A First Act, is a collection of very original works in a style that is both easy to read and intriguingly thought-provoking. As a personal journey, the sequence of poems can be seen as footsteps on the path of spiritual growth, although expressed in unexpected and surprising ways. Ross draws on a wide range of potential human experience from observing, “the cockroach in the office bin stuck inside a tuna tin,” to flying business class, to being mud under the feet of the Beloved!
He uses exquisite imagery, many different poetic forms, and (occasionally) rhyme to first catch the attention and then traverses the mind to touch the heart, often ending with a punch line that raises a smile or even a laugh. The opening poem in the book is about waking up in the early morning, and it could be said that the following poems lead on to a greater sense of awakening.
As a whole the collection offers many familiar signposts to Baba's message of truth and love. “Traveling,” “I'd Run and I'd Run,” and “Nothing left to say,” are just three of many such works, and the poem with the title “Maybe” raises in an oblique way the time-old question “Who am I?” The sheer delight of “Praise,” a poem dedicated to Mani, makes it a pearl in the collection, and the splendor of the final “Everyone Belongs,” is its crowning glory.