In the Moment
by Marcel Aime Duclos
60 poems,72 pages
ISBN 13: 978-1546452751
ISBN 10: 1546452753
Publisher: Create Space, Charleston, SC
To Order: Amazon
Reviewed by Michael Escoubas
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.—Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
The foregoing quote from the incomparable Persian poet seems a fitting way to introduce lucky readers to Marcel Aime Duclos’ new collection. Before anyone applied the term “mindfulness” to poetry, Rumi was already writing the genre in 13th century Iran. While the last thing in Duclos’ mind or in his heart, is a comparison with Rumi, I found myself thinking of Rumi as I read through the poems. Only after reading through the work for the first time, did I notice that in fact the collection owes its existence to none other than Rumi, “In gratitude . . . to him who, with the swish of his humble robes, lent me his gentle fire . . .” the dedicatory page reads. Subsequent readings, four in number, revealed to me that Duclos’ poetry deserves to reside in the personal libraries of all who value poetry as spiritual sustenance.
Style and Presentation
In the Moment contains sixty untilted poems.The poet chose to present his poems in Malgun Gothic. This elegant sans serif font is easy on the eyes and suggests a certain humble restraint. Lines are double-spaced, centered with most poems appearing in full on one page. Punctuation is sparse as the linebreaks are sufficient indicators of thought progression. The poet’s diction, similarly, is a perfect dovetail with typographic presentation. Duclos is never fancy or flamboyant, but gentle, kind and self-effacing as he elucidates indepth ideas with clarity married to wisdom.
She presents the steamed
Thai cuisine – a holy meal.
In a mere eleven lines, it becomes evident that the unnamed presenter is accomplishing more with her presence that simply serving food.
I needed #4 a few years ago when my flight got cancelled. Reading theses lines would have undoubtedly put my angry soul to rest and given me something to do during the waiting game.
Duclos’ background as a philosopher, theologian and practicing psychotherapist comes into play in many poems.
The plane will not split the fog
Unpack your bags.
Caress the guitar.
You fill me and I find a smile.
The mountain road splits the clouds
Oh, the hills. So soft.
and the elk trails disappear.
Who is the “You” in the poem? I read the pronoun as referring to Deity. However, there is nothing in the poet’s treatment of his subject that compels readers to conclude a necessary reference to orthodoxy. In the Moment is a resource for all poetry lovers.
Duclos is acutely aware of surrounding landscapes and the power of nature as a meditative stimulant.
At first a blur,
then an owl wings herself.
She air-brushes my face.
Read the entire poem to discover how an owl air-brushing one’s face leads to
invite us all to the banquet
Were I to choose one poem from In the Moment as definitive my selection would be
No deadlines loom essential:
the downing of a wormed cedar,
the fetching of holiday rum,
the stock market closing.
It isn’t that the poet doesn’t appreciate deadlines or that he ignores the buzz and hum of the world around him, it is simply that he has learned that living a full life includes all of these and one thing more:
I feel the lightness of the now
as on the wings of a monarch.
Friends, would that more of us learn to live, in the spacious universe of the moment.
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