Must each of us write her or his own insomnia poem?

Evelyn, colors added, by William Eaton, Dec 2017 (with spriral binding)The day prodigious leaves its problems for the night,

And within the darkness we are so poorly covered.

The mind may decide—there’s little to do but wait,

And so waiting, exhausted, we’ll come to the light?


We may be thankful for all we can fabricate

From the insides of ourselves and from all the stuff

Lying about us. In advance we prepare our tombs

With symbols of our strength or craftiness, our good taste?


And yet—we can laugh—none of the pillows feel right.

And shouldn’t there be someone soft or firm or warm

To squeeze? Why must this singularity, owl-like,

Fasten on every shadow weaker than its sight?


Wait without hope or love or thought, Eliot told himself.

I can see so many such books on my bedroom shelves.


Text and drawing-painting by William Eaton


∩ T.S. Eliot from “East Coker,” of the Four Quartets

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing: there is yet faith

But faith and love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.


Now available from Amazon: Art, Sex, Politics

Art, Sex, Politics cover from AmazonIn a new, provocative collection of essays, William Eaton, the author of Surviving the Twenty-First Century, shares the pleasures of questions, tastes, reading and more visual arts. “That we are animals, that is as sure as ever. How savagely we behave! And how affectionately rub up against one another. How, desperately, make love?”

Five-star review: “ . . . remarkable collection of essays. . . . insights which carry the reader into a world of mindfulness. One of the pleasures of reading a book by Mr. Eaton is to witness the author peeling away the layers of his stories. His essay concerning “savoring,” for example, first touches on food habits, yet is in fact a call to live with intention; to savor life as one would savor a meal. . . . lovely prose . . . delightful book.”

Kind words about Surviving: “Entertaining, yet packs a quiet intellectual wallop. . . . so thought-provoking and poetic I didn’t want it to end . . . beautiful and wise and moving . . . engaged, non-doctrinaire, well-read, independent-minded. . . . William Eaton finds arresting themes in unusual places. . . . The writing is masterful and wonderfully absorbing.”

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