The morning sun hides behind its trees.
The wind weaves with green and leaves,
a soft speckled light that avoids all sense
to root in deeper place of inner mind.

Where animus and anima have no need to know,
for this kind of knowing is just, a softer glow
suffusing everything that’s bright and right.
Human consciousness the only seer here,
the only thinker of what’s close at hand,
diffusing gods, God, nature and her bite

What responsibility to all living things
is humanity’s knowledge, will, power, plight?

Sf copyright

Fancy a nibble?

So much has been said about the relationship between a writer and readers. Even modern science and commerce has got in on this act of engagement. Steve Jobs of Apple set the bar high. But, apparently, Eve got the ball rolling to start with. There’s high reward in getting this relationship right.

Mary Oliver is one of the top selling poets in the world – and takes much stick  fromthe wild geese the literary establishment for her popularity. She said she always asks herself, before finishing a poem, what she expects her readers to bring to the party. Her theory is that the poem can only be made whole in the reading. She asks herself has she left enough space for the reader to engage and communicate with the work? For me, her poem Wild Geese achieves this beautifully. Sometimes a writer can try to produce a piece that is whole in itself, nothing left to add or do – a masterpiece! But for Oliver this is not the deal, it is selfish and precludes the reader’s self exploration, subdues their natural inquisitiveness. Furthermore, the reader does not get hooked, is not enticed in to look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Oliver’s much loved poetry has a gravity that mysteriously pulls the reader in. In this, she is the doyen of mother nature, she is immersed in the holistic and asks her followers to join her as equals. She asks us to take our rightful place.

Here is another fine expression of the contract, the promise that rewards perseverance. Jenny Crusie is a best selling author of romance novels. Her method is almost to make her introduction a complete marketing campaign! Who could resist the lure? What is going to happen to the lovers, who will we root for?

“I absolutely believe that: the introduction to a story makes a promise to the reader, says this is what this story is going to be about, here are the people to root for, here’s the genre, the mood, the setting, the tone, everything. And then people read/view that promise and decide whether to sign on for the story.”

Jenny Crusie, quoted on Swoon Reads

I have often wondered how the psychology of this engagement worked. In his book In Pursuit of Elegance, Matthew E May posed some questions early  – What made the Sopranos finale one of the most-talked-about events in television history? Why is Sudoku so addictive and the iPhone so irresistible?

This is where we find the link, I think, with the top selling media mongers! It’s the fact that to satisfy infinite human curiosity something has to be missing. Our species had to search relentlessly for food and resources to survive, our brains are almost perfect organs for finding patterns in chaos; search, exploration, recognition and reward. This is the mechanism.

Steve Jobs introduced a brand new smart phone. It had no keyboard, just a virtual one on a screen. He was asked when the marketing campaign was going to start. There wouldn’t be one. When would the device be in the shops. Oh! About eight months. Can we have the details? Well, we’ll talk to you journalists as we go along. The rest is history, the world has never stopped queuing up to pay for these elegant products. The irony is that Steve Jobs knew what to promise, what to give, and what to teasingly hold on to.

curiositySo what of the science? It’s about Managing the Power of Curiosity. Two researchers, Soman and Menon, worked on the phenomenon exhaustively and reduced it to an essence: First, we have to show a moderate gap in the reader’s knowledge. Not too much or the reader will think the ask too high and give up. Second, we must provide enough of the solution to make them want to find the complete answer. This will give them a personal edge – in the survival game! Third, we have to give them the time and space to resolve their curiosity on their own, which, I think, is where Mary Oliver left us!

How can we apply the principles to Blogging, that’s the challenge. Sf copyright

My Lover

earth my otherAfter all this time I’ve come to terms
With hours, with life, with challenge, daily,
with my other
Eye to eye, I’ll look, with any or another
And feel secure to have, to hold, as equal
as my sister or my brother
I’ve learned to give and take and not to count
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAin values too distant from our mother,
Earth, I’ve earned your riches but can not discount
The other’s right to share you as my lover

Sf copyright

Genii, help!

This Henley poem below inspired me to be more master of my own fate years ago.
I’m trying to get a little hub going to encourage people struggling and in recovery
to write, blog, use social media – to express their creativity, generally.

Initially, there’s a private Facebook Group, Touched by Fire,  to collect a few people
who know these worlds and would like to discuss their possibilities…

Would love to hear from anyone who could help, get the thing up and writing.
Image result for i am the captain of my soul


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

By William Ernest Henley

A Drooping Day

One of my favourite poems –

Blue Mountain Poetry

merlin by the river

The day droops, limps over the silent floor
Of this uncertain room.

Out of the centre of the world or eye
Where amber pebbles lie or little plants
Or tree roots stretch past gravity,
Tiny reverberations climb,
Attain the stolen spaces
Where light strives to be,
But feebly shines.
There are no shapes of man
But wavering shadows in the rain; quivering.

The dog barks, his terrors are in me.

Do not listen to echoes or watch the rain.
We are maimed but must call up Merlin
Near by the hushed river,
Listen carefully for cell-like sounds,
Attain to particles of sense,
Pass by wayward tremors.
Do not fall into insidious infiltrations;
Remember you are dying.
What the fingers have found
Mind encounters,
But light cannot be invented.

estate CN

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