New Year’s Poem, early 2018

(from my wife Jane Califf and I)

It’s feeling like winter as this poem begins,
After an extreme weather year of various things,
Like 50-inch rains, bad hurricanes and fires,
Making clear our situation is, indeed yes, dire.

That’s why we’re working for our town council and schools
To put solar on roofs, we shouldn’t be fools.
A Bloomfield Solar Campaign we helped to create
With hope we’ll see progress on our plate.

For the same reason we filled a bus full of peeps
To the Peoples Climate March in DC for a leap
Away from dirty fossil fuels –  to wind and solar,
Protecting all life and the north and south polar.

We marched with millions on January 21,
Being part of the Women’s March was inspiring fun.
Even better, the movement has kept on growing,
With the “Me Too” campaign, misogyny overthrowing.

Highlight of the year was to have the chance
To visit Germany, Italy and France.
We can’t express enough the gratitude we feel
To our friend and tour guide Margaret Diehl.

We saw Berlin, Siena, Rome, and Paris as well.
In France, on our own, cave paintings were swell.
Our horizons were widened, we know much more;
Reading of Europe is now interesting, not a chore.

Puerto Rico we visited, specifically Vieques,
Friend Kathy Gannett hosted us as her guests.
We snorkeled, hiked, attended cultural events,
All of which left us inspired ever since.  1/

Twice we traveled by plane to Montana
To visit son Daniel and his wife Lucia,
Enjoying Glacier Park, Ringing Rocks and Hot Springs,
Community members, the Nutcracker and other things.

We’re proud of Daniel’s movie-making –
Films with a message, real not faking,  2/
Lucia helps him and has projects of her own:
One – a play on a 1550’s Latino writer, largely unknown.

We lost dear Aunt Beth, aged 94,
A long full life she led, can’t ask for more.
We’ll never forget her love and her fight
For women, for children, for the earth, for right.

We did folk and swing dancing as we’ve done before,
But knee issues, better now, prevented more.
We continued raising monarchs, a pastime inspiring;
Jane does yoga, counts birds, never tiring.

Some won’t believe this, but it’s true:
JANE FINISHED HER BOOK, this stage is through.
Finding an editor and publisher is next,
On a project like this, there is no rest.

With her friends, Irene and Ade,
A New Jersey/D.C. trip they made
To research Alice Paul, a suffragist
Who should be celebrated, not dismissed.

Ted was jailed twice speaking out in the US Senate
Once for two days, once for two hours.
Working hard with Beyond Extreme Energy,  3/
Fighting fracking and pipelines we are trying to overpower.

He’s been working with the Ramapough Lenape,
Indigenous people  being treated crappy
By the town of Mahwah; they should be ashamed.
Speaking out for what’s right is not a thing to tame.

He’s looking for a publisher for the book that he wrote:
Burglar for Peace, fighting war, many years he did devote.
His Dad’s Bible, all 2,000 pages, he read from front to back
Thinking, when done, what do we all still lack?

Every Sunday when he was in town,
He went to a local church, didn’t let the congregation down.
They have rooftop solar panels and are welcoming, too.
He’s found a spiritual home, thank God, unexpected and new.

So as we said last year, and still it’s true:
“A New Year of resistance is what we’re about,
And up with friends and loved ones, of that there’s no doubt.”

Love,  Jane and Ted

1/  We visited the island of Vieques in February. Deadly hurricane Maria came in September causing massive destruction in many parts of Puerto Rico.  We are returning to Vieques at the end of this month to stay with Kathy and to help in any way we can, which is needed.  Her guest house website:

2/  Learn more at:

3/  Learn more at