You may recall the first annual HiR:tb Saskatchewan Roughriders Poetry Contest. We have a winner. The winning entry was submitted by Roland Taylor, curator of the only known collection of the sonnets of Havingevoofer Trauserkov, the noted Russian composer, renaissance man and jack-of-all trades. Trauserkov’s sonnet, penned long before the founding of the CFL, appears to have brilliantly presaged the advent of an adoring green-and-white public dedicated to the football success of the Green Riders:

This Game at large is a mild man’s strategy
To push formed leather and make a score.
The Players battered, no longer fit but sore
We, rising from our soft seats, dream to avoid Tragedy.
In boisterous voice, no cause for Perfidity,
This Game, twelve men on twelve
With scores of threes, sixes and Sevens,
To it, we raise our cheers for good celebration,
A happy joyous roughrider nation.
Our farms with darkest soils give birth
To golden crops are harvested year after year.
And after, in sun and rain, in dark and snow,
We watch, hands clasped, breath held firm by one and all
We cheer, the One who, arms outstretched, catches the ball.

Clearly, as a poet, Trauserkov made one hell of a composer. Born without a sense of smell and with a profoundly impaired sense of direction into a family of itinerant Austrian clowns, Havingevoofer was orphaned at a young age by a disastrous seltzer-bottle accident. Trained as an accountant, he was then engaged through a mixup of forms to work as court composer to a delusional lunatic who believed himself to be the insane King of Germania and who therefore kept his “true” identity (not to mention Trauserkov and his works) jealously concealed. Trauserkov’s works and reputation seem to have largely faded into the mists of history following his death in 1867 at the age of 117 (reputedly from syphilis). A little-known but very loud group of rockers known as the Heroes in Rehab have been the principal force keeping the legacy of the genius Trauserkov alive by championing his works and – from time to time – arranging their own compositions to conform to Trauserkov’s own exacting notions about the relation between the components of musical expression.

With apologies to Don McLean.

With apologies to Don McLean – not the guy who sits next to Don Cherry on HNIC, the singer/songwriter – I give you an ode to another lost season:

Bye, Bye Mr. Peddie Bye Bye. 

Not a long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that jersey used to make me smile.
And I knew if they had their chance
The Leafs could make the damn puck dance
And maybe hold a late lead for a while.

But February made me shiver
As crucial points were not delivered.
Bad news on the scoresheet;
I couldn’t take one more defeat.

Well, I can’t remember if I cried
When we lost eight zip to a Panthers side
Whose hockey skills I must deride.
The day the season died.

Now soliciting submissions…

I happened to check the stats for the site earlier today, ’cause I’m like that. One area of my little WordPress dashboard stats screen caught my attention, the area showing what terms people were searching on when they landed here at HiR:tb. Here’s a screen cap:


Announcing today, the First Annual HiR:tb Saskatchewan Roughriders Poetry Contest. Entries may assume any lyrical or poetic form; your creativity should know no bounds in this matter. Send us your haikus, your limericks, your sonnets and couplets; gather together your spondees, trochees and whatever pentameter you can scrape together, be it iambic or otherwise, and bend all of these elements to your noble purpose: the celebration of anything related to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Difficulty: No rhyming the word “Regina”. I’m trying to keep this place relatively clean-like.

I will arbitrarily set a deadline for entries – let’s say entries must be received no later than March 10th, 2008 – and I’ll pick a winner in whatever capricious manner I can dream up. There might even be some kind of a lame prize, if I feel sufficiently moved by your Roughrider Rhapsodies. Email your entries here.

Come on gang, let’s not disappoint the troubled soul searching for a “Saskatchewan Roughriders Poem”.

Poetry/Lyrics Dept. (vol. 1)

I promised myself, when starting up this blog thingy, that I would eventually post some of the poems and lyrics I’ve written over the years. What follows are some lyrics for a song called “Wednesday” that my buddies and I were fortunate enough to record in 1994. The album went triple teflon and the rest is history. Anyway, I’m going to post these lyrics because I am too bummed out to work on anything original. This is because in one of my roto-hockey leagues, I concluded a blockbuster trade the other day to bolster a blueline badly in need of upgrade; it took a week but as of this morning I was the proud owner of Maple Leaf defenceman Bryan McCabe. I had to give up a decent forward – Marian Hossa – and on a straight up basis, it’s a loser trade for me, but you have to keep in mind that I was having trouble getting Hossa into my starting lineup because I am overloaded with forwards and my plus/minus is terrible, which makes me a little shy about putting guys from terrible teams into the mix in the first place.

Anyway, I fairly beamed as I watched Hockey Night in Canada tonight, eagerly following Bryan’s progress around the ice, crossing my fingers in hopes of seeing his first goal for my charges.

He broke his arm in the second period and will be out 6 to 8 weeks. So it goes.

i was a bad idea
a paradox in the mind of god
inconsistent as the clear blue sky
inconsistent, knowing why

a human thought
is always flawed
a disproved subjectivity
but some ideas are much weaker than others
and some ideas belong to sky

i believe
forever has no urgency
horizons tell you lies
remembering the simple days
will maybe get you by

and past my peak
i’d lost all patience with my mystique
you need to believe that the riddle unfolding
will somehow make some sense