IN THE BEGINNING…

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“The power of the extracted image and the power of a timeless story…” says Simon Pettet, author of Lyrical Poetry. Mary Lou Taylor’s newest publication, In the Beginning, brings you biblical tales—a combination of the poet’s precise meditations on David Park’s delicately sinuous artistry, titled “Genesis Suite.”

This slender publication, put together by Frog on the Moon, a small press, consists of “fourteen stencil prints making a perfect thematic language to tell Bible stories,” as Grace Cavalieri from the Library of Congress puts it. She says, “I love Taylor’s In The Beginning, colorful and meaningful—complete with stunning worlds and visuals; it seems neither poem nor picture could live without the other.” Furthermore, Cavalieri says, “this is bright speech invested in lyric; with sheer lingual strength to make old legends new.”

In this new publication, you will find new poems by Mary Lou Taylor, who was inspired by David Park’s “Genesis Suite“, and as Grace Cavalieri mentions, “has formed a legacy you’ll come back to, for enlightenment and delight. You’ll want to reread, savor, and share this work of art…for the purest pleasure.”

In addition, here are comments from our First Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, (2009-2011) Nils Peterson, Professor Emeritus, San José State University. “To the exquisite prints created by David Park out of stories from Genesis, Mary Lou Taylor adds poems that give context and commentary. Sometimes she even speaks the imagined voices of the actors in that great drama. Together they make a remarkable book, a beautiful book, one that you will want on your shelf to look at and read again and again.”

SOME POEMS FROM IN THE BEGINNING, by Mary Lou Taylor.

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THE CURSE OF CAIN

Cain tilled the earth. Abel kept sheep.

Lord, I bring you fruits from the fertile ground.
Accept them with my respect and love. Cain knelt
before his God in reverential pose.

God refused his offering. I see your brother’s
blood in your mouth. You are a man of wrath.
I accept only Abel’s sheep. Cain became enraged.

Meeting Abel, blood in his eye, Cain lifted a stone.
I am bleeding, brother. Leave me enough to live.
But Cain no longer listened.

God questioned Cain. Where is your brother Abel?
Cain replied, I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?
Cain the first murderer; Able the first to die.

The Lord cursed Cain, saying, You have contaminated
the earth with your brother’s blood. It will no longer
be fruitful in your hands.

Cain left the Lord, banished now to wander, traveling
to the land of Nod, east of Eden.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

DAVID PARK (March 17, 1911-September 20, 1960) was an American painter and a pioneer of the Bay Area Figurative Movement in painting during the 1950’s. A Park retrospective opens later this year at the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art. It comes to SFMOMA in 2020.

Check out other paintings by this artist on the video in this blog.

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DID I MENTION?

I entered my new book of poems, Bringing Home the Moon in the 2016 San Francisco Book Festival. Came in second in Honorable Mention. A good feeling because this competition has so many entrants.

2016 SF Book Fest

I am so pleased to share this with my friends.

MARY LOU AND THE KING

Mary Lou Taylor will be at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library for yet another reading of her book of poems, Bringing Home the Moon. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 19th, 2016—meaning, TOMORROW, at 5:00 p.m. The reading will be at the Schiro Room 550, at the King Library, on San Fernando and 4th Street. Check the flyer for further details about dinner following the reading. RSVP at mltpoet85@gmail.com.

Make this your special event for April—Poetry Month.

MLT flyer-sm

SAIL ALONG PAPER “MOON”

THE THIRD THURSDAY JANUARY 21 READING AT WILLOW GLEN was a full house. Many of my friends, both personal and poet friends, attended the reading. Several copies of my new book, Bringing Home the Moon were sold that evening. Here are a couple of videos from that reading.

FROM THE PENNY CANDY STORE BEHIND THE EL

Walk down three steps to the mom-and-pop store
near Hayte School and enter a Hansel-and-Gretel land

of striped peppermint sticks, gumballs, jawbreakers
and, best of all, bubblegum. I could blow the biggest,

most unladylike bubbles in the second grade,
huge pink balloons that bloomed until I ran out of air.

What didn’t seem right, though, were the bubblegum wrappers,
like tiny cartoon strips, five sections of off-center print.

All in color, red meant blood. Severed legs and heads flew
through the air. Children, little arms stiff, lay in broken heaps.

My father explained new words to me: behead, disembowel.
From a Dubble Bubble wrapper at the penny candy store

I found out about the Sino-Japanese war. I could hardly wait
to open more gum, blocked out in green and black and blood.

MORNING WALK

We heard them before we saw them.
Two jays fluttering, screeching.
Then a swoosh so close we could
almost touch the hawk sailing past,
wings outspread, something
in its beak. Something small
with feathers. With only a quick look
still we knew. High above us the jays
squawked and flapped in disbelief,
their just-hatched baby out of sight
in little more than an instant. The jays
might not know its end, a beautiful
death come quickly
. We walked on,
hoping that was so, knowing they knew.

EVERLASTING SUNSHINE AND SPRING BLOSSOMS IN SARATOGA

pink blossoms

MARCH beckons attention to the 2016 Blossom Festival in the town of Saratoga, a free event reminiscent of the original Blossom Festival that debuted in the 1900s and has stayed popular and celebrated each year, for over 40 years. Edwin Sidney (Everlasting Sunshine) Williams organized a celebration when the drought ended and called it the Blossom Festival. Wanting people to enjoy the orchards blossoms, invitations were issued and hundreds responded. The day was filled with food, games, and a blossom and garden tour. Each succeeding year, the event grew in popularity with 20,000 attending one year.

Produced by the Saratoga Historical Foundation, this free event will be celebrated this year on Saturday, March 19 from 10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. in the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area.

Warren Hutton House I will be reading at the Festival at 11:00 a.m. along with past Poet Laureates, Parthenia Hicks (Los Gatos), Nils Peterson (Santa Clara County), and Dave Denny (Cupertino). The reading will be held at the Warren Hutton House on 13777-A Fruitvale Ave.in Saratoga.

Please do attend and partake in the music of the 30’s and 40’s, vintage motors, a variety of foods, arts and crafts that will bring back memories of yesteryear. Check out my previous post about the 2014 Blossom Festival to get a feel for this celebration.

orange blsms

MY NEXT READING: Bringing Home the Moon to Works Gallery, Downtown SJ

My next reading is at Well-Red at Works Gallery, 365 South Market Street, San José (across from the St. Claire Hotel) at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Hope to see some of your who missed the reading at the third Thursday, Willow Glen reading.

A smaller reading than the ones at Montalvo and the Willow Glen Library’s Third Thursday, Well-Red is sponsored by Poetry Center San Jose and Works Gallery, food and drink available, $2 requested. Parking on the street or in a garage close by, not the one connected to the Convention Center. That one costs too much.

I’ll be reading with Len Anderson from Santa Cruz, a good friend. The readings have been going well at Well-Red. Robert Pesich, President of PCSJ and Joe Miller, head of the Graphics Department at SJSU, are the sponsors.

Len_MLT Book
 

BRINGING HOME THE MOON INTO THE NEW YEAR

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Today, at the Willow Glen Reading: Thursday, January 21, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Los Cabos.

Medano Los Cabos
We spent New Year’s Eve at Pueblo Bonito Blanco, next door to where we stay at Rose´ in Cabo San Lucas. Blanco played Frank Sinatra music, sent off fireworks, and had an excellent menu for one-fourth the cost of its next-door neighbor. We sat overlooking Medano Beach, where even at night its crystal blue waters are lighted.

After a week on Medano Beach we moved to San José del Cabo, took a room called Romantico at Casa Natalia on the Plaza. Eighteen units and lovely surroundings—a sparkling pool, sturdy lounges, a private open-air room in each suite, a restaurant, and such kind people. One woman came out with us to wait for our cab—we took a look at the Grand Mayan. Turned out she was Natalia. We met her daughter Sasha and 6th grade son. We’ll go back.

San José del Cabo is a city located in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, and is the seat of the municipality of Los Cabos at the south end of Baja California Sur.

For each of you a happy and healthy year with laughter and light.