I awoke in the Nectar Hours
before dawn. Outside
the bright face of the moon
gazed down —
just below it Jupiter dangled
like a diamond earing
I awoke in the Nectar Hours
lambent flames in winter dun —
tears of Diogenes
I realize this isn’t the best reading anyone’s ever heard. I did it awhile ago, I was a little ill, and there was no one around listening. When there is someone to listen, it helps greatly to keep things rolling naturally. I’ll try again before long to do better… but I think for now, it isn’t all that bad, is it?
long blond grasses in canyon fog
strung with crystal pearls
smoke from the stovepipe —
whisked hungrily away
by a greedy wind
Why I think Gathered Rain is good medicine…
… As the political climate has grown more turbulent, interest in self-care has risen. Google searches for the term reached a five-year high immediately after the election last November.
… if an activity (or inactivity) makes you feel better, in body or mind, then it’s self-care…
While self-care may sound like a wishy-washy idea recently coined by a holistic therapist in LA, it actually has a Platonic pedigree and a very pointed political purpose. The French philosopher Michel Foucault argued that the ancient Greeks saw it as integral to democracy: self-care was a necessary part of care for others. It made you a better, more honest citizen…
“…[W]ith the world’s capacity to produce endless and growing moral challenges, there comes an outcry for the morally minded to act, swiftly and vigorously, to counter the perceived negativity of worldly events and circumstances. In the chaos and urgency of these challenges, the less outwardly dramatic, private inner life is frequently overlooked altogether, or else discounted as ineffective and self-indulgent. And yet, from where comes the strength, clarity, and resolve to act ethically if not from deep, empowering and calming pools of inner reflection and gifted insight? There’s nothing more precious or priceless than that. Love, the most transformative force, can come forth only from within the individual who is at peace with one’s self and familiar with the inner worlds of one’s own awareness…
[Gathered Rain]’s simple message, cloaked in nature’s imagery, is that happily, if unexpectedly, the substance of … virtues and the simplicity of happiness itself already exist in every moment within one’s own consciousness and simply await discovery.”
The author of the article referenced wishes to make sure that no one is consumed by a private inner life and that the public life must be a priority (she says: “For those of us buffered by socioeconomic privilege, internal emigration justified as “self-care” is becoming increasingly tempting. It’s certainly more convenient than moving to Canada. But we need to stay vigilant”). Caveats of this nature tend often to batter the delicate soul with moral injunctions and cause more tension and disturbance than wholeness and peace. Far more healthful is it to remember that in all things balance is the rule. But balance is difficult to realize just by following moral imperatives. However, it comes naturally from a solidity of inner peace and the invigoration of insight and self-confidence. These are the things that can only be cultivated in the quietude of a relaxed mind and emotional body. Engaging in activities that enable that are much more important than any outer activity, for they provide the well spring of nourishment and inspiration that imbue any activity with purpose and meaning.
a poet is one who
welcomes even demons
in truth’s name alone
I’ve dropped the first edition of Gathered Rain to the lowest price Amazon will allow. It’d be great if I could offer it free of charge, but Amazon will not permit a price any lower that it is now ($5.38). Please read the earlier article I wrote explaining that I’d reduced the Kindle version to $0.99, since it contains further info on the book and my purpose in reducing the price.