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occasions

About this Poem 

“A couple of years ago I had the great honor of spending a year working and living at Amy Clampitt’s house in Lenox, Massachusetts. I wrote and worked on a small farm three days a week, hiked and ran a lot, and I found myself drawn to my role that year as a watcher, as a being in time. Beauty is complicated, but sometimes joy feels pretty simple: lying in the pine needles by Upper Goose Pond, the pleasure of swimming and then drying off again.”
Tess Taylor

Solstice

How again today our patron star
whose ancient vista is the long view

turns its wide brightness now and here:
Below, we loll outdoors, sing & make fire.

We build no henge
but after our swim, linger

by the pond. Dapples flicker
pine trunks by the water.

Buzz & hum & wing & song combine.
Light builds a monument to its passing.

Frogs content themselves in bullish chirps,
hoopskirt blossoms

on thimbleberries fall, peeper toads
hop, lazy—

            Apex. The throaty world sings ripen.
Our grove slips past the sun’s long kiss.

We dress.
We head home in other starlight. 

Our earthly time is sweetening from this.
 

Copyright © 2015 by Tess Taylor. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 19, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Tess Taylor. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 19, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor is the author of Work & Days (Red Hen Press, 2016) and The Forage House (Red Hen Press, 2013).

by this poet

poem

My parents kissing in a kitchen.
In her loop-eyed dress my mother—

enormous in her belly, I loom.
In a commune in Fort Greene

she typed and typed her dissertation.
Upstairs a woman practiced primal screams,

a wild-haired painter mourned his dying wife.
My parents

poem

We unstave the winter’s tangle.
Sad tomatoes, sullen sky.

We unplay the summer’s blight.
Rotted on the vine, black fruit

swings free of strings that bound it.
In the compost, ghost melon; in the fields

grotesque extruded peppers.
We prod half-thawed mucky things. 

In the

2
poem

   Albemarle County


The ridge a half mile down from Monticello.
A pit cut deeper than the plow line.
Archaeologists plot the dig by scanning

plantation land mapped field
for carbon, ash, traces of human dwelling.
We stand