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