Poetically Yours Ep. 33 - Rockford Poet Reflects On The Wonders Of Nature

Mar 19, 2021

Welcome to WNIJ's Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week features Rhonda Parsons. 

 

Rhonda Parsons.
Credit Photo provided by Rhonda Parsons.

Parsons discovered she had a talent for writing when she elected to take creative writing at Hononegah High School. The first assignment was not a poem, but a story inspired by the wind. In an effort to prepare for the assignment, the class went outside, linked themselves together and ran into the wind. She said it was such a unique way to become inspired.  The story was to be read out loud with a piece of music accompanying it. She chose instrumental music and the wind was metaphorical. Hence, the title, Written on the Wind. That story was the first of the positive feedback she received that semester. It encouraged her to continue writing after the semester ended.

Since then, she has received an award from Rock Valley College and the Rockford Writers' Guild, for her book, “If A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words.” She’s also shared her vision in newspaper editorials and performed publicly at Holy Day celebrations.

Parson said, the reason for her success lies in the words of one of her favorite poets, Robert Frost: "no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader."

She is excited about the opportunity to share her poems with new people. The reason lies in an event which occurred several winters ago. She was looking out the window. Most of the ground was covered with snow, except for one green patch. To most people, it would just be grass. However, Parsons said she has been blessed to hear the "voice" of nature. Thus, the grass had a message: the world is waiting for your vision.

Besides writing, Parsons enjoys painting, hiking, meditating, and playing with the family’s chihuahuas. Today she marvels on wonders of nature with her poem "Original Library."

“The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth.”   - Luther Standing Bear

Let me take you to a library

where prairie grass and wildflowers are structures of support

and Father Sun and Mr. Moon jazz up the room

it’s open 24/7

Come inside, take shelter from the downpour of dis-illusion,

the thunder, the lightning, of ignorance, and greed

Let me take you to a library

where the books are rocks and leaves

and sunsets are the pages

hued with One Great story

of One Who Made the planets and glorious, wonderful you

Set it before your eyes

The colors rise and break the darkness

Every Day and Age

Come be illumined, be one with the words

every streak of grandeur was written for you, and you, and you

Let me take you to a library

where the forest floor’s a laptop connected to the Wood Wide Web

tap it with your fingers, tap it with your toes

tap for minutes, tap for hours, whatever your heart desires

Come learn the language of the trees

And other vegetation

How they love thy neighbor, warn of impending danger

Come learn of all they shelter, how they hold it all together

And how they give and give and give

Come inside, take shelter from the “heat”

born of a sun with no warmth and false humanity

Let me take you to a library

where the first birds of spring

teach meditation and singing blues into praises

Come inside, take shelter from the lingering “winter”

born of dancers twirling sporadically with the seasons

and the natural circle of life

Come inside, have you been here before?

It’s the original library

the one the first Americans knew

The “books” were flung open

Everyday

the words dancing in hearts

and minds, portrayed Light

and actions brought the words to life

Come inside, take shelter from the storm

there’re books galore for you

you can choose the bumblebee or the butterfly

bunnies and baby bobcats are free on the shelves

And if you’re still hungry for knowledge

Try the black bear or the brown

They’re waiting just for you

Come inside, come inside

quench your thirst for more

the library’s always open

and you don’t need a card.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.