Fellow naturist blogger Robert Longpré has produced a volume called Naked Poetry by the Sea and on the Prairies. The polished, succinct poems of his collection guide us to the naked core of truths both spiritual and physical. These are terrific poems! I had the honor of contributing a brief preface to the volume, which I’m reproducing here below. You can download the volume, which also features striking photographs for each poem, at Smashwords.
Writing poetry is like fishing in a lake of insights. A flash here, a splash there – a bite? Through skill and luck, a practiced fisher can deliver the shimmering sustenance of substance from the depths. Robert Longpré, an expert fisher-poet, has produced a terrific bounty of glittering insights from our unconscious depths in the form of poems that are brief meditations. These poetic meditations share the theme of nudity – how the shedding of clothes, as a return to our natural state, is complicated by modern society, by anxieties and fears, yet can be overcome in the joyous liberation that nudity can bestow us. As Longpré reminds us, “Even standing / naked in front of others / truth is hidden.” Yet in spite of inner anxieties that cloak aspects of our identity, “heaven is a return to the Garden of Eden / and Eden isn’t clothing optional.” In Longpré’s gem-like poems, nudity is often portrayed on the prairie. The wide-open vistas enhance the sense of skyclad freedom for all the prairie’s fauna:
The empty spaces soon filled with
life and colour and sound
with three deer staring back unafraid
of a human wandering naked on the prairie.
Birds, dragonflies, moths, grasshoppers and butterflies
moved with deliberation as though dancing
through the afternoon like the naked wanderer.
Above all, Robert Longpré’s poems form an important link between what we can call a literature of naturism, and a literature of meditation. Of course, writing and also reading poetry are acts of meditation in and of themselves, but Longpré brings the glowing immanence of nude meditation itself to the fore:
Sitting still, listening to breath
travel in and out: a glimpse of
naked soul brings an inner glow
that wraps itself around the naked body
on the cushion.
The example is manifest: read, write, meditate, wander… free from the restrictions of clothing and other arbitrary societal norms. Your journey—physical, spiritual, mental, emotional—will be all the more expansive and profound: to the middle of the open prairie, to the depths of your glittering insights.