Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day In Tucson


The song, "Auld Lang Syne" is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scottish tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."


One of the most venerable New Years traditions is the champagne toast at midnight to ring in the new year. Toasting can be traced back to the ancient Romans and Greeks who would pour wine, to be shared among those attending a religious function, from a common pitcher. The host would drink first, to assure his guests that the wine was not poisoned. Poisoning the wine was a fairly common practice in ancient times, designed to do away with one's enemies. In those days the wine was not as refined as it is today so a square of burned bread (toast) would be floated in the wine bowl and then eaten by the last person to drink. The bread was put there to absorb the extra acidity of the wine in order to make it more palatable. Eventually, the act of drinking in unison came to be called a toast, from the act of "toasting" or putting toast into the wine.

Click Here to find out all you want to know about the tradition of the New Year's celebration.


I am making no resolutions for 2011
except to keep in mind that I will try
to be a better person than I've been all of my previous 70 odd years.


Have you ever sat down and scribbled out a poem (of sorts) merely on a mindful whim? I have. I do it all the time. Well, not all the time, but often enough that it is sometimes scary, even to me In fact, I composed the following a few minutes ago:


What makes a poem a poem
So differentiated from prose?
Each year, it seems, brings new
Forms that form a formless form.

Now another year has disappeared --
Or is such no more than a motley myth?
A model manufactured within a mind
By an all too temporary chemical drip?

--Gene Chambers, Tucson, AZ 1/1/2011

Is that little squib up there a poem?
Perhaps. Perhaps not. No matter...


Some Photos Taken December 30, 2010
by Gene Chambers, East Tucson, Arizona

The Back Yard At Late Afternoon

An Hour Or So Before Sunset

There are some more mountain photos in
my Facebook Album


I am, right now, at this very instant, attempting to look into the future, wondering if I will be composing a poem, writing a novel, or perhaps just contemplating the future, next year, on January 1, 2012.

Live Long And Prosper


New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.
--Mark Twain


  1. Happy New Year! Thank you for the history lesson; it was fascinating, especially the bit about poisoning!

    Your photographs are stunning. I like to see pictures of far-away places.

    LOL. Mark Twain is so right about New Year!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Ellie. I took about thirty more shots of mountains today, but don't know yet which ones to add to the album. And, Mark Twain has always been my favorite 'curmudgeon.'