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WAVES by PJ Thomas Kirkus Star


by PJ Thomas

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 2022
ISBN: 9781777283711
Publisher: PAJE Press

This volume of poetry examines the various interpretations of the word waves and how they connect the author to the natural world.

Waves play a significant role in many of the collection’s poems. They range from the tiny waves on the sand in “Night Sense” that bind Thomas to the world around her to the “tidal waves of tears” in her friend’s eyes in “You’re Not Alone” and the waves of light in “Lions and Lizards” that emanate from within everyone and are created through experience and enlightenment. But perhaps the most powerful utilization of the word comes in “Midsummer’s Night,” in which the Canadian poet is engaged in sacred communion with the planet and the universe during a summer evening. The poem begins with a desire, a wish: “I want to absorb this night, / take in every morsel / of the full cheeks of the moon; / swallow whole the falling stars.” But the piece ends with Thomas understanding her want as actually something essential, a requirement to sustain her being: “I need fluidity, / so the waves can pass through me; / waves of the moon rays / glinting from the bay, / the song in the poplars, / and the silvery wind / playing across the wheat tops.” Another narrative thread running throughout this tapestry of poems is the use of nature and wildlife imagery taken from the poet’s quiet existence by the Otonabee River in central Ontario. For example, Thomas deftly immerses readers in her memory of every summer “that always ends just as it’s peaking” in “September Market,” with meticulous descriptions of place: “One minute it’s watermelon, / and the next, pumpkin squash on laden down tables / at the chilly fall fair. / The corn waits in its husk. / Crickets sing through the dusk / that comes so much earlier now. / The ducks are leaving the pond / to follow the bright, warm sun.”

A sublime poetry collection with a simple message: Embrace the ebb and flow of existence.