Agassiz has gained an author to its population with the recent arrival of Alex Hamilton-Brown.
Hamilton-Brown unpacked his bags here eight weeks ago and is already settling in just fine. He enjoys meandering through the shops downtown and loves the local library.
“It’s a great little town, people are friendly and there is a wonderful library here,” he praises.
Born in Scotland in a small mining town between Glasgow and Edinburgh, he moved to the United States then headed north to Ontario. Hamilton-Brown made a career for himself in the film industry, winning numerous awards along the way. He spent decades researching, writing and producing educational programs and documentaries for Canadian and American networks.
Throughout his career, he wrote dozens of film scripts so he had lots of practice in the field. And through it all, Hamilton-Brown has written poetry as an outlet for his imagination.
Since filming his last documentary in 2005, Hamilton-Brown has taken up writing as a hobby and a passion. He has published and won awards for several poems and short stories.
“Poetry is important because it makes us think,” Hamilton-Brown writes about his work. “It is in its subtle yet powerful way a discipline for re-engaging with a world we take too much for granted.”
In a recent interview with The Observer, he elaborates on that statement.
“It’s more than condensed prose,” he says. “I’m reinventing an inner self that seems to have emerged. It comes from a mysterious place you just have to respond to.”
Hamilton-Brown always has a few projects on the go at a time. He is currently working on a book, a few short stories and, always, poems. His style stretches as far as his imagination will go, writing on anything from futuristic beings to the world as seen from animal’s eyes. This Christmas poem was written after he heard a tale about how Martin Luther incorporated a tree into the Christmas tradition. This poem, titled The Little Spruce Tree, is how Hamilton-Brown thinks the tradition began and he gladly shares it with Observer readers today.
The Little Spruce Tree
by Alex Hamilton-Brown
One frosty Christmas evening
Martin Luther was trudging home.
He stopped beside a little spruce tree,
To gaze at Heaven’s dome.
The stars shone down on every tree
That grew there in the wood –
A stately pine, an old yew
A willow and an oak.
But there, right beside him,
As plain as he could see,
Every star of Heaven reflected,
In that one little tree.
So Martin brought the spruce tree home
To show to all his children,
And told them of the miracle he had seen.
Hi fixed up lighted candles to represent the stars,
And asked his friends to come and see the sight.
Then with wonderment and thankfulness
They went into the woods,
To bring their own tree home that winter night.
Soon every family had a tree
With candle to adorn,
And on that distant Christmas Eve,
The Christmas tree was born.
© Alex Hamilton-Brown,
all rights reserved