynn. Sadly, we have seen the January germ not gem at our house this year!
    Hoping for open possibilities from here on out!


  9. Grace
    Jan 07, 2019 @ 18:50:59

    Love the different characters of January. This one is my favorite: Well-bred and muscular, January’s eager for the arduous adventure ahead.

    The possibilities are open wide. Cheers!!!


  10. Beverly Crawford
    Jan 07, 2019 @ 18:24:53

    Go to the head of the class! This is the very best haibun on January. Applause from my corner.


  11. V.J. Knutson
    Jan 07, 2019 @ 18:00:07

    Love the schoolmistress metaphor. Also the humour. Oh, January.


  12. msjadeli
    Jan 07, 2019 @ 17:17:50

    I like your characterization of January in every way.


  13. Frank Hubeny
    Jan 07, 2019 @ 17:10:30

    Nice description of January: “January is a precipitous game of chance.”


  14. Gina
    Jan 07, 2019 @ 16:42:49

    love your last paragraph of this informative haibun, and the duality of January in the very last line, such a gem…not germ! love it.


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