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Best Famous Marilyn L Taylor Poems


Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Marilyn L Taylor poems. This is a select list of the best famous Marilyn L Taylor poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Marilyn L Taylor poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Marilyn L Taylor poems.

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by Marilyn L Taylor |

Reading the Obituaries

 Now the Barbaras have begun to die,
trailing their older sisters to the grave,
the Helens, Margies, Nans—who said goodbye
just days ago, it seems, taking their leave 
a step or two behind the hooded girls 
who bloomed and withered with the century—
the Dorotheas, Eleanors and Pearls
now swaying on the edge of memory.
Soon, soon, the scythe will sweep for Jeanne
and Angela, Patricia and Diane—
pause, and return for Karen and Christine
while Susan spends a sleepless night again. 
 Ah, Debra, how can you be growing old? 
 Jennifer, Michelle, your hands are cold.


by Marilyn L Taylor |

The Blue Water Buffalo

 One in 250 Cambodians, or 40,000 people,
have lost a limb to a landmine.
—Newsfront, U.N. Development Programme Communications Office 



On both sides of the screaming highway, the world
is made of emerald silk—sumptuous bolts of it,
stitched by threads of water into cushions
that shimmer and float on the Mekong's munificent glut. 

In between them plods the ancient buffalo—dark blue
in the steamy distance, and legless
where the surface of the ditch dissects
the body from its waterlogged supports below

or it might be a woman, up to her thighs
in the lukewarm ooze, bending at the waist
with the plain grace of habit, delving for weeds
in water that receives her wrist and forearm

as she feels for the alien stalk, the foreign blade
beneath that greenest of green coverlets
where brittle pods in their corroding skins
now shift, waiting to salt the fields with horror.


by Marilyn L Taylor |

The Geniuses Among Us

 They take us by surprise, these tall perennials
that jut like hollyhocks above the canopy
of all the rest of us—bright testimonials
to the scale of human possibility.
They come to bloom for every generation,
blazing with extraordinary notions
from the taproots of imagination—
dazzling us with incandescent visions.
And soon, the things we never thought would happen
start to happen: the solid fences
of reality begin to soften,
crumbling into fables and romances—
and we turn away from where we've been
to a new place, where light is pouring in.


by Marilyn L Taylor |

For Lucy Who Came First

 She simply settled down in one piece right where she was,
    in the sand of a long-vanished lake edge or stream--and died.
       —Donald C. Johanson, paleoanthropologist


When I put my hand up to my face
I can trace her heavy jawbone and the sockets
of her eyes under my skin. And in the dark
I sometimes feel her trying to uncurl    
from where she sank into mudbound sleep
on that soft and temporary shore

so staggeringly long ago, time
had not yet cut its straight line
through the tangle of the planet,
nor taken up the measured sweep
that stacks the days and seasons
into an ordered past.

But I can feel her stirring
in the core of me, trying to rise up
from the deep hollow where she fell—
wanting to prowl on long callused toes
to see what made that shadow move,
to face the creature in the dark thicket

needing to know if this late-spreading dawn
will bring handfuls of berries, black
as blood, or the sting of snow,
or the steady slap of sand and weed
that wraps itself like fur
around the body.


by Marilyn L Taylor |

Subject to Change

  A reflection on my students

They are so beautiful, and so very young
they seem almost to glitter with perfection,
these creatures that I briefly move among.

I never get to stay with them for long,
but even so, I view them with affection:
they are so beautiful, and so very young.

Poised or clumsy, placid or high-strung,
they’re expert in the art of introspection,
these creatures that I briefly move among—

And if their words don’t quite trip off the tongue
consistently, with just the right inflection,
they remain beautiful. And very young.

Still, I have to tell myself it’s wrong
to think of them as anything but fiction,
these creatures that I briefly move among—

Because, like me, they’re traveling headlong
in that familiar, vertical direction
that coarsens beautiful, blackmails young,
and turns to phantoms those I move among.


by Marilyn L Taylor |

Reverie with Fries

 Straight-spined girl—yes, you of the glinting earrings,
amber skin and sinuous hair: what happened?
you’ve no business lunching with sticky children
here at McDonald’s.

Are they yours? How old were you when you had them?
You are far too dazzling to be their mother,
though I hear them spluttering Mommy Mommy
over the Muzak.

Do you plan to squander your precious twenties
wiping ketchup dripping from little fingers,
drowning your ennui in a Dr. Pepper
from the dispenser?

Were I you for one schizophrenic moment,
I’d display my pulchritude with a graceful
yet dismissive wave to the gathered burghers
feeding their faces—

find myself a job as a super-model,
get me to those Peloponnesian beaches
where I’d preen all day with a jug of ouzo
in my bikini.

Would I miss the gummy suburban vinyl,
hanker for the Happiest Meal on Main Street?
—Wouldn’t one spectacular shrug suffice for
begging the question?


by Marilyn L Taylor |

Again

 The children are back, the children are back—
They’ve come to take refuge, exhale and unpack;
The marriage has faltered, the job has gone bad,
Come open the door for them, Mother and Dad.

The city apartment is leaky and cold,
The landlord lascivious, greedy and old—
The mattress is lumpy, the oven’s encrusted,
The freezer, the fan, and the toilet have rusted.

The company caved, the boss went broke,
The job and the love-affair, all up in smoke.
The anguish of loneliness comes as a shock—
O heart in the doldrums, O heart in hock.

And so they return with their piles of possessions,
Their terrified cats and their mournful expressions
Reclaiming the bedrooms they had in their teens,
Clean towels, warm comforter, glass figurines.

Downstairs in the kitchen the father and mother
Don’t say a word, but they look at each other
As down the hill comes Jill, comes Jack.
The children are back. The children are back.


by Marilyn L Taylor |

To the Mother of a Dead Marine

 Your boy once touched me, yes. I knew you knew
when your wet, reddened gaze drilled into me,
groped through my clothes for signs, some residue 
of him—some lusciousness of mine that he
had craved, that might have driven his desire
for things perilous, poisonous, out-of-bounds.
Could I have been the beast he rode to war?
The battle mounted in his sleep, the rounds
of ammunition draped like unblown blossoms
round his neck? Could I have somehow flung
myself against the wall of his obsessions,
leaving spells and curses on his tongue?
Your fingers tighten, ready to engage
the delicate hair-trigger of your rage.


by Marilyn L Taylor |

At the End

 In another time, a linen winding sheet
would already have been drawn
about her, the funeral drums by now

would have throbbed their dull tattoo
into the shadows writhing 
behind the fire’s eye

while a likeness
of her narrow torso, carved
and studded with obsidian

might have been passed from hand
to hand and rubbed against the bellies
of women with child

and a twist of her gray hair
been dipped in oil
and set alight, releasing the essence

of her life’s elixir, pricking
the nostrils of her children
and her children’s children

whose amber faces nod and shine
like a ring of lanterns
strung around her final flare--

but instead, she lives in this white room
gnawing on a plastic bracelet
as she is emptied, filled and emptied.