The Necessity of Symbols is now ready to order from the Amazon E Store at $5.99
and will then be listed on Amazon in a week or so.
The Kindle edition will be available within 24 hrs. at $3.99. I'm making it available at a special Kindle Matchbook price of $1.99 when you also purchase the paperback.
Even though it's poetry, you should find it approachable. As usual, strict Christians balk at the sensuality of my work, and those with allergies to spirituality in any form balk at the spiritual core.
Here's the Foreword:
Foreword: What Body?
You still believe the body is a temple for the spirit? Then read Thomas Ramey Watson and be delighted and appalled with him! The Necessity of Symbols plays again and again on the sacredness of the body—the body in love, the body in ecstasy of spirit and memory, even the body of Christ in communion.
Like the forgotten troubadours, the poet gives a credible poetic ground that loving the beloved’s body is close to loving God, or at least appreciating the universe. “Knot Intrinsicate” celebrates a woman’s power:
I am seventeen—
you, soft-voiced Guenevere.
But a Russian doll,
you held inside Mary,
hawk of Catholicism,
salad of the crescent world:
In a long poem that summarizes loss of job, loss of wife, loss of environment (Colorado), the poet holds psalms and songs in memory step by step of the way, shoring up the many threats to his spiritual life (“A Book of Hours”):
stayed on echoes:
whether one eats
In the poem, “Holy Communion,” the poet does not scruple to equate the host with two lovers, who, as the poem progresses are separated, however, with the finite limits between them implicitly contrasted to God’s infinite love: “Broken from you, / I am set on a shelf.” However, the lover remains an inspiration:
past the fragrance of ankles and thighs,
lingering on chest and neck, to pause
on tiny moles like cinnamon
sprinkled about your mouth
that explored with words, and tongue,
and smile, then to those eyes,
brown as buttered crust on fresh-baked bread;
still I hear your voice, yeasty, low.
These are fine points of a book with a broad sweep—poems about family, poems contrasting the poet’s native Denver with the signal cultural meccas of Europe, poems most often of joy. The range is admirable and the poems intricate and dedicated to spiritual growth, with creation the touchstone where reality is tested and embodied.
Alan Naslund, author of Silk Weather