Lessons of the Plum
by Lois Parker Edstrom
102 Pages ~ 78 Poems
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-936657-55-1
Publisher: MoonPath Press
To Order: http://MoonPathPress.com
loisparkeredstrom.com or Amazon.com


In The Lesson of Plums, poet Lois Parker Edstrom displays her full range of poetic skill.
Edstrom would be the last to agree that she has, in any sense, “arrived” as a poet. For art,
as with life itself, is always developing, always evolving, always becoming. However, the
poet’s insight into the human condition, laid ever-so-gently in the hands of her devoted
followers, speaks for itself. She bids us consider, “What of the infants—those who leave
us too soon? / They only taste of air, tiny sips from fragile teacups.” // She describes the
nine-year-old who, sporting a new Spalding baseball glove, stands for the rest of us who
struggle “To lose our awkwardness, to be anointed / with that which softens us, makes us/
more pliable; conforming to fit / who we are meant to be … ” This new volume, as
suggested by the title, is full of lessons, not imposed, but offered in love.


“Fortunate readers of Lois Parker Edstrom’s new collection will be treated to the poet’s
exceptional skill in mixing the outer, visible world of nature, the inner, invisible world of
the human spirit, all wrapped in a shawl of Divine light. Edstrom avers, ‘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
—Michael Escoubas is author of Little Book of Devotions: Poems that Connect Nature,
God and Man.

“In her latest collection, The Lesson of Plums, Lois Parker Edstrom explores ‘the tension
between things,’ ‘the difference between beginning and the end.’ Through her words we
explore ocean depths and volcanic eruptions, learn that what ripens into sweetness might
not be without its cracks and scars yet shows forth an inner light. Poems rooted in
mystery weave seamlessly vignettes of life on her island home, love that rises to the edge
of risk, and the fits of a life spent listening and being present. Abiding in the spaces
between understanding and the unexpected, ‘insight rides on the susurrus / of waves
faithful to the shore.’’’
—Ronda Piszk Broatch, is author of Lake of Fallen Constellations.


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 various anthologies and in
literary journals such as Clackamas Literary Review, Floating Bridge Review, Rock &
Sing, Mobius, American Writers Review,
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 a
poem was featured in 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 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.


Poet’s Wish List

by Lois Parker Edstrom

Arrange stained-glass words that scatter
Light, like the blessing of rainbows
and the lessons of rain.

Cobble together a contented tune,
a notion to dance in the midst
of uncompromising gloom.

Excavate an innermost site,
sift through rubble to unearth
a thought that glitters.

Burn negatives, old hurts
that keep on hurting, stored
in memory’s broken box.

Settle in reverie’s pocket,
comfortable among the silver coins
jingling there.

Start a fire with kindling and flint,
a breath to make it flame
and glow.

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