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

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

 

17

Sep

2019

flipped images

Author: Jim Taylor

I don’t write poems in a flush of enthusiasm. I start writing because there’s something in my gut that I want to express, but I don’t know how. So I write, and I set aside, and some day months along I come back to those inarticulate gropings and see something in them, and start rewriting, amending, polishing. 

            This is one of those long-buried beginnings, resurrected. 

flipped images

 

my printer went to sleep

it dozes off, when it’s not

making black marks on white paper

it has to keep itself busy

when it’s not, it turns its neurons off

grabs a nap, goes dormant

puts its digital processes on hold

to save energy

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22

Aug

2019

The invitation

Author: Jim Taylor

Hear the sad story of Johnathan Fewless

who knew that at sex he was hopelessly clewless.

He admits that without a specific instruction

he won’t recognize an attempt at seduction.

Coy hints are too easily misconstrued;

they don’t always mean someone wants to get scrued....

 

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Categories: Poetry

Tags: sex, seduction, humour

3

Aug

2019

Brain fog

Author: Jim Taylor

I watch as friends struggle to find words, to follow instructions, to grasp concepts. Some call it dementia; some call it cognitive impairment; some call it “chemo-brain.” And some simply wear a bewildered look. 

            I realize this is dangerous ground – I haven’t been there myself, yet. But by the time I get there, I won’t be able to put the experience into words. I also realize that the people who could tell me if I got it right – or badly wrong – probably can’t respond. My hope, however, is that this poem may help some of you, who have friends or relatives with some form of ongoing dementia, appreciate what they may be feeling. 

 

 

Brain fog

 

The fog creeps in

on little dendrites and axons, 

It short-circuits the fungal filaments 

that feed the chemistry of communication

from gray cell to… oh, what were the numbers

for the combination lock

on my memory locker?

Clarity scampers like a squirrel,

always just out of reach. 

I grasp at dust motes dancing in a sunbeam....

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Categories: Poetry

Tags: Dementia, aging, fog

19

Jul

2019

West of Winnipeg

Author: Jim Taylor

--

Prairie

Flatlined horizon

Flax fields, canola fields

Patchworked blue and yellow

Swedish flag quilted on rich brown loam

Telephone poles poke out of the future, one by one,

Pass by, get sucked back down on the far side of yesterday...


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Categories: Poetry

Tags: Winnipeg, prairie

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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