Space is Grace
by Stefan Schindler
Space is Grace is a poetry book with 68 poems, occasional illustrations, and a “Gnome Story” postscript. The cover shows a seagull soaring in front of a rainbow, indicating a synthesis of space, grace and uplifting intent. The author, Dr. Stefan Schindler, is a long-time professor of philosophy, psychology, education, mysticism, history and politics, and these themes are woven into many of the poems. Some of the poems are in the form of Haiku, and seek to combine humor and Zen. For example, the opening entry is titled “A Shoe,” and reads: “Sitting on the couch / a shoe hits me in the head. / Oh! It clears my mind.” Another, slightly longer poem, has a similar Zen flavor. Titled “Ungon and Dogo,” it reads: “One day / while Ungon was / sweeping / Dogo said / ‘Does a dog have ticks?’ / Ungon said / ‘If you wind it up.’” Here’s the Haiku titled “One Two Tree” – “The tree of knowledge / sprouts from the tree of life. / The bluejay plucks her wing.”
Much of the poetry addresses such eternal themes as love, death, sex, and self-realization. “Zen Romance” reads: “Together / apart / our love / is an art / growing / in the womb / of time.” “Moonlight Mile” reads: “Deep inside / your sighs / I lick the tears / from your eyes / while the cat / sleeps.” A longer poem, titled “Midnight Falls,” concludes: “All the world’s a stage / doesn’t mean the bullets aren’t real / for the serpent and the dove / turning the wheel of love and strife / on the razor’s edge / as midnight / falls the rain.” Some poems draw on mythic and epic motifs. For example, “Becoming” begins: “Become who you are / said Nietzsche / quoting Pindar / who knew all about / Odysseus.” Other poems include reference to Pythagoras, Kerouac, Emerson, Ginsberg, Lao Tzu, Muhammad Ali, Sherlock Holmes and John Lennon.
“The Tao of Presocratic Discourse” is a playfully philosophic poem which adds a Zen-like flavor to the major Presocratic philosophers, and concludes with the “inward turn” of Socrates from nature to ethics. “Talk to Me” is a romantic poem which has been put to music on the CD “Coyote Chris and Don Stefan.” The poem for which the book is named, “Space is Grace,” concludes: “The wind is thy mother / and the river of truth / runs through your heart / like a buffalo.” The poem “Pandora” ends with a variation on Kierkegaard and T. S. Eliot: “A thinker without paradox / is like a lover without passion / just as April is / the cruelest month.” Some of the poems draw on Greek and Egyptian mythology. The book includes “Odes” to Osiris, Miles Davis, and David Hume. Some poems borrow from the songs of Bob Dylan. To supplement erotic, alchemical, mythic and metaphysical themes, the book also has an immediate, more serious intent, perhaps best illustrated in “Planet Pledge,” which reads: “I pledge allegiance to the planet / and to all the people and creatures on her. / One ecosystem / universally sacred / with nourishment and beauty for all.” The “Gnome Story” concluding the book is a truth-based fantasy children’s tale implicitly structured like an Escher painting.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 30 October, 2013.