Beyond recollections of childhood, riding bicycles, mowing the grass, playing board games when it rained, poems in which Shade sees the vulnerable side of things, we sense the silence of the monastery, the presence of the Hudson River and the healing balm of the natural world. There is a meditative feel to these poems as Shade seeks solace for his grief.
Read Neil Leadbeater’s review in Quill & Parchment here.
Shield the Joyous, a debut poetry collection by novelist Christopher X. Shade, continues the thread of coming to understand ourselves by working to understand others. Naomi Shihab Nye writes, “[it] is a work of great wonderment and love, amidst “the ghostly whirl” of the author’s own grief and loss. His baby brother has died of addiction and there is much to think about — so into the deep quiet of a monastery he goes, where the gloom and majesty of memory and trouble surge and mix alongside the Hudson River and the swirl is able to illuminate, settle, calm. “I was elsewhere \ when my brother died” — but the writer is fully present now, to honor his sibling with rich care and tender thinking and writing that will help anyone who has ever lost anyone, now and forever, amen.”
A project inspired by the book is the free app, Today’s Meditation, which are “simple words to reflect on and carry with you through the day.”