David Taylor

In Issue 5 on February 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm

After Berry Season

“Three objects, three poisons, three seeds of virtue.” (Tibetan Buddhist saying)

The nandina grows near the window—
fall, reddish leaves,
spring green, new growth.
The mockingbirds fill themselves
   during the cool November days
eating the poison berries,
scarlet, burning
against the gray and white timbre of winter clouds,
just as colors take me from things I see,
drawing my knees to my chest
straightening my neck
like the memory of April flowers—
today’s poison, tomorrow’s medicine.

What is wanting something?
Berries and seeds the later dreams of stem and leave.


Dr. David Taylor is a lecturer in the English Department and has written and edited four books: Pride of Place: A Contemporary Anthology of Texas Nature Writing (UNT Press, 2006), South Carolina Naturalists: An Anthology, 1700-1860 (University of South Carolina Press, 1998) and Lawson’s Fork: Headwaters to the Confluence (Hub City Writer’s Project, 2000) and a book of poetry Praying Up the Sun (Pecan Grove Press, 2008). Forthcoming volumes include, Restoring Home: Essays and Family and Place and South Carolina Nature Writing, 1860-1970. David serves as Editor for the Southwestern Nature Writing Series with UNT Press. He has published multiple articles, essays, columns, and poetry in such journals as Ecological Restoration, Dallas Morning News, ISLE, Borderlands, Mountain Gazette, and Southern Poetry Review.

  1. David, I miss your presence in Flagstaff! Although I see your ethereal double sometimes, with a big grin, walking aimlessly through town, so that’s something!

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