The Poetry Mentor – July 10

Read a Friend’s Heart

July 10th, 2008

Blessings, Friends!

Here is a poem by Thomas M. Disch, a great, versatile, utterly independent American writer, and my friend, who died on July 4th at his apartment in New York. He was 68.

Entropic Villanelle

Things break down in different ways.

The odds say croupiers will win.

We can’t, for that, omit their praise.

I have had heartburn several days,

And it’s ten years since I’ve been thin.

Things break down in different ways.

Green is the lea and smooth as baize

Where witless sheep crop Jessamine

(We can’t, for that, omit their praise),

And meanwhile melanomas graze

Upon the meadows of the skin

(Things break down in different ways).

Though apples spoil, and meat decays,

And teeth erode like aspirin,

We can’t, for that, omit their praise.

The odds still favor croupiers,

But give the wheel another spin.

Things break down in different ways:

We can’t, for that, omit their praise.


In this fairly regular Newsletter, my goals are to inspire, celebrate, and offer up poetry to as many people as possible. I do this by sharing poems and stories, and suggesting exercises and meditations that have deepened my spiritual practice and the spiritual practices of many I hear from every day. I’m grateful for the wide-ranging dialogues, for the opportunities to learn from you who are so generous in your sharing. Isn’t this the essence of a spiritual community?

On occasion, I also consider it a privilege and an honor to recommend books, music, programs, and events that are offered by writers, teachers, mentors, coaches, and spiritual guides whose work I’ve come to know and revere. The quote that follows expresses exquisitely why this is so important:

“In a real sense all life is interrelated. All men and women are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.  I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.  This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some say that the world we live in is a collective dream, and that we are all dreaming our world together. I believe it is the destiny of every person to awaken. Those who sincerely desire to awaken to their magnificence by joining with like-minded individuals to “dream” heaven into being are awakening now. The fact that you are reading this, during this most important time in our human evolution, indicates that you are a dream pioneer, blazing a trail to awakening.

My friend and Dream Expert, Kelly Sullivan Walden, has brought together experts and best-selling authors in the field of human potential to create her new Dream Circle Membership Program.

To learn the details of this special offer, visit:

Join Kelly and her Dream Team today, and you’ll receive over $1,000 in bonuses!

Join me in visiting Kelly’s website, pick up your free gifts, and take a closer look into her life-enhancing program.


On Saturday the 12th, I’m on my way to Kripalu Center to teach my workshop, Writing & Praying Poetry: Poems in Daily Spiritual Practice. I return on the 19th.

While I’m gone, on the 15th, my new book, Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals, Aspirations, and Intentions will be officially released by Free Press. A major internet event will take place on the 24th, but more on that later!

May the California fires abate and go out, may our good friends at Esalen and their neighbors survive and thrive!
Deep Peace of the Light of the World To You!

Robert McDowell


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button