Poems by Lucy Wilson


Distant Thunder

I. Monster Mash

My sister noticed first:
“You walk like an old lady.”
I was forty-six, but she was right.
I could not, would not, see.

One day on the beach in Hermosa,
walking along the shore,
I stopped and looked back.
The sea tried to hide the evidence
but I was too quick:
step slide, step slide, step slide.
It can’t be me, I thought,
walking like a B-movie zombie
dragging my right foot.
But there was no one else around,
just sand and sea and me,
my foot prints fading.
Then I knew.

II. Moving On

Those who have made the transition,
from good health to illness
have heard the doctor’s voice
like distant thunder
as the roaring in their ears
spilled into the room
mocking plans, fomenting fear:
cancer, diabetes, heart, kidney
prognosis, pills, Parkinson’s.

Does pain keep us grounded?
Are loves lost an opportunity for letting go?
Disappointments mulch for new growth?
Perhaps illness is an honor,
brevity of life preferable to longevity.
Perhaps the point is
to move on

III. Yoga

Once I was so limber that yoga came easily.
I amazed my friends by standing on my head
with legs in full lotus position.
Maintaining balance on two legs, two feet
was effortless, mindless, but Parkinson’s changed all that.
Join me close to the ground.
Lower your center of gravity.
From crouching poses springs mental energy,
courage to confront our monsters.
Knees protesting? Use a chair.
There is no wrong way to pray
but there are degrees.
When we listen to our bodies,
the spirit responds.

Salute to the Sun

Below my terrace
east-facing flowers
fill with light
turning yellow to gold
and pink to deepest coral.
A tiny airborne bird does backwards flips.
This is no ordinary bird:
self-immolating and self-renewing
in a single gesture.
I cannot see the rising sun
but sun’s emissary sings morning light
into my soul.

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Lucy Wilson is Professor Emerita (English Department) at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. In February 2015 her collection of poems, Wind on Water: Poems on Healing Arts and Songs of Love, was published by Transcendent Zero Press. Her previous publications include a book on Caribbean women writers and approximately 20 articles on 20th century British, American, and Anglophone Caribbean literature. In 2016, she released another outstanding poetry collection called Poems from the Left Coast. Dr. Wilson writes verse that reflects her passion for W.B. Yeats, environmentalism, John Donne, post-colonial Caribbean literature, and freedom from patriarchy.


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