Jim Haba’s “In a Time of Confusion”

In a Time of Confusion
by Jim Haba

In a time of confusion and reckoning

pause.   Turn again to the endless


circle from which we sprang.

Respect its boundary.    Worship


its center.    Drink in the weight

of its soothing simplicity.    Ride


its lightning rotation

into stillness.    Drop


down ever more deeply.

Trust what is found there.


Jim Haba grew up in rural Washington, both east and west of the Cascade Mountains.  To the east on farms and orchards in the Yakima Valley.  To the west in state parks his stepfather pioneered on Bainbridge and Camano Islands. Haba designed, produced, and hosted twelve biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festivals (1986-2008), the largest poetry events in North America. He divides his time now between Central New Jersey, surrounded again by fields and park land, and the outer reaches of Cape Cod. (Bio from JimHaba.com)


This poem was posted on “A Poet a Day,” a series that is part of journalist Bill Moyer’s website Moyers on Democracy. The website also has a video of Jim Haba talking about how the poem came to be written and then reading it aloud.

“Toni Morrisson: The Pieces I Am” opens Fall Controversy and Conversation series

The first Thursday of the month usually finds Controversy and Conversation meeting at the Terrazas branch of the Austin Public Library to watch and discuss a documentary film. This fall, however, we’re gathering virtually through Zoom to discuss films selected for our theme of “Racial and Social Justice.” The series began with “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” a powerful documentary about the life and work of the celebrated author. For our conversation, Dr. Helena Woodard shared her insight on Morrison’s work. Dr. Woodard’s expertise and passion guided an illuminating discussion.

In our virtual version of Controversy and Conversation, participants screen the film on their own, ahead of the discussion. The virtual format makes it possible for people outside of the Austin area to participate. One participant joined us from Australia!

On September 3, we’ll be discussing Ava DuVarney’s film, 13th. We hope you’ll join us, whatever part of the globe you’re on.