ZUBIN
MATHAI
author of the oarsman
A New Book
January 19, 2017

Now that The Ant That Found God is up on Amazon for pre-order (it will be available in a few days), I’ve been thinking about the next book I wanted to write.

A month ago an idea came to me, based on my own life. My parents had a cottage in the Laurentian mountains north of Montreal that we’d go to every weekend. I think we had it from when I was six to when I was eighteen.

I remember hating that cottage at first, because I’d rather stay in Montreal and play with friends or on the computer. When I was around twelve, however, something shifted. I began appreciating it because of the nature surrounding it.

I would walk into the woods, after I had done my homework and chores my father had given me, and I’d stare at trees. These ones seemed so different than the ones in Montreal, so carefree. I’d take the canoe out on the lake whenever I could, drifting along and feeling stillness was keeping me afloat.

The book I was thinking of was to be called I Became A Tree. It was about a man who, in the afterlife, gets sentenced to be reincarnated as a tree. He befriends a young boy who visits the woods every weekend. The idea was that the tree only spoke in a poetic language, the language of nature, that the boy did not fully hear.

After coming to terms with my mild fear of writing non-fiction, I decided to scrap the prose part of the book, turn it into non-fiction, and focus on the poetry from the tree.

Poetry doesn’t sell well, so the book is more about little nuggets of truth that can be used by people to contemplate or use in meditations. I do away with flowery language, an overabundance of metaphors and similes, and keep it simple. It will tentatively be called Contemplations to Savor.

It is one of those books that you are meant to open at random, read a section, and then savor it, letting it sit in the back of your mind throughout the day.

I’ve been writing about 10-15 of these little ‘non-poems’ per day , and will publish the book when I get to a few hundred.

 

Why Not Now
Can you laugh for me, God asks
You try, but you can’t force it

Can you dance for me, God asks
You could, but you are too shy

Can you love for me, God asks
This one is obvious
You’ll love later when you’re brave

Can you then chase me, God asks
And that you find so easy

The Beauty of Trees
A shimmer of thanked sun
Deepens the color of a leaf vein
And peeling bark wants attention too
A tree will even gift shade
To those ignoring its beauty

When no one is around
When you have one all to yourself
Touch it, smell it
See the gift of stillness
Draped across branches
Like love-spun cloth

In silence, when your center
Is stolen by a flitting bird
Piercing its shadow into your heart
Can you tell me where you end
And the tree begins

A Partner Dissolves
God asks you to dance
And you happily do
Will you ever tire of
The long line waiting
For the stars and moon
Want to dance too

Is it just imagination
Or is life really
This beautiful?
You’d ask for an opinion
But you just became
The askee and answer