by Cynthia Linkas
84 pages 80 poems
Publisher: Kelsay Books (April 14, 2020)
To Order: kelsaybooks.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Tumbled Time is about the everyday moments of life; a slow burning
search for a spiritual presence. Just as seaglass tumbles, the passage
and meaning of time grows as we live in the now of each day. I love
stories and portraits—of creatures, trees, family loves, heartaches,
joys, loss, and grief. I find hope and solace in the steadfastness and
beauty of the earth.
Cynthia Linkas isn't afraid to express the kind of happiness that
would stun most of us into silence. At a son's wedding she's
remembering how many times we've tumbled
oh, how we've tumbled
into a net so strong,
so tightly woven
Her love is deeply serious. Barn owls mate for life, and "when one
mate dies, the other spins his head/ around over his back, stops
hunting." And to her husband she describes "one skin stretched over
two beings." In her family life, and in her music teaching, her
religion of praise is grounded in the body: She sees the tall winter
trees that surround her yard as "muscular, towering angels" and an
infant daughter as "soon to turn" a "strong yell/ into fiery song."
Linkas has music flowing in her veins, and reading these poems will
make you braver about acknowledging the depth of your own joy.
—Alan Feldman, winner of the 2016 Massachusetts Book Award
for Poetry; author of Immortality and The Golden Coin
As the editor of a quarterly poetry journal, I have read scores of
poems from contemporary poets, but few have measured up to the poems
in this moving collection by Cynthia Linkas. And out of all the other
poems I have read, none of them have moved me more or stayed with me
longer than her poems Heron or Stars. They have stayed with me since I
first read them more than a decade ago.
Ms. Linkas choreographs words, images, and feelings to reveal both
the iridescent in the ordinary and the everlasting in the life-altering.
If poetry were music, she would be Stradivarius.
—Peter C. Leverich, Editor/Emeritus The Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poetry
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cynthia Linkas publishes poems in literary journals, especially The Aurorean,
Poem, and The Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poetry. Her short story,
Baggage, won the PEN Syndicated Fiction contest, was published nationally, and
read aloud on NPR's The Sound of Writing. Her novel, The Roller Palace, was
one of five finalists for the Midlist Press Competition and shortlisted by Tupelo Press. A
professional singer and lifelong music teacher, she especially loves Renaissance choral
music. She has performed for years with Convivium Musicum of Boston and the Christ
Church Choir of Hamilton-Wenham, Massachusetts.
FROM THE BOOK:
by Cynthia Linkas
Barn owls mate for life, find each other through hearing;
their noses and eyes, nearly useless.
White-faced, round-eyed, innately smart,
they solve problems, tell time,
never forget the mate's beating heart.
This morning we fold into each others' warmth
the same for forty years, so like the owls.
A chewing mouse can draw the male from a black sky
where he's been hovering on golden wings.
All night, he hunts mice for his mate and young,
his long talons frantic, quivering.
Nothing else will do in nature's scheme.
Without mice, barn owls die.
And when one mate dies, the other spins his head
around over his back, stops hunting. Dies of sorrow.
I think of our own needs like theirs, so embedded, so precise,
that when unmet, we die small deaths.
And of how imprinted we are when we love,
with forever, unassailable marks
inside this warm, known fit of our bodies.