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Lois Parker Edstrom

Lois Parker Edstrom

Lois's Web Site: http://loisparkeredstrom.com/

The Lesson of Plums


Lois Parker Edstrom, a retired nurse, is the author of two chapbooks and four full length collections of poetry. What Brings Us to Water won the 2010 Poetica Publishing Chapbook Award. What’s To Be Done With Beauty received the Creative Justice Award in 2012. Full length books include Night Beyond Black, MoonPath Press, 2016; Glint, MoonPath Press, 2019; Road Signs and Hobo Marks, Cyberwit, India, 2020, and The Lesson of Plums, MoonPath Press, 2020.

She has received two Hackney National Literary Awards, the Outrider Press Grand Prize, and the Westmoreland Award. Her poems have appeared in literary journals such as Clackamas Literary Review, Floating Bridge Review, Rock & Sling, Mobius, and Adanna. In 2017 and 2019, Edstrom’s work received nominations for a Pushcart Prize and the Washington State Book Award

Three of her poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, and one poem was featured in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. In 2016 Edstrom’s career in nursing and her poetic passion coalesced when her poem, "Choices We Make When We Are Too Young to Make Them," appeared in Poems in the Waiting Room, a publication furnished to hospitals and to doctors’ offices in New Zealand. Her poetry has been translated into braille, and has also been adapted to dance by the Bellingham Repertory Dance Company. The natural beauty of Whidbey Island, where she lives with her husband, inspires much of her work.


The Lesson of Plums: $16.00

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Read a review of The Lesson of Plums in Our Coast Magazine.

Read a review of The Lesson of Plums in Quill & Parchment.

Poem from
The Lesson of Plums

The Quiet Core of Chaos

We live amid chaos whether we recognize
it or not. I choose to live on an island
away from the blare and glare of the city

yet our island emerged from a violent birth,
rising from the depths of the sea, its craggy
face presenting a few miles distant from its

mainland mother. Volcanic eruptions
scattered agates along the shore,
a sudden disruptive upheaval.

The revelations of wind, the epiphany
of stars burning from the inside, blinking
their ancient stories into the shifting air.

Truth is always a bit odd. How meaning
may be found in the midst of chaos if
we listen, open ourselves to the risk

of what we might find inside. And isn’t this
what art is all about?

The Lesson of Plums


Glint: $16.00

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"Wolf Moon" from Glint was featured on Verse Daily

"Wolf Moon" from Glint was also featured on Quill and Parchment, along with two poems not in the book: "Winter Art" and "Apples of Winter"

"Changing Times" from Glint was featured on Your Daily Poem

Poem from Glint

Changing Times

Some days speak a language of contentment,
words of abundance, a song that pulses
in rhythm with my heart.

This summer morning, I need nothing more
than to walk to the market in sunlight, linger
near the peaches, nectarines, corn, baby lettuces,
arugula, and tomatoes mounded in outdoor bins.

The earnest young man arranging the fruit smiles,
as if the day is a gift wrapped in pleasure
and he the grateful recipient. I choose purple plums,
add a baguette, a sausage, a wedge of brie,
and chocolate for the picnic basket.

In the checkout line the woman behind me watches
as I write a check and I smile when I hear her say,
How quaint.

Glint


Night Beyond Black: $15.00

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Listen to Garrison Keillor read "Almanac," "Obervations of an OB/GYN Nurse," and "Choices We Make When We Are Too Young To Make Them" from Night Beyond Black on The Writer's Almanac.

"Doing Dishes" from Night Beyond Black was featured on Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry.

Poem from Night Beyond Black

Tamarack

I travel east into the Cascades
to a small town my parents
came to as newlyweds,
follow double yellow lines,
the road too treacherous for passing,
search for a small cabin
where I was conceived. More gold
than yellow, the center lines
mimic the hue of autumn tamarack
released of its evergreen pretensions.
The tamaracks flare
above a scud of clouds
draped over the valley,
rise
toward snow-topped peaks.
Carried out of these mountains
curled like a leaf
in my mother’s womb
I unfurled in a different place.
Return is like seeing the negative
from a long time ago,
a bright image that remains
for an instant
after you close your eyes.
    

Other Poems Online

Night Beyond Black