As the Season Shifts - Scott Thomas Outlar

Scott Thomas Outlar
I’m sitting here in the woods of my favorite park where I venture regularly to meditate, clear the mind, and hammer out poetry (along with an occasional essay such as this). It’s late afternoon on September 22, 2017. The first day of Autumn. A time to reflect on the shifting seasons, cleanse away the sweat from summer’s swelter, and focus on the coming vibrant hues of color that will soon be bursting upon the leaves of trees. Then, of course, they will fall from their branches to be devoured once more by the soil that will use the nutrients to feed root systems and start the whole process over again. There is a perfect balance to nature’s rhythms. As humans, it is a sacred responsibility to align our psyches with that same sort of energetic equilibrium. Thus speaks the fall equinox.

I want to thank Sunil Sharma, Anurag Sharma, and everyone involved with Setu Magazine for allowing me the opportunity to launch this new column in which I’ll be highlighting different poets, artists, books, events, and moments that catch my eye during each month. Setu is unique to the independent press in its bilingual approach, offering separate content of Hindi and English material in each issue. This format serves as a bridge that connects east to west in the best possible manner: through art and creative expression.

There have recently been areas of India affected by heavy flooding, just as there have been in parts of the United States. Earthquakes, forest fires, and hurricanes have been steadily streamed on news broadcasts seemingly around the clock of late. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have suffered loss during these powerful disasters. Also, as always, there is war raging in hotspots around the world. New nuclear threats raise their ominous heads more and more of late. We are bombarded with such chaos and madness. That is why magazines such as Setu are so important. It is the role of the poet, the writer, the artist, the shaman, the guru, the prophet, the musician, the photographer, the painter, the farmer, the gardener, the healer, and all those who represent peace, love, and goodwill to act as a counterbalance of positive affirmation in times such as these. So it will be my honor to try and shine light on such voices in the months ahead.

I will focus the lens this time around on a publisher that burst onto the scene earlier in 2017 and has already released several excellent books by contemporary poets whose work I greatly admire. Alien Buddha Press is run by Red Focks and Jay Miner; both are poets and photographers in their own right. They published my most recent book, Poison in Paradise, back in June of this year. But I simply refuse to shamelessly turn this into a personal plug! Moving along. ABP has also published collections by Heath Brougher, Sudeep Adhikari, Dustin Pickering, Adam Levon Brown, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Paul Brookes, Felino A. Soriano, Ammi Romero, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Mark Hartenbach, Jonel Abellanosa, and many other fine poets. Now, in the first volume of the Alien Buddha Press anthology, excerpts from all these writers have been compiled to create a sampling of what ABP has to showcase. Copies are available at the following links…

OK. This one is in the bag. I hope to contribute many more articles for Setu as time flies by. 2018 will be here before we know it. In the meantime, please enjoy all this new autumn season has to provide. May its days instill within you a sense of abiding peace along with a renewed vigor of inspired passion. Be well, my friends. Selah

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