Jackhammer Days

The Soul Has Seasons
By Bethany Reid
Like blackberry brambles the soul has seasons
when its leaves grow scarce.
Even then, a smallish body will find shelter there,
deer mouse chittering, or the tiny wren, piping its song.
For what, if not that singing, does the soul dare
a new season’s greening?

 

Hello friends.  It has been awhile since I posted here and I’ve missed my days of scheduled writing and updates.  But truth be told, I have been taking care of myself in what has been a period of jackhammer days, both literally and figuratively.

As many of you know, I moved back to Portland last summer and in an either brilliant or insane move purchased a 1947 home which was in need of some major renovations.  Today this blog is being written from my new office.  Outside my office window my contractor is jackhammering away the basement foundation in order to install an egress window.  It is noisy.  It is dirty.  I am hoping the house does not collapse and the new earthquake retrofit holds.  In the meantime, I am visualizing a beautiful finished basement that is light-filled and has a second bathroom.

Also during this time, a family member died, another family member had colon-cancer surgery, and an adult child moved back home.   I had something die in the chimney and for a week flies flew out of the fireplace like bats from under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin.

And while I haven’t been writing much, I did travel to Iceland and Ireland, have been invited to poetry readings to read from my new book, and I organized a poetry event in the small town where I graduated from high school and invited Finnish poet Gary Anderson to come read with me.

 

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Last week I hiked seven miles up the Salmon River trail on the southwestern flank of Mt. Hood with old friends, and I’ve been reading and cooking more than usual—all things that anchor me during this fallow writing port-of-call.

So while my world is being disassembled and reconstructed I have complete faith the one thing that will remain intact (even if it is silent for now) is my poetry, because I can feel the seeds beginning to germinate, and a gentle push of green carrying a word or a line up through the dark with a story to tell.

But for now I am reading the poetry of Bethany Reid, who is a poet friend from Edmonds, Washington.  Her new collection Body My House (Goldfish Press Seattle) is a collection that as author Priscilla Long so aptly conveys: are poems to read and reread, and to savor.  I recommend you check her out.

My next gig is in Portland at “Another Read Through” on November 29th— a lovely neighborhood book store in North Portland.  I will be reading with two of my favorite poets Christianne Balk and Kristin Berger, and we would love to have you come down and hear us read.

 

Yours in poetry,

Carey

9 to 5

As I have mentioned before, my new book of poetry The Lure of Impermanence came out in July.  I included in this collection a poem called 9 to 5.    I wrote this poem when the #MeToo movement had just begun its groundswell.

Today, Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in jail for sexual assault and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is currently being scrutinized for a number of behaviors with women that are at best disturbing.  And these are just a few of so, so many more stories just like them.

I have lost confidence in the ability of the news to report in any unbiased manner and therefore I am more often than not left to my own judgment and experience by which to consider stories reported in the media.

And what my experience considers is that I personally know girls and women who have been abused by boyfriends, family members and spouses.

What I do know is that I was carried to a bedroom by a man who was much older than me when I was barely of legal age and stoned on marijuana.  A man who held a position of respect in the community.

What I do know is I am shaking as I write that last sentence because I recall that night as vividly as if it were today.  Only it wasn’t today.  It was 45 years ago.

What I do know is that I told no one.  What I do know is that I was ashamed.

What I do know is that I am someone’s mother, wife, daughter and friend and none of them knew.  What I do know is I am not sure I want them to know now.

What I do know is that all women deserve the simple right to be respected and have control of what happens to her body and if I could ask anything of you it would be to consider the women you love.  Consider their experience.  Because it is possible that the people who love her most, don’t know the dark places she has been afraid to shed the light on.  Because to do so is to expose herself to being rejected, silenced, not believed or worst yet blamed.

And until history proves it unnecessary, may we all slash, slash, slash, this roughshod blazing path.

 

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Yours in poetry,

Carey

 

I have books!

After two weeks of being sick, I am beginning to feel better.

My much awaited book launch in Bothell, Washington two weeks ago was not stellar.  I had laryngitis and did not sound my best poetic self.  However, the venue was lovely, poets and friends showed up, and my editor, Sandra Kleven hosted with lots of wine and cheese and her usual unflappable grace.

A week later, my readings in Portland and Bellingham went on without me as I was still horizontal on the couch.  And so is life.  If I have learned anything these past few weeks, it is to let go, as best one can, to expectations.  Things happen.  People get sick.  Life moves forward with or without you.  Accept your disappointment and begin again.

This past Monday, my books showed up, and slowly over the course of the week, I realized I have a published book of poems.  Seven years of work now gathered together in one place.  AND I AM THRILLED!  In the end, the book turned out beautiful and for that I am grateful to Cirque Press.

We write to share our story and our view of the world.  We write with the hope to connect to another human soul. We write to say for one small moment, I was here.

These poems cover a lot of territory.  From growing roses, childhood, regrets, loss of family, politics, the Pacific Northwest, and more.  They are poems rooted in observation.  They are poems that take us on the highway we all must travel, towards the fleeting nature of all things.

If you get a chance to read my poems, and if they touch you in any way, please drop me a note.   This is why I write.

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Currently available on Amazon.

 

Yours in poetry,

 

Carey

 

 

celebrate with Carey Taylor — The Poetry Department . . . aka The Boynton Blog

Join Carey Taylor as she celebrates the launch of her debut collection, The Lure of Impermanence, next Friday, August 17, 2018, 7:00pm, at Tsuga Fine Art and Framing in Bothell.

via celebrate with Carey Taylor — The Poetry Department . . . aka The Boynton Blog