Greetings, Poetry Lovers! I hope you've been able to partake of more Poetry Month goodness than I have this year - still settling in after my big move, but with road trips mixed in. Last week I fetched my folks, who drove halfway up from Florida to rendezvous with me at a Lowcountry VRBO, and then I brought them up here to the the SC "Upcountry" to enjoy several days with our kiddos, their dogs, and of course, the baby grand (10 months old now). Very grateful for the opportunity to be together as four generations. Just got back from the return trip.
Among the wonderful conversations volleying back and forth last weekend, I enjoyed hearing my hubby and son discuss a brand new book of poems by Mark Nepo (cover pictured above). This wee post is not a review of the book, as I've barely gotten my footing in it. But I look forward to further explorations, especially because it's a collection of Nepo's poems written in his 50s and 60s. As one who has recently turned 60, the words resonate! Plus, the title intrigued me.
Hubby Jeff and son Seth are far more well read than I in the areas of spirituality and healing and the like. (Jeff's an attending psychiatrist with additional experience in Ayurveda, end-of-life challenges, and energy medicine, and Seth is one of the pastors of an inner city church primarily serving the unhoused community and others in the margins.)
Mark Nepo is a New York Times Bestselling Author, best known for The Book of Awakening. One of the many endorsements in his new book is from Naomi Shihab Nye: "Mark Nepo is a Great Soul. His resonant heart - his frank and astonishing voice - befriend us mightily on this mysterious trail."
About The Half-Life of Angels, Nepo says: "Now in my seventies, I am committed to putting my life's journey with poetry in order. The result will be the publication of several volumes of poetry. The Half-Life of Angels is the first of these volumes." You can learn more about Nepo and his life and work here.
Since we're celebrating Earth Day, I thought sharing the opening of this poem below from Nepo's website would be timely. To me it deals more with inner landscapes than outer ones, but the survival of the Earth depends on us to develop our capacity for love, does it not?
by Mark Nepo
O Endless Creator, Force of Life, Seat of the Unconscious,
Dharma, Atman, Ra, Qalb, Dear Center of our Love,
Christlight, Yaweh, Allah, Mawu,
Mother of the Universe...
Let us, when swimming with the stream,
become the stream...
Let us, when moving with the music,
become the music...
Let us, when rocking the wounded,
become the suffering...
Let us live deep enough
till there is only one direction...
(Click here to read the poem.)