2013

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The 2013 Iteration

This first iteration of the Ten Halloweens project brings you The Haunt in the Meadow.

One hundred years of haunt in a series of twelve poems, illustrated with photographs and available to download free to celebrate Halloween.

For Halloween 2014 there will be a new iteration of Ten Halloweens, expanded to include a new work, also free.  In 2015, there’s be yet another iteration, more the year after that, and so on, all the way to 2022.

A new version each year, with added material each time, for a total of ten Halloweens. Then it’s over.

The Haunt in the Meadow (download links in final section of this page)

The Haunt in the Meadow (download links in final section of this page)

The Haunt in the Meadow follows events, decade by decade, from the 1910s through the year 2000 on a small patch of grass and milkweed–a seemingly placid meadow in Southern Ontario that was avoided by the Attawandaron and then by the Six Nations Iroquois before the first Mennonite settlers even arrived in the area.


 

You’ll find a sample poem below the video trailer.


 

1960s:  Sylvain Keeps Time

Tick tock, tick tock.

It was me and Laila, Grouse and Penniffer
high on blotter and taking the edge off with cans of beer
sprawled around a fire at the old Darwin house.
Listening to Hurdy Gurdy Man and Arthur Brown
on a portable record player.
Talking politics
talking trash
and trying to contact the spirits.
Any spirits, really—
we were promiscuous that way.

Tick tock, tick tock.

I started shaking and everyone laughed,
until Laila realized I wasn’t goofing around,
starting shouting Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ! compulsively.
Rushed toward me, then backed away.
Do something! Do something! Jesus Christ!
But Jesus Christ did nothing and
everyone stared while I died.
It took less than five minutes.
Of course acid can’t kill you—
my own defective heart did that, it just
picked a dramatic moment to
cut me out of the world.

Tick tock, tick tock.

The survivors panicked,
not helped by the LSD.
Laila cried, Grouse tried to take charge, while
Penniffer kept imagining she saw me move.
They weren’t anxious to call the cops
—dead guy, 20 hits of acid, a big bag of weed in the car—
and eventually decided to leave me there,
but shut up inside the stone coal bin that
abutted one wall of the raggedy-ass house,
where I wouldn’t be found right away.

Tick tock, tick tock.

And then the years came.
Presidents came and went,
wars and births and crises and hairstyles
came and went
and the years strung out like beads on a thread
into decades.
Grouse went back to being
Graham House, cut his hair, gave up the bass.
Pennifer became Penny Jennifer Jewer once again
and went back to school for pharmacy.
They broke up and Graham and Laila
got together, even married, before they
divorced, working out a schedule
to divide time with the children.
And all the while
beneath the surface of their lives
the memory of that night
seethed and itched and stank.
Graham couldn’t be still, always doing something
distracting, lest it catch up with him.
Laila drank, and Penny cried in her sleep,
but afterward couldn’t remember her dreams.

Tick tock, tick tock.

And me? All that reckless spiritual abandon
put us in touch with something, and
brother I don’t want to know its name.
I’ve shared this patch of weeds with it for
more than forty years, but I still don’t know
what it is and don’t want to. I suspect it’s
the reason I’m still here, a living mummy,
still twenty-one years old.
Waiting, waiting, waiting, for
what I don’t know.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.


The Annual Image

This year’s annual image is “The Desert Dreamed the Sun Chased the Sea Away,”  which comes from the series The Desert Contains Everything.

"The Desert Dreamed the Sun Chased the Sea Away," by Nas Hedron, from the series The Desert Contains Everything

“The Desert Dreamed the Sun Chased the Sea Away,” by Nas Hedron, from the series The Desert Contains Everything (click to enlarge).


Download the Book

Download your copy of The Haunt in the Meadow in ePub or Kindle format by clicking on one of the images below.

Click this image to download the ePUB version

Click this image to download the ePUB version

Click this image to download the Kindle version

Click this image to download the Kindle version

 

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