poem – evocative

start with life
i did

if you have something
cherish it

took me a while to learn

i think i did OK when i was a kid
i chewed on leather straps
hanging off of my baseball glove
while waiting for line drives

then somewhere along the way
i didn’t care enough to cherish anything
i looked at things with importance
not love
to benchmark

thing is
walking in the woods,
taking time to watch a single leaf
fall in a single way,
is a good place to start

and when it lands,
find life,
and wish it well

-M. Taggart

poem – and it’s just fine

this empty feeling
greets me daily

it’s that simple

i don’t care to write
to go for my drives
to talk

although i do try
it feels fake

people text me
and call
sometimes i answer

i don’t feel sad
just empty

maybe this is just the
new me

and i grin because
no way in hell

I cleaned and oiled
one of your old
rifles yesterday
I wasn’t sure if it
would explode
I closed my eyes
and pulled the trigger
Passion filled my lungs
and my heart
You did that for me
And your rifle is
just fine

-M. Taggart

Our Self Embrace

You and I too, dream so well during the day
We can leave our eyes open-

It is noon. Inside a modest home stands a man. He is alone.
The man stands, or paces, or runs from his house.
It is said the man tried to explain to someone his thoughts

-There is a door directly in front us, the one with the rusted hinges-
The door knob is no longer in place, but hanging, not breathing.
Our dreams push forward and we follow them-
We stand in place. We do not see the door. The future has moved the door.
The walls have been crumbling for years. The tape under the paint on the sheet-
rock are no longer under paint at all. Instead the tape conquered the paint and took
position to watch the man stand and pace and run.

You and I too, dream so well-
I have been there. You wouldn’t understand.
The man inside the house spoke out loud.
Or possibly he had said that to someone.

The man turned from the broken door. He faced the crumbling wall, ‘Ready old friend?
I have lived, I have died, I have spoken to God and Jesus. Jesus was beautiful.
You wouldn’t understand.
Listen, this world is not our own. I have eaten from The Grapes of Wrath of which
Steinbeck wrote.
The heads will say I was not there. I was. I am now again.
And when alone, standing with society at my shoulders, I spit the seeds out-
Watch the cement grow new growth. Watch as the green grass feeds my truth-
A mouth twists full of anger- We’ve seen this mouth too many times-
Now, I stand near this wall and I watch time. Time which does not exist.
Though I do not show you, I have been everything. Death speaks to me through you-

As you stand now, before me-
And you aren’t the only ghost
Did you know I can..’

The walls became excited. Knowing the man would now pace.
And he did. He paced for hours. Sweat ran from his middle-back down.
The walls of the house were filled with holes. Not from the man.
Stains and foul smells filled the hallway. The rug, wasted, soiled.
A door at the end of the hallway hadn’t been opened in years.
Even the walls didn’t know what was in the room. Without the door opening-
The man paused, felt his hair turning fully gray and thinning, noted how fine it was
and continued-
‘Ah! I have ripped my soul from my beating chest, from the depths of my existence-
Studying my torture in my hands-
We truly know one another.’

The man ran from his house. The crumbling walls, tape, and even the paint, all saw.
They applauded his departure – not due to departures sake,
He’d now spit seeds

It was said the man ran from his house.

You think I stand looking at walls-
You and I too, dream so well during the day

-M. Taggart


Originally published on SpillWords Press NYC September 22, 2018.

Dedicated to my father. I stepped inside my father’s house for the first time in over 15 years yesterday. My father passed away on October 14, 2020.