July 7, 2016

Four poems by Jo Barbara Taylor: "Flight," " Finding Your Way," "Liberation," and "Spring Chiamus"

Jo Barbara Taylor lives in North Carolina, but is an Indiana farm girl at heart. Her poems and academic writing have appeared in journals, magazines, anthologies and online, most recently in Grey Sparrow and Boston Literary Magazine. She has published four chapbooks, and a full-length collection is forthcoming in from Chatter House Press. She leads poetry writing workshops for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute through Duke Continuing Education.
My website is:  Jo Barbara Taylor



The boy stops his tractor and plow in the bean field,
his hand angles a shade above his eyes.

               The silver hawk slides beneath the lavender
               sky above tufts of blue-tipped clouds

He follows the jet, tracks parallel mists
through blue clouds dappling the sunlight

               like lace doilies on green patchwork.
               It does not dip its wings to greet the boy

From his singular landed spot, the boy dreams
of his own destination,

               intent on the flight, tracing
               his own mission.


In the air today, restless need for change.
Exit only to a road you've never traveled,
find a field of Holsteins, a coop of Rhode Island Reds
fattening up for the local lodge's next bar-b-cue plate.
(Check the date)

Crack your knuckles, sort truth from fiction.
Tackle a story problem from eighth grade math,
solve for X: the rate at which one plane flies east
while the train goes west, meet in Kansas City at noon.
(Drive to Chicago)

Venus in your sign sends a message:
don't love the wine you're with, taste
another grape from a different vineyard,
different valley. Play a game of solitaire.
(Shuffle the cards)

X is variable to your need for dairy cows,
fresh brown eggs, grapevine wreaths.
Lick your index finger, hold it high,
discover a change in the air.
(Follow the breeze)


Cloudless night. I share
a bottle of Riesling with a lover,
burrow into my sofa
under the skylight,
        cobwebs ghosting
      with the ceiling fan's breeze.

I cannot see the spider,
though it must lurk
in a midnight shadow
        an escape route.

What I really want is to swing.
Push off on the edge of the moon
          curved like a silver teaspoon,
arc back from the stars,
          no sofa, no lover
          no cobwebs
          to bury me
          beneath a skylight. 


Following a night of March winds
a million nocturne kites sailed
          to heaven or beyond,
dawn was cotton candy unwinding
across a cornflower sky.

Newborn leaves cradled in trees napped,
and tall grasses, pistachio and tangerine,
slouched like adolescent boys
too cool for kites and cotton candy.

Oh, how I fancy cornflowers picked fresh,
pink cotton candy on a white paper cone,
a floating kite tail
           of worn out muslin,

Jo Barbara Taylor 

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