Fran Shaw's Writing My Yoga is a collection of thought provoking and spiritual poems that uncover truths found in nature and in humanity. With sections before the poems telling a story, the reader is more able to tap into the moments Shaw captures throughout her poetry. The images of frozen glaciers, slippery shadows, and falling raindrops create a flow throughout the work that invites the reader to tap into their own "calm." To breathe, to relax, to read, and most importantly "to be" is what this collection of poems is about. There are no restrictions when it comes to immersing yourself in Fran's "Yoga" but to surrender to her techniques and to watch in amazement as the beautiful art created leaves impressions upon the mind. It is a truly thought provoking and blissful experience to pick up this book.
The vibrancy and dynamic of human experience is uniquely captured moment by moment in Fran Shaw's latest collection Writing My Yoga: Poems For Presence.
I was in particular struck by the fourth chapter in her collection, "Elective Humiliation," which emphasizes the turbulence and pressure of garnering self-confidence and maintaining a certain image socially as well as personally. An insightful Shaw personifies the vulnerability of superficial pride in a coinciding poem titled "Ruffled Feathers" using images of birds and plumes: "Then sorry tears give way to bits/ of plumage on the ground,/ and mute even my mockingbird;/ my peacock makes no sound." Shaw's poems collectively assert the importance of emotional resiliency and the beauty of a tranquil mind, in such a way to leave the reader at ease in only the presence of nature and self, and with a sense of clear and enlightened optimism.