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

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

 

21

Jun

2019

Everything

Author: Jim Taylor

Diana Butler-Bass’s book Groundedcontinues to set my creative juices surging. Here’s another poem, this time based on a lyrical description on pages 28-29 of the paperback edition. 

 

Sky

sea

sand

hills ripple along the horizon

sunrise softly suffuses pearl

the glow of awe

paint palettes merge and blend

watercolour on wet paper


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1

Jun

2019

Earth and water

Author: Jim Taylor

This poem was deeply influenced by Chapters 1 and 2 in Diana Butler-Bass’s latest book, Grounded (HarperOne, HarperCollilns, New York 2015). I recommend it. 

 

Dig your hands into the dirt.

Crumble its fibres in your fingers. 

Let the grains of humble humus 

sift down to holy earth. 

The soil is all your relations,

decomposed and recomposed,

the dust and ashes, the legacy

 of everything that ever lived.....


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Categories: Poetry

Tags: water, Communion, Mass, earth

17

May

2019

Unrequited

Author: Jim Taylor

I offered you a lake of love

Clear, deep, sun-dancing,

Refreshed by mountain streams. 

 

You waded in up to your ankles, 

Then you shook the water off your feet

And dried between your toes.


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16

Apr

2019

The Rock

Author: Jim Taylor

I've had this poem in the works for almost a year. I kept adding bits of description, clarifying metaphors and analogies, fussing with parallels... I couldn't make up my mind whether it was about the church, or politics, or science. I dug it out last week, and started cutting all the preachy stuff. It's up to you, the reader, to decide what it's about. 

 A rock, rough and rugged.

crashed into a rushing river.

The river pulled back,

waves roiling away from the intruder.

But the river forgave the rock,

wrapped its long blue arms around the newcomer,

hugged it, caressed it, invited it to travel

down to the sea....


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Categories: Poetry

Tags: Evolution, Rocks, rivers, erosion

8

Mar

2019

Dew drops

Author: Jim Taylor

On the coldest day of the coldest month ever recorded here in the Okanagan Valley, I caught myself thinking wistfully about spring. Into my mind popped a vision of dew drops clinging to fresh green grass in the morning sun. If felt so attractive I began writing a poem. 


dew drop clings to a spiring stem

spherical lens magnifies

nano-scenes within the grass

shivers in a morning breeze

sun yawns over the eastern rim of the bowl of life 

overflows

spilling holiness across

a waking world


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Categories: Poetry

Tags: dew dawn grass

8

Feb

2019

Absolute zero

Author: Jim Taylor

The numbing cold that has swathed most of Canada during February prompted my mind to wander into uncharted territory. 

Cold slithers down

from the far side of 60 degrees, latitude.

When it’s that cold,

when tears turn into salt hailstones

when spit ricochets,

the scale doesn’t matter.

But even a polar vortex

retains measurable warmth.

Heat itself ceases

at absolute zero —

on the Kelvin scale, minus 273.15 Celsius —

a temperature beyond which

there is no beyond.

 

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21

Jan

2019

When it’s time for me to go

Author: Jim Taylor

When it’s time for me to go,

I drift to the edges

of the bubbling broth 

of chatter

and then I slip 

silently 

into the night outside. 


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Categories: Poetry

Tags: death, departure

21

Jan

2019

Pointy hoods

Author: Jim Taylor

I added a picture to this poem, so that you would have a better sense of the scene that prompted this reflection. You'll have to go to the main page to see it, though. 

 

Fresh snow coats the spiky crowns of evergreens

into narrow cones of shining white

steepled against a brillig sky -- 

a vast convocation 

of pointy white hoods.

 

Do spruce trees also

have pointy little brains

beneath their whited hoods?

 

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26

Dec

2018

Crescent moon

Author: Jim Taylor

This poem grew out of seeing the sliver of a new moon, suspended in the night sky shortly after sunset. Net time you see such a moon, try reciting this poem out loud to it. 



Hail to thee, silver crescent in the sky.

Tell me what you think you are.

 

Are you the universal sickle --

whetstoned symbol of seasonal harvest,

a harbinger of hope 

that reaps the plainest grains,

to feed the famined millions?

 

Or are you the scimitar of Saladin, 

white-hot steel tempered in the algebra of zero....


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5

Dec

2018

Depression

Author: Jim Taylor

            A friend is going through a deep depression.  I tried to imagine myself inside his skin, and out came another poem. It begins

Dimness descends like a curtain.

Murk buries me, plugs my nostrils,

seals my ears; I hear nothing,

not even my own thoughts.

I wallow in my private pig-sty.

I want to move, but my muscles

have turned to water; every step feels like

wading in molasses....


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Categories: Poetry

Tags: Depression, misery, despair

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