Cataclysm and Other Arrangements


by Karen Morris, NCPsyA



Comments from John Fox

I am glad to share with you a collection of poems by Karen Morris, published by Three Stones Press. When I say "I am glad" it doesn't mean that I am happy. Actually, I am near to tears. Some of these poems reflect on shattered lives. Yet there is in these pages a redeeming witness to truth. Cataclysm does courageous work.

These poems arise via this poet's and psychoanalyst's harrowing awareness of a painful and hidden subject: child sex and slave trafficking. These poems are a great challenge to a reader--without losing the darkest shadows of human nature from which this reality of child sex trafficking comes, Morris delivers to the light of day compassion, insight and potentially healing images that are the cornerstone of both depth psychology and spiritual practice.

I write "potentially" because these poems, if they are to do more than simply cry out, they ask for-- perhaps I really want to say they demand--your engaged witness.

From the Amazon page for Cataclysm and Other Arrangements:

Drawing from years of experience that integrates Zen, psychoanalysis, trauma study and poetry, Karen Morris' poems speak to 'the reality of this world' (which) is the concern for many of these poems, one of the few recourses I have to send out my alarm for what is happening to the women, young girls and boys of this world, entrapped within the commercial sex industry and slave-driven economies which have become social norms throughout the world, supported by demand and addiction, fueled by the three poisons at the hub of the wheel of life and death: anger, greed and ignorance...Many of these poems reflect my involvement in the study of these issues and my commitment to public education as well as the education of professionals in my field, with concern for prevention, saving and restoring lives.

I wrote a testimonial for Karen's book and she asked to use it as Preface:

In these poems, Karen Morris makes it her job to visit the underworld, the one happening right in our midst, embedded in the current world you and I actually inhabit and do our best to avoid because it asks us to become more feeling of an intense suffering that is not other than us--and even more, appreciative of an exquisite beauty that is also ours:

Your face is a world

on the brink of releasing

its first cloud.

Morris's report of her journey does not come in language like a Frommer travel guide. No! She throws, with considerable courage and trust, yarrow sticks of her unconscious upon the page.

These poems present, like the art of Ikebana Karen loves so much, their arrangement for us to discern and divine.

I suggest you put this book under your pillow and go to sleep. You'll get it better that way, to start. Remember, in reading her poems, what Einstein once poignantly said: 'No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it'.

Book Review

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