LifeTimes by Tim Taylor

I’m delighted to share this lovely review of LifeTimes from the PoetryParc website. You can hear me reading from the collection at a Zoom event on Friday 27 May – email me on tim.e.taylor@talk21.com if you’d like the link and/or an open mic spot.

poetryparc

A Graph Review

isbn 978 191350824 1 published by Maytree Press in 2022

Price £7.00. paper

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These short poetry books are commonly known as ‘pamphlets’ but that belies the production values of today’s publishers and printers. Despite being only 36 pages, Maytree (and others) can now publish these as fully-fledged paperbacks. Slim, yes, but with full-sized innards. In Maytree’s case they have even managed to put author and title on the spine. (A debate of ‘do or don’t’ on such narrow spines.)

The title ‘LifeTimes’ offers expectations, as does the assortment of old family photographs on the cover. Maybe a gentle ride through the ages? Nostalgia threading through each poem is what you might anticipate. You will certainly find your own feelings crowding through these poems as you recognise personal or universal situations. Each poem tracks a moment or event, accurate or not to your own memories you feel the…

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Welcome, Susan!

Today I’m delighted to host this poem from Susan Cossey, a fellow member of Holmfirth Writers’ Group.

Wrong

It seems wrong to long for spring
When winter’s beauty shines
When red holly berries gleam from spiky green leaves
And robins and rose hips bring cheer to grey days
I love to see the mercury sheen of water on bare branches
And raindrops jeweling spider webs

The globes of mistletoe high in hazel trees

It seems wrong to long for spring
When winters beauty can be felt
Under my fingers
On the silky smoothness of silver birch
On the braille bark of an old sweet chestnut   
On the soft caramel caps of velvet shank mushrooms
And the jelly brown of jews ear
On a fallen log

It seems wrong to long for spring
When I can watch a bevy of white swans
And  their cygnets
Glide gracefully on the rivers’ iron grey 
Hear the fortissimo song of robins 
As I walk along the lane

And hear the yip of a fox seeking its mate
Under a full winter moon.

Exciting Times (2)

Well, it’s all go at the moment!

Last Thursday, I gave my new collection LifeTimes its first outing at an event with several other poets at Stag Coffee, Canterbury. I really enjoyed it – there seems to be a vibrant poetry scene down there.

This evening at 730-930, I’ll be the guest of Rose Condo at Attic Stories in Lawrence Batley Theatre – looking forward to it!

https://www.thelbt.org/what-s-on/spoken-word-and-talks/attic-stories-april-2022/

Then on Thursday, it’s my official launch event at Marsden library. All welcome – refreshments and open mic slots available – email me at tim.e.taylor@talk21.com if you’d like a spot.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tim-e-taylor-poetry-launch-life-times-from-maytree-press-tickets-304847325557?aff=Author

I’m happy to send out signed copies of LifeTimes to anyone who would like one (£7 inc. P&P)- just e-mail me at the address given above. It’s also available (unsigned) from Maytree Press, Read. Bookshop in Holmfirth, and Amazon.

Finally, I’m delighted to have three poems in this fine new collection from River Paw Press:

Thought I'd end with one of those:

Repainting

In the time of pestilence
life goes on, but smaller;
confined in shrinking spaces,
curling in upon itself.
Revolving in cramped spirals
the stuff of it is squeezed 
and twisted, all its colours 
are wrung out and washed away. 

Yet it endures: one day
the cloud will disappear,
the barricades be lifted.
Those who are left will watch
through blinking eyes as life’s
discoloured, crumpled fabric 
opens up, unfolds its faded 
scenes of brown and grey.

A time for restoration,
an opportunity – perhaps
a duty – not to settle 
for what was, but dip the brush 
in brighter colours, sweep bold lines 
across the canvas of the world,
to paint our future in rich shades
of purple, green and gold.




Gathering

Today I’m delighted to host this poignant poem from fellow Holmfirth Writer Sue Clark.

Gathering

Those harvests from our hunt
for chestnuts and for blackberries
are garnered in the barn
that is one’s brain,
preserved as conker shine
and purple glow, all gathered in
and safe from rotting rain.
Pocketed and stored, they still abound,
those foraged nuggets, as does the sound
of clop in pan and drop from tree,
and that feel of snug rotundity.
As first leader of those hunts, 
my father stands by the mind’s barn door,
heart-harvested, and gathered in,
secure.



Sue Clark is the secretary and long standing fellow member of the Holmfirth Writers' Group. She has an MA in Poetry and serves as a judge in the NAWG poetry competitions.

Doors

I'm delighted to host a poem today from Liz Heywood, a fellow member of Holmfirth Writers' Group.


Doors


A door opening

A door closed

Doors waiting to be passed through

Glimpses of other places, other feelings
Sunlight, snow, rain and hail

Sadness in a landscape of hills
Purple and shadowed at sunset
And here ajar - a long vista
A plane, silver flash high in the sky
Trailing its vapour banner against the blue
Exciting change moving something new
Looking down on snow-covered mountains
Strange foreign passing over

Through this one a bar of light
Some hope in the shadows
Gold line along the ground
Tempting to walk it
To try again

This one opening on
A known landscape, known difficulties
Empty spaces and a scouring wind

Ah, choices, choices
But let a door open

On shelter and a warm fire

A kind of safety

LifeTimes

Stop Press! I will be launching my new poetry collection, LifeTimes, at Marsden Library on 28 April, 730. Miriam Drori has kindly hosted a poem from the collection on her blog today.

Miriam Drori, Author

I’m delighted to welcome back novelist and poet, Tim Taylor, to tell us about his new collection of poetry, due out in two days.

Hello Miriam, thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog today. I’d like to share a poem from my second collection, LifeTimes which will be published shortly by Maytree Press.

LifeTimes is a collection of poems about human life: its phases, from birth, through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and middle age to the final years and beyond; and its pivotal moments: the shifts and connections between one phase and another, and the events that can change its course irrevocably. These themes are explored from a wide range of perspectives and through different forms and styles of poetry. Here’s an example:

Childhood

There is an art to being a child:
to play heedless of consequence,
learn without toil, love
without possession.
Skills we gather, unaware
how…

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Unrequited Love

I'm pleased to host two sonnets today on a similar theme, from two fellow members of Holmfirth Writers' Group. First this one written by Maggie McLean on the theme of Searching:


I seek to win your love in many ways
Perhaps if I get thin you’ll see me then?
My hours are spent in dreaming of our days,
the ones in which we’ll wander hill and glen.
How often do I walk along your street,
a winding way to do my mother’s shop
In truth, I dread the thought that we might meet
that you will gently ask if I could stop.
My cheeks would blush an unbecoming pink
whilst trivial words will issue from my lips.
How can I tell you what I truly think 
I see you and all common sense just slips.
One day, someone might love me as I am
by which time, maybe, I won’t give a damn.

Maggie's poem prompted Vincent Johnson to write this riposte:


Unrequited Love


I think of you throughout my nights and days,
your lovely bones my lodestones, so that when
I see you passing by (how your body sways
with heart-stopping sexiness), I’d plant ten
thousand kisses on your brow and feet,
if I knew you felt the same. Yet I stop
myself in chilly silence, as you retreat
with burning cheeks, seeking refuge in the shop,
your perfume hanging in the air. Ohhhh… think
of me as you eat your fish and chips.
You’re way beyond my league; your pout could sink
a whole armada. Now, your gorgeous hips
sway down the pavement, away from where I stand
in this sad and endless never never land.





The Fixed Stars

Today I thought I’d share this poem, one of two just published in Stardust: Award-Winning Poetry and Songs, by Hammond House Publishing (see cover pic below).

The Fixed Stars

They seem serene: pinpricks
in a slow-turning sphere,
sedate and constant backdrop to 
the dramas of this earth.
But time, for them, is something vaster,
far beyond the eye-blinks of our lives.
Within it they swirl, collide, give birth,
fulfil themselves in white-hot glory
then, like us, grow old and fade 
into senescence endless 
even in star-time. 
		                  Or else, 
bloated and rebellious, they 
choose apocalypse, achieve
a lifetime’s brilliance 
in the moment of destruction.
How strange that in these 
orgasms of death is born
the stuff we breathe, that forms
our bodies, gives us life. 


Stardust cover pic by Ted Stanley

Stars pic by Mathias Krumbholz. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Herian

I’m pleased to host a short prose piece today by J Johnson Smith – a character outline for his linked novella, ‘Connections.’

Herian

I am Herian

I should tell you right away that I am known by several different names including Cernunnos, Jack-in-the-Green and Herne the Hunter. Or choose your language for I am others too. It is more a matter of what people have known of me, seen of me or just imagined; found a synonymous name and expectation of who I am or what I am: a myth.

In this instance you might come across me as Henry Park or pick me up as Heinrich, or Sergeant; young or old, popping up in uniform or sombre dress.  However there are more mundane sightings of me but not always recognised in my weeds of green.

When it comes down to it, I think my preferred name is Herian. Probably my favourite because it gives a sense of place, at least in this world.

Who am I. What am I? That’s your choice. In those days and still today, I am known as the ‘leader of fallen warriors.’

I am not Death, perhaps I am Hope, nevertheless I can only lead toward the inevitable.

I may never be recognised, but for me, it means I still have ‘purpose.’

Without purpose I would be forgotten. Without  purpose I would not exist. As I said, I have many names but my natural place is in the forest, the undergrowth within the haunting ring of trees or beside beasts that need comfort; not life or death but compassion; for that is the way it is.

J Johnson Smith is the pen-name of David Smith. He is a member of the UK Poetry Society, Poetry ID and The John Clare Society. He runs the online ‘poetryparc,’ publishing reviews and poetry. He has been published in a few places, including an Australian Review Journal, in P.I.D. anthologies, and in the forthcoming ‘The Unchanging Traveller’ by the artist Carolyn Blake. He has also written  a collection of short stories and two linked novellas (yes, currently unpublished.)

Exciting Times!

I’m very excited to be able to announce that I now have a publication date – 26 March – for my second poetry collection, LifeTimes. I also have a cover!

This reflects the theme of the collection, which is about human life: its phases, from birth, through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and middle age to the final years and beyond; and its pivotal moments: the shifts and connections between one phase and another, and the events that can change its course irrevocably. You can read more on the Maytree Press website: https://maytreepress.co.uk/2022/02/22/maytree-34-cover-reveal/

The first chance to hear some poems from LifeTimes will be at Honley Library at 7pm on Wednesday 9 March, at a joint event I’ll be doing with fellow Maytree poet Anne Steward and travel writer Anne Rothwell (though I won’t have physical copies of the book by then). Watch this space for information on further events.

Finally, in other news, I’m delighted to have two poems in the current edition of Up! magazine – which you can download from their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/766852790660054