eating God by Roy Anthony Shabla
Review by Spirit of the Valley
I haven’t opened a book of poetry that I haven’t put down after two or three pages in a long time. And then came eating God. Modern day translations of Rumi and Hafiz come to mind and I am swept away by the starkness, by the audacity, by the deliciousness, and by the graphic melding of mind with body with spirit with words with verse. Poet Roy Anthony Shabla is not only a great writer but his vocation as a spiritual consultant and healer lights up the pages. I eat up every word!
I’ve never been the type of writer or poet who related to the use of obscure metaphor and what seems to me as elitist wordology (i.e. if you can’t understand it, you aren’t smart enough to… dummy) but I’m no stranger to depth and resonance and being clobbered over the soul with imagery that takes me way beyond words into the shadows of… well, let’s let Roy speak for himself:
your heart is a feral cat.
I place out soul food to coax it near.
you approach cautiously, sniffing the air.
a false start, then you snatch the delicacy
each day, I place out food for the soul;
each day, a little nearer my heart.
sometimes, an extended hand
to smooth your coat
does not receive a claw or tooth in return.
it is not that you want to be unloved;
it is that you don’t know how to trust
God is a sanctuary for wild cats
and skittish hearts.
come out of the loneliness storm~
it is warm and dry.
come in for the love-feast and a nap in the sun.
Can you feel it?! This is poetry for poets, for seekers, for lovers, for people who normally hate poetry but seek meaning and depth and romance and beauty in every facet and moment of their lives. Using words to nourish the soul, to relate to the world and the divine ~and to bring this power and observation and relevance into every moment of our lives, into the primal urges, into the ancient needs…
I race through the words. I am stunned and let them sit and sink in. And mostly, I am deeply touched. If poets could be superstars, at least in this time and country, Mr. Roy Anthony Shabla would be the man to watch.
~ Spirit of the Valley
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