At the Cusp of Midnight: A New Year’s Poem

On December 31, 2022, I imagined myself teetering on the second hand of the clock, counting down to the next installment in our lives. In that last second, between years, what do we see or know of the past or the future? That was the seed of my new year’s poem for 2023.
I stand at the cusp of midnight.
To my left, yesterday, and all that’s gone.
To my right, tomorrow, the quantum future.
I stand in an empty space.
No now or here or where.
In this vacant moment, in this cusp,
Between what was and what could be,
I am an amalgam of everyone I’ve loved.
Filled to the brim with lives
Fully lived, fully lost.
I yearn toward the memories.
Smiles and walks and the weaving of tales.
A new us with every adventure, and arguments, too.
Yet always returning to our true north,
To our home, to us.
Midnight will come and disappear
When I must be more than a mirror of memories.
Here, in this moment of potentials,
Before the seconds break this silence,
I am a tabula rasa, a tale untold.
The seconds spill from this place.
Midnight turns, a year unfurls to my right.
I can’t know what it will bring, only what is gone.
In my core, a molten, enduring amalgam,
As I prepare to embrace what might be.
~Sally Wiener Grotta, December 31, 2022

The Measure of Time (a poem)

Every year, I become intrigued by the concept of a “new” year, of a calendar that we as humans have imposed on nature, on the ongoing circling of planets and stars. Where is the beginning and end in a circle?

Questions are the source of just about all my writing. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that that it has become a tradition for me to write a new year’s poem. Here’s this year’s:
A minute, an hour, a day.
What is the measure of time?
A child dances with sunlight
A pas de deux that seems to last forever.
An old woman reaches back to first love, Read More

Memories & Dreams: Looking Back, Stepping into the Future

Janus by Sally Wiener GrottaMemories and dreams
Life intangible
Life imagined
What we hold
In our minds
In our hearts
As we stand Janus-like
At the cusp of the year.

Life lived back to back
Supportive, protective
Opening ourselves
To beyond the now
Remembering the past
Stepping into the future
To whatever comes

Poem (c) by Sally Wiener Grotta

How appropriate that the symbol of the new year is Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, transitions and endings, of time past and to come. We imagine that he will stand at once more at the stroke of midnight as 2013 ends and 2014 begins, with one face gazing into what has come before, while the other focuses, dreamy eyed, onto the future.

Looking back on the past twelve months of our lives, the view is so very different from what it was as we experienced it. Sally likes to say that the defining aspect of our personal and professional world is creative chaos. She has that right. Every morning we’re awaken by Watson, our Golden Retriever, to a new adventure, never knowing what will happen that day, or how much of our ever-growing ToDo list will get done. At night, as we fall into our bed, we are certain that we got very little done.

Yet, as we gaze Janus-like at 2013, we are surprised at all that has happened in the long run, as we simply did our best to live each day fully. Here are some of the highlights of 2013 in the Wiener Grotta household.


One of our proudest moments of the year was when our Dad, Noel J. Wiener, was honored for his service in WWII, as the last remaining officer of SHAEFheadquarters. That was General Eisenhower’s headquarters in Europe.Read More