Our god is a consuming fire
When summer came, he left the city
Afraid of the heat and pollution
Afraid of the sun
He found himself in a hospital
In a ward with no air-conditioning
Afternoons, thin and hurting, heart damaged
The sun and the heat
He had read of old people dying
He was going to add to the total
Killed by the sun in a hospital
Night was his relief
Cracking the windows, breathing again
Strengthening and living again
Another year of drawing and writing
Till the next summer
Brought peas to shell and fresh strawberries
And he could feel the force of the sun
Still life giving, still sickening him
This light, this heat, this sun
— Poem and drawing by William Eaton.
∩ Working on this poem led me back to Hebrews 11, with its vaunting of faith and of greater truths and forces hidden behind the appearances. “Through faith we understand . . . that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Is this faith or modern science? This could be to explore another day, another poem.
Those similarly oppressed by the current heatwave in the northeastern United States might find a smile in the image—of a Japanese shrine in the snow—that illustrates Kenko, Kerouac, Snyder, Prayer, Zeteo, June 2018.
Now available from Amazon: Art, Sex, Politics
& now featured on Snowflakes in a Blizzard
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.”
As I have e-mailed, I am studio-less but do like to see other artists’ work and am glad to show my (humble) drawing, watercolors and gouache.