Facebook tells me this morning that today is the birthday of poet and storyteller Ross Moyer. We lost Ross as the result of a bad stroke back in December, and our stories have been a bit duller, our rhythm a little less punchy and are rhymes less surprising. I had known him only seven months.
The first time I met him was at Poetry Under the Paintings in Lewisburg. Someone later wryly referred to his “grumpy old man poems.” I think he would have laughed and liked that. I think he would have owned that as a compliment, and I’m glad I at least got to know a little more of him in the next seven months, enough to know his tales and verse were more than that.
I still cannot get out of my head that night of poetry at the bar, and walking back to our cars, sharing contact information and an appreciation of each other’s art that was the beginning of a promising friendship. He was upbeat and peaceful at the same time that night,. Three weeks later he was gone.
This short memorial post that I am reblogging from December has some of the only video footage I have of Ross at his work, which was also a favorite play time for him it seems.
I was just getting to know you, Ross. I found myself looking up to you that night on the sidewalk, though you spoke to me tenderly and enthusiastically, like a valued college. I’ll never forget that, friend. I wish you were here to celebrate this anniversary of your arrival on this planet. I’m sure you would have had a witty, sly rhyme or two in response to these birthday wishes. I can only say that I am glad you were born. Would that our friendship had been longer.
Ross, I had barely begun to know you. Almost seven months ago you attended the first Poetry Under the Paintings event in Lewisburg and you have faithfully attended ever since, gracing us each month with your wit, rhyme, sarcasm and that winking smile. You will be missed.
The last time you and I talked was three weeks ago when we had to divert from our usual reading spot at Faustina’s Gallery to another location last-minute. We ended up hanging out in the window alcove at The Brassiere. Eight of us and a bouncing baby trying to hear each other over the bar patrons. But it was a unique event, and you and I seemed to enjoy it the most. On the way back to our cars we chatted and exchanged emails, and I promised to send you the link to your October videos on YouTube.
You added me on Facebook…
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