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Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's wishes: Stuart Ross poem - cricket haibun

note: For a year I've carefully nurtured the following New Year's email exchange between myself and author/poet/absurdist/literarygoodguy Stuart Ross. Last year I didn't have a blog to share with, so here's our exchange, just a year later.

******************  best wishes for 2012 ***************************
Chris & Chase ... wrooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooof!

Thanks for the haibun, Chris! Very nice.

Country Boy Stu (now with a dog, too!)

On 11-01-02 12:33 AM, "C FAIERS" <> wrote:

thanks, Stuart, for sharing your bucolic New Year's Day 2011 ... ain't it great being 'country boys'  : )
here's the draft of a brief haibun from today:

Today, the first day of 2011, we experienced further 'January thaw'. It was so drizzly Chase wouldn't leave the house for his afternoon poopifying, so I went for a solo stroll along the Crowe River. The new asphalt path is reminiscent of European towpaths, and I wandered protected by my hoody and blue umbrella. The light drizzle turned to heavy fog, almost Thamesish - the mist rolling up the river from the south, against the fast snow melt current. I decided to sit and enjoy the damp day in a small picnic enclosure.

After sitting on the bench for a few minutes, I started samatha meditation to welcome the new year. I focused on a tall white pine across the river. Its top branches were outspread, folding upwards, as if sharing the meditation. When I was in my late teens, worrying about being conscripted into the Vietnam War, I used to sit in our Florida backyard in full lotus position and focus my consciousness in a small bush about 15 feet in front of me. Over 4 decades later, focusing on the distant tree shimmering thru the rolling fog patches, I was reminded of those long ago meditations - it was interesting to speculate that my field of meditative focus has evolved from 15  to about 450 feet in the intervening 43 years. It was very calm and peaceful dripping with the white pine, and I felt refreshed - a shamanic start for the new year and decade.   

thawing branches
drip into fog chill
roots toe ice current

ancient dancer
guards the river
moves once a decade

thanks, Stuart
peace & poetry power!


Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2011 23:26:45 -0500
Subject: My 2011 New Year Poem for you

Dear friends, relatives, colleagues, comrades!

Here’s wishing you a healthy, happy, artistic 2011. I’m pasting my annual New Year poem below. I hope you enjoy it.

All best to you,

Cobourg, Ontario, Canada


I waited for the next year
to be invented. I took a number.
I passed the time creating
brief theatrical productions
in my head. My head hurt.
I dreamed I was a popular blue
soft drink, a gangly dog cartoon,
a sneaky “u” in American labour.
I dreamed I lived in a big city.

You wake up and you are
in a small town. A building
rings bells, and the lake
is just three minutes away;
the bits touching shore
are covered in ice. Are those ducks
frozen in the lake? No,
they are rocks that look like ducks.
Phew. The relieved townspeople
cluster by Town Hall, squeeze hard,
and the “s” pops out. They are
townpeople now. It is only
one town. It is in Canada.
Twenty Eleven kicks the “s”
down the street, whistling a song
my father liked.

My father never met Twenty Eleven.
My father liked Nelson Eddy, who he also
never met. The song was “Dardanella.”
My father and I build a tent
by the water. The water is solid.
We wait. The year is invented.
He teaches me what it can do.

Stuart Ross
1 January 2011      

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