Where have I been? My writing energy is pouring into several book projects at once, all in the works for many years but coming to fruition this year. One of those projects is Following the Curve, a collection of yoga books coming out from Spartan Press late this summer. I’m especially happy to share this gorgeous painting by Rodney Troth, a spectacular artist in our midst who is letting me use this art for the cover of Following the Curve.
Yoga, one of the oldest maps for being a body, says so much about cultivating a life of daring vitality and compassionate alignment. I’ve been practicing yoga as well as poems about yoga for a while, and I wanted to give you a sneak peak of one of the poems, “Devotion,” which is one of the Niyamas (along with self-study, discipline, contentment, and purification) for how to live.
Surrender to the sleep that takes this body
down the tracks, a slim wave zigzagged
through milo fields and Osage orange overgrowth,
but who’s to say what’s in or out anymore?
When the motion stops, climb out of the train
that isn’t a train toward a cabin:
bunk beds with the still-damp swimsuits
hanging off the bed frame.
Too many people here, all sleeping but you
while squirrels race the rafters.
Then a test you’re not prepared for,
multiple choice questions in dead languages
that don’t even translate into writing.
You go outside, pick up a stick, and try
to make a circle on the bare ground
but it’s too dry. Then you realize
you’ve always been lost.
Sit cross-legged, your bare shoulders cold,
and try to remember all the Great Lakes:
Erie. Superior, Ottawa. Michigan. One more
but before you ask someone, you’re back on board,
your feet dangling out the open door
as the train picks up speed.
Moon spins into view between blurs of trees,
the descent into the cooling valley of night,
humming, Hallelujah to the dark. Hallelujah to the waking
that will land you into one time and place,
where you have one task always: devotion.