Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

To make Comments write directly to Jim at jimt@quixotic.ca

 

20

Oct

2018

Ahriman wins

Author: Jim Taylor

Like many of the Psalms of lament in the Bible, this poem combines disillusionment and hope. Rather than the psalm format, though, I have chosen  to locate it in the pre-Jewish myths of Zoroastrianism. 

 

Ahura Mazda kneels in the sand

Patiently building a castle. 

Grain by grain it rises. 

Towers of trust.

Gates of welcome. 

Living spaces lit with laughter. 

Banquet halls full of sharing. 

 

Ahriman knows 

that a single stomp 

can reduce the castle to rubble. 


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Categories: Poetry

Tags: Ahura Mazda, Ahriman, good, evil

8

Oct

2018

Silence

Author: Jim Taylor

I have never been able to meditate the way some others do. Either I fall asleep, or my mind races. So I wrote about it. 


Silence is a pool, deep and green.

I sink into its welcoming womb. 

I empty my mind

            thinking of nothing 

                        nothing at all 

            but nothing abhors a vacuum....

 

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Categories: Poetry

Tags: silence, words, meditate

15

Sep

2018

A shining

Author: Jim Taylor

It’s easy to say what I don’t believe in anymore – an all-knowing grandfather God who sits on a cloud somewhere up there, out there, distant but keeping an eye on everything, delivering rewards and punishments,, and upsetting things here on earth with what we call “acts of God.” But then people ask me, “So what kind of God do you believe in?” And I find prose can’t do it; poetry at least comes closer. 

 

 Faces  talk around a table

knees warm around a campfire

voices sing in a circle

hands clasp in the darkness

and in between, among, around them

hovers a shining.... 


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Categories: Poetry

Tags: God, shining, presence

27

Aug

2018

At the edge

Author: Jim Taylor

Two matched verses, connecting two natural events. 

 

The waterfall 

clings to the edge of an abyss

with its fingernails....


An old man 

clings to the edge of an abyss....




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Categories: Poetry

Tags: death, waterfall, mortality

13

Aug

2018

Perplexing pronouns

Author: Jim Taylor

I’m not sure whether this is a poem, a meditation, or an experiment. And I almosthope you find it confusing. You see, we all know what pronouns are. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines them as “a word used instead of a noun to designate a person or thing already known…” In theory, then, a pronoun  is simply a stand-in. But a pronoun  is also a word in its own right; the choice of pronoun has its own implications. It conveys singular or plural, gender, and even the closeness of the relationship. So how, I wondered, do the pronouns we use for God affect our perceptions of that, umm, whatever?

 

...Can one still be one when two are one?

Now am We, and They are I

And He and She are You and Me— 

And I don’t know who I is anymore.

 

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Categories: Poetry

Tags: God, pronouns

26

Jul

2018

Forest fire

Author: Jim Taylor

Water bombers roar low above the treetops.

Smoke billows black against the sky.

Flames flicker up trees.

Sirens wail.

Pack up --

Right now.

Fifteen minutes.

Don’t talk,

just do it.

Find suitcases.

How many days’ underwear will I need?

 

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17

Jul

2018

Heat

Author: Jim Taylor

In this summer of 2018, as a heat wave covered North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts, my thoughts turned to those who do not have air-conditioning. 

 

Heat is not an adjective.

It is a thing, a physical being, an octopus

that wraps its tentacles around my neck, my shoulders.....


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Categories: Poetry

Tags: heat, stifling

9

Jul

2018

Out of silence

Author: Jim Taylor

Dedicated to the notion that all life-changing experiences emerge from The Great Silence. 

 

A tentative note sings in a silence.

It evokes a second note, in harmony with the first.

Their chord invites more notes -- 

a rush, a torrent, that dances like raindrops,

a bouquet, a cascade,

 


 

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Categories: Poetry

Tags: music, silence, harmony, word, thought

29

Jun

2018

Skinny dipping

Author: Jim Taylor

I slide into the water,

like slipping into a silk robe.

I have left my concerns with my clothes.

In the water, I have no weight, no body, no burden.

Soft velvet caresses me everywhere; 

I have no private parts. 

 

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Categories: Poetry

Tags: skinny dipping, naked, free

16

Jun

2018

Choose!

Author: Jim Taylor

Dedicated to those who find they must make difficult choices, that may mean letting go of something that used to be precious. 

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