Skeletons of New Year’s Eve by James Croal Jackson

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Narrated by James Croal Jackson

Skeletons of New Years Eve by James Croal Jackson
Illustration by Sue Babcock


I do not perceive you as obsessed with death

even if, days before, our jovial talks of dying


led to sugar-frosted blue wondering at the sky.

We planned to pop champagne for the birth


of feeling alive: winter hardens soil so we must dig

to the laughter we share in our spines.


We did not drink white wine, but the beer was breath

without knowing the scent– like any year,


we were paintings of light and dark, of limb

and bone so disordered to stand is a triumph,


and hope is a kaleidoscope, a conjecture.

Each dying wave returns, even at the frayed edge


of memory, how the dead are lavish with flowers

and stories. Still, we press on to uncork


our champagne future: drafts of breath in each

new year, dead waves haunting the mortal tide


with no specific beginning, no obvious end.


BIO:  James Croal Jackson is a writer, musician, and occasional filmmaker whose work in film and TV in Los Angeles led to a rediscovery of his love of poetry. His poems have appeared in magazines including The Bitter Oleander, Whale Road Review, and Columbia College Literary Review. He lives in Columbus, Ohio. Visit him at