Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ecstatic Destinations

What a lovely book, a chapbook by Keith Taylor, Ecstatic Destinations (Alice Greene & Co., 2018), with cover art and illustrations by Mary Shea. The title phrase ends up in the last words of the last poem, foretold by the epigraph (spoken by a bus driver!). The book is dedicated to his neighbors, and the poems recount his daily journeys through his own neighborhood, a triangle of three streets.

As I know Keith Taylor is fond of birds, I hoped to do a little bird watching in these pages. I found vultures (more than once), chickadees, jays, starlings, and even skateboarders on gossamer wings! Other wildlife included white-tailed deer and a monarch butterfly. Trees: spruce, maple, hickory, redbud, mulberry, box elder, wild cherry, ash, elm (dying), sumac. And grapevines.

Alongside the nature, townspeople, town things. And paintings. Here's a poem that gives you the sweetness and summarizes the adventure:

     To the Muse

     On my daily walk
     around this triangle
     of crowded streets

     occasionally someone
     passes by carrying
     grocery bags filled
     with peaches and milk.

Makes me want peaches cut up in milk. And I am glad to say a goldfinch came to own my back yard today, to feast on the seedhead of a purple coneflower.


Collagemama said...

Who painted the cover illustration?

Kathleen said...

Cover and illustrations by Mary Shea!