Caitlin M.S. Buxbaum

What I have to celebrate
is both abundance and lack:
fullness of faith in the face
of vague “alternative facts,”
absence of illness and death.
Hope is my dear shibboleth
dearer than all I possess.

Difficult as life may be,
I still cherish every breath,
every opportunity
to give Weak & Weary rest.
If I can, by my one art,
soothe another’s aching heart,
I have made a decent mark.

Poetry, I pray you know,
plays a fundamental part
in fighting that subtle foe:
the ever-encroaching dark.
Even when the joys are few,
words combine to shine anew,
encourage us — tell the truth.

Critical though our earth’s state
is, in these uncertain times,
I’m glad we have made some space
to change our delicate minds
with lines that can take us back
to basics, and help us tap
into peace, and bridge the gap

Widening, although not yet
too wide for us to attack
with compassion in our chests.
Perseverance is the path
that keeps joy evergreen;
even as we’re caused to grieve
things are better than they seem.

Relative to each false start,
triumph is more than sweet —
nothing can tear you apart
once you welcome jubilee.
Fiercely though the cold winds blow,
there’s no need to worry so,
when you know where you will go.

Fortunate are we who die 
blessed by all we didn’t own,
for one glimpse of our blue sky
and a glance at green sea foam
is enough to compensate
for all life’s ills, so let’s take
every chance to celebrate.


This poem is written in a new form called the Jubilee. Every Jubilee must celebrate something, and consist of seven stanzas. Each stanza must be seven lines, and each line should contain seven syllables. Ideally the first foot of each stanza will be a dactyl, but this is not a hard-and-fast rule, and you can cheat on the first stanza if your title is a dactyl. If dactyls are used to open stanzas, anapests should be used to close them. If the Jubilee rhymes, it should follow this rhyme scheme: ababccc / dcdceee / fefeggg / agagbbb / cbcbddd / ededfff / gfgfaaa. Bonus points if the entire poem ends with the rhyming word used in the first line!


Caitlin M.S. Buxbaum is a poet, teacher and “former” journalist born and raised in Alaska. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching and a B.A. in English and Japanese Studies. She wrote more than 600 stories as a reporter for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, and recently published her seventh book, Interstitials, through Red Sweater Press. She currently serves as the Mat-Su Vice President of the Alaska Writers Guild.