Saturday book feature — Valediction — Linda Parsons

Everywhere and Nowhere at Once

On day 11 of the Chopra 21-day meditation series,
the Sanskrit mantra, om shanti, says: I radiate
perfect peace. Tell that to the basement guys

jackhammering concrete for new drainage pipes
and pump, the years-old seep of groundwater
into floor and foundation. Through the harangue

of metal on rock, joists rattle their tibias, teacups
their saucers. Deepak urges me to access deep
peace from within. His silk voice prods me

to befriend the sound, to be the Sufi of sound.
Silk woven into rope saying to pull myself
from the shattered past, hand over hand,

into good air, to stand in the only now, everywhere
and nowhere at once. From the sodden earth,
I reemerge with Brood X cicadas feeding on roots

these seventeen winters entombed, an ecstasy
of wings starved for summer. Maple and oak
and trumpet vine vibrate their dervish of brief being.

And I, reaching down to my damp cellar, release
all the noise—the unrequited, the unforgiven.
My new body trembles, flooded with sun.

by Linda Parsons from Valediction (Madville Publishing 2023)

Cover image: Gary Heatherly

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2 responses to “Saturday book feature — Valediction — Linda Parsons”

  1. rebecca bilkau Avatar
    rebecca bilkau

    Just a gorgeous poem with startlingly fresh, apposite verbs. Great juxtaposition of the quest for peace and daily reality with a lovely resolution. Fine stuff.

  2. Daniel N. Birnbaum Avatar
    Daniel N. Birnbaum

    Beautifully threaded. The ending returns to the top — but now actualized. Lots to enjoy and ponder. Interested in the book now. Thank you.

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