A poem about the sun

dancer, fish pose, in red, by William Eaton


Our god is a consuming fire

Hebrews 12:29


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 imageof a Japanese shrine in the snowthat illustrates Kenko, Kerouac, Snyder, Prayer, Zeteo, June 2018.

Now available from Amazon: Art, Sex, Politics

& now featured on Snowflakes in a Blizzard

Art, Sex, Politics cover from AmazonA 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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