Odysseys for the Soul

Selected Poems by Linda L. Beeman


Linda Beeman is an award-winning non-fiction writer and poet living on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. She is the author of Wallace, Idaho ó a chapbook of poems celebrating the history of her gritty silver-mining hometown. Her poems have been published in Windfall: A Journal of Poetry of Place, Colorado Mesa Universityís Pinyon, and online at Adanna and the University of Chicagoís Euphony Journal.

Her exploratory travel articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Foreign Service Journal.

She researches and writes extensively about antique textiles from South and Southeast Asia and believes that curiosity extends the catís life.


Accumulation of Days

We age, we bemoan
slippery memory
broken sleep
chronic pain

We reach for grace
iced forsythia on a February morning
the shape of an owl’s wing in slow flight
wood smoke smells in old textiles
acceptance that what’s undone will wait

Accumulated insights layer one upon another
knowledge sifted through humility
justice measured with compassion
beauty sculpted by imperfection
love honed with patience
hope balancing wisdom

Our voyages out
eventually bring us home
where we acknowledge
the unknowns we sought
were coded

deep within us
all along

Give and Take

you know how
you pray to rain
to its downward fall

asking that it take you
soak the earth
grow green shards
exhale oxygen

send it up again
one long ongoing chant
for redemption

Lurching Toward Wholeness

turning the hundredth corner
of that coastline road
pelicans balanced in mid-air
stationary on their current
took my breath

when we are fleeing pain
trying to reconcile mean loss
these are the moments that
etch themselves glass sharp
yet comfort like wind over grass

when anguish tugs us
like a sweat-soaked sheet
despair floods us again
in the minute after waking
these jolts of beauty

as I hold divinity’s glance
without blinking
feel strength’s first surge
bring me back to myself
lurching toward wholeness

Travel Tip

Wherever you go
there you’re not

Travel is all about
seeing through other eyes
making yourself unobtrusive
gaping at small wonders
finding courage to ask

Wherever you go
pack humbly