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This Old Tree of Mine; a Taste of Louisiana

Posted in on March 2, 2010 by Illyria Taylor

Another visit to the land of the ghost trees and I am haunted by their beauty.

Spanish moss waves carelessly in the wind, at dusk it whispers of derelict sails of long sunken pirate ships.

In Louisiana it sings the song of the South, of all the grandeur of plantations lost and enslaved men freed, of battles won and lost to both Nature and the Tribes of Man.

Surviving only on air and water these beautiful strands of white and mint green resemble gaudy mardi gras beads, man’s best attempt at reproduction.

I took as much as I could before I left, not believing I will never return, but just in case.

They are a fine addition to this Old Tree of Mine, the birds are already playing with it, looking for nesting material I suppose, and if it doesn’t survive it will be just as beautiful in death as it was in life, either way, if I never go back, I brought the heart of it with me.


March (challenge)

Posted in on March 2, 2010 by Illyria Taylor

MARCH (calling all Calendar kids!)

M aybe March does roar in like a lion.

A ries is my sign, and I roar it proudly.

R ams have been known to lay down with the lion, but the lion is the beast at peril.

C oming on the heels of a freezing winter, the promise of Spring in the Air, something greatly roars.

H appy birthdays my fellow friends, roar to the heavens and declare that we were the first!

Sing for me, Again

Posted in on February 2, 2010 by Illyria Taylor


Many years ago my friend Tina gave me a keychain that resembles a medicine ball, she gave it to me because she knows I like prismatic colors, and this small steel orb shines the colors of oil on wet pavement, all of the colors of the rainbow flow and ebb over it’s surface and it reminds me of the reflections of light on the waters of the oceans of my youth.

It began singing to me three days after she gave it me, the song it sings is the sound of distant church bells, soft yet strong, high but deep, an unexpected surprise from a simple keychain, years later Tina told me that it was meant to do that but it wouldn’t sing for her and somehow she knew it would sing for me, and it has been singing for twelve years now.

It stopped singing to me in November of last year, there was just too much pain and loss and stress, so much negative energy in my life that I barely noted it’s passing, and four days ago my elderly father was rushed in for emergency surgery that I was told he would not survive.

As I watched my child cry hysterically I held strong for her, grandpa has been her best friend from the moment she was born, and I could not let her see my fear, I could not allow myself to think of anything beyond the next minute.

My father was moved out of ICU two days ago and will be home this weekend, whatever fears we had will have to wait a few more years now, the men in my family are a tough breed to beat down, and the woman are even tougher.

In my frantic rush to get to work this morning, to get the errands done before the phone started ringing and the demands began demanding I heard a familiar but faint sound; my little metal orb started singing again, gently reminding me that the universe knows my song, if only I have the ears to listen.


Posted in on February 2, 2010 by Illyria Taylor

 Fe eling haunted we look over our shoulder to discover that we have misplaced most of January, how did we lose it so fast? January’s
Br illiance and hope have faded to memory, if they were even a memory at all, the blink of an eye and we are onto another month, the shortest of the year.
U ncertain of what I am forgetting I try to break through the cobwebs of Valentine’s Days past, and find nothing where that day should be, forty four years with nary a celebration, it has been my fate to be alone for all of them.
A nother leap year would give me the opportunity to ask for a lad’s hand in marriage, but this is not that year, so I search the skies for answers, some clues to the memory that escapes me.
R aindrops the color of purple and green and gold, even some red and some blues, cascade over me to clear away the clouds and my memory returns, the memory of my truest love, New Orleans.
Y es, it is February, and Mardi Gras is calling my name.


Posted in on January 5, 2010 by Illyria Taylor

Just as the cherished tannenbaum has been shorn of its glory, it is soon waving its forelorn tinsel on the side of the road to indifferent motorists, maybe waving goodbye, goodbye to all of the things that made it beautiful once, and to never be again.
ANd all of the New Year’s Resolutions already broken, dissolved, or disregarded as nothing more than something you have to say but never have to do, the people of the world go on with their daily lives, discovering that the second day of the month is not much different than the first day of the month.
Uttering curses from muffled mouths against the frigid cold and winds, we hunker down in our scarves and down coats and ask why we have to go to work in conditions like this, never considering that there are others less fortunate who are quietly freezing to death for lack of what we take for granted.
And the Earth orbits the Sun, and babies are born and people are killed and the traffic is loud and the pollution is suffocating and a tree is cut down and a bird’s last egg didn’t hatch, and there is too much of something in the places it isn’t needed, and not enough of anything in the lands of the dying, and there is famine and war and two other horses canter through the world.
Ringing in the New Year is silver and gold and the champagne colored dreams of effervecence that joyfully bubbles to the top of long elegant glasses, all things are made new again, and the magic of it is inhaled and intoxicating.
Yet all too soon we realize that the New Year is nothing more than a month called January.

This Old Tree of Mine; On The Wings of a Dove

Posted in on January 1, 2010 by Illyria Taylor


Do my eyes deceive me or could it really be?

Today Patience has doves on her branches that number to a three.

I cannot see close enough to look for the double rings of Prince or the freckle that marks Penelope.

But there are 3 doves today, and I can only pray.

Pray that my longtime lovers were not the feral cat’s meal a day ago yesterday.

But still the wings of a dove are a sign of hope and are a lovely shade of grey,
and now I have that hope for just another day.

And the irony has not escaped me as I hope and wish and say,
that if my prayer was answered another dove, not my own, lost his mate forever, just the other day.

This Old Tree of Mine; When Doves Cry

Posted in on December 31, 2009 by Illyria Taylor

I noticed that the lonesome Dove I named “Prince” so long ago was in his usual spot today on one of Patience’s higher branches, the lower branches full of silent sparrows.

The dove looked at me while I was on the porch having a cigarette, and then flew to the neighbor’s tree, searching for her, for hours he has been flying back and forth.

It is said that animals have no concept of the past or the future, only instinct and the present day, and maybe that is a blessing, for I know he saw his mate yesterday all pretty and red unlike her usual colors of white and grey, but today is another day and so he waits for her, not understanding that she will never return.

Yesterday afternoon I heard the familiar ringing in my ear that means a sound pitch is forever lost to me now, it comes with the territory of my very loud job, and today none of the lively sounds, chirps, clicks and twitters are coming from the other birds as they were yesterday.

It’s not because I can’t hear them, they are just not very chatty today, maybe because they can hear him cry and instinctually understand that silence is the only gift they can give him.

If this is what it sounds like when doves cry, I thank the gods who took that pitch from me, as it stands his cries are still deafening to me, even if the sound is just the flutter of his wings carried on hopeless air.

In Loving Memory of Penelope, 2004-2009