poem

What is unluck without luck?
And who dies sitting upright while
looking at a few geese from memory?
There was one angry goose who chased
a young boy until he fell and slid
and became covered in goose feces.
He was a small child-
They changed him
into a pair of girl jeans
for the rest of the night.
And it wasn’t a nice night,
but that’s how sadness works
and life remains.

-M. Taggart

The Ants Go Marching, one, by one.

He always said he wanted to try everything once
and as far as I could see he was nearly there
Only thing is this time it got the better of him
He’s just out of jail and homeless again
lied about the sober house, lied about gaining weight.
Unfortunately using again too. That pisses me off
But it doesn’t matter. I can be as mad as I want
along with the rest of the people who care about him
He’ll die this way. And When he’s gone I’ll still love him.
How long will the state level programs continue to push
them away, waiting lists are long, don’t you know.
I’m sure he knew, when he was ushered out the door already
feeling failure exploding trough his veins. How many more
will stop breathing while high in a heroin dealers ‘home’
‘died of complications’ no charges
No fucking charges. I won’t get into that memory.
My home town might be a piss-ant to the powers that be
But it’s my home town and I love it. Loved it so much
I left its destruction behind. Had too. Not everyone can do that.
Some follow the leader and think trying everything once is a good idea
because they never thought it through. And one by one they go, they go.

-M. Taggart

with a sadness near me i write

work in progress – home

A man sits on a wooden bench
unable to know home
and with all of his knowledge
He is dead
He sits alone

The bench, surrounded by forest-
Listens for him
as the wind rushes along the tops of the trees
while the man rests his palms on his knees-
His dried knuckles have cracked and wrinkled
for the man lived lived and lived-

They had begun on the coast
wearing large smiles
eventually finding this forest
where a bench begged to be built
along the edge of a soon to be
orchard

She had picked their bench
a nicely fallen oak
and asked for it to point
here, toward the slope,
where they could sit hand in hand
and listen to the wind
as it passed along the tops of the trees
bringing sounds of the ocean again

Now she was gone
and he sits all alone
looking at the forest
knowing he’d never
be home

 

 

Chillingly Beautiful – Western Mass III

Western Massachusetts is a chillingly beautiful region where creativity comes from blood. -M. Taggart.

Springfield-MA
June 01, 2011 Tornado, Springfield, MA was home to a devastating tornado. I remember watching this image live. I’m sure many remember the same. Photo credit Brewbeer22.

 

Church
This church, located in Gill MA, has been the structure for nightmares for many youthful adventurers. Including myself.

Turners
Turners Falls Indians. As a teenager I was called a river rat. I told them proudly, ‘No. I am a Turners Falls Indian.’

 

Sunderland
Sunderland, MA. Autumn is here. Visit Route 47 and enjoy. You’ll find great views, restaurants, and a number of small farms offering apple cider and maple sugar. After graduating from the School of Management at UMass Amherst I enjoyed living in this town for a number of years. Photo credit John Burk.

brimmfield
A tornado can’t last in the mountains. They can. They will. This is the same June 1st, 2011 tornado that started in Springfield, MA. The tornado was on the ground for over 30 miles. Photo credit wellfleetosprey.com

 

turners mills
Turners Falls, MA. I feel admiration for the structure that was. And for the town. It’s simple when we let it be. I can’t get enough of these old mill pictures. Photo credit WWLP.

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy my short story. Cheers.

A Purposeful Life – Fiction

Written by Matt Taggart aka -M. Taggart

Copyright 2016

A Purposeful Life – Fiction

 

And the children were happy because they loved their uncle and love was a smile.  He reached lower to ruffle each of their heads.  His nephew ran after his twin sister through the doorway leading into the living room and both were now gone.  Only the sounds of their footsteps racing upstairs were left for him.

He was alone.  His brother and wife had already said goodbye and were also upstairs.  Now, all that was left was to open the closet door, find his jacket, and leave.

Hanging on hooks, on the back of the closet door, were coats with little hoods that had animal ears.  On the closet floor were tiny boots.  He told himself not to think about it, but it was too late and he’d already started.  He reached out and touched a red checkered coat that belonged to his nephew.

No, he thought.  This is their happiness and it isn’t right to think of this now.  He closed the front door behind him, walked down the porch steps, and into the driveway.  He opened the door to his truck and got in.

Opening the windows, feeling the wind, and listening to music while he drove didn’t help.  He turned the radio off.  The winding New Hampshire road led him through farm land.  Cow pastures and corn fields were on either side of him.  Beyond the fields was woodland leading to a deeper forest.  Maybe he ought to stop his truck and walk in as deeply as he could and not come back for a long while or ever.  It seemed it was now always like this.  Each time he visited his brother- to see family, he was forced to remember and now it was overwhelming and he couldn’t not think of it.

It was difficult for him to look forward to his empty studio apartment containing walls which mocked each of his thoughts.  He would pace his small apartment and view the same cracks each time he passed them as not to tip the balance one way or the other.  Then he’d sit on his one chair he owned and read.  Sometimes this would help.  Other times it would only open him more to what he’d been trying to escape.  He was reminded that scars of this nature won’t heal with any one word from any one mouth and most likely won’t heal at all.  No matter how many words he’ll hear or read.

He knew deeply he needed change.  The cow pastures on the winding road wanted him to settle here, with them all, but he couldn’t.  He continued to drive, although he wasn’t truly in this moment.  He was nearly already pacing in his studio wondering which Hemingway story to read to find peace.  He wouldn’t think of it though, he told himself.  He’d only try and think of how they had smiled with love and try to learn it all again.  The sun was bright.  His mind split while trying to give permission to live with purpose.

 

I invite you to learn about my self published book.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

Or you can skip directly to the amazon page and read the reviews.

Thank you for reading.

Matt

 

His Friend – A Short Story

A Short Story Written by Matt Taggart, aka -M. Taggart

Fiction:  His Friend

9/27/15

His Friend

The dog whined to go.  He told him to sit and wait for him to put his boots on.  It was hard to put them on.  The rain had stopped and the sun was now shinning.  He could hear the frogs.

The dog turned in circles.  He opened the front door and watched his friend run from the deck, into the front yard, and then to his truck.  The wind had blown all morning from the southeast.  It made for a driving wind that wore on you.  He remembered how this wind would ruin their day when they’d planned to be outside.  At first it was fine. Especially when they were young.  But then they were not young and it was not fine. When they were young they would joke about the menacing blow and then later in life they would simply say it was blowing again.

His friend hung his head out the window and his tongue was out.  Kids would wave at his friend and sometimes his friend would pull his tongue in with dignity while they passed by.  He would watch from the corner of his eye to see how long it would be before the tongue was again in the wind.

The entrance to the park was nice because American flags were hung on each side. When the dog saw the flags he’d pull his head inside the cab to watch him steer and be sure he’d do the right thing.  As soon as he turned into the entrance the dog would again place his large head out the window.

There was one more vehicle in the large parking lot.  He scanned the soccer fields and the walking track to see where the owner might be.  Sometimes children were in the soccer field and his friend would like to go there first.  There weren’t any children in the soccer fields. There was a girl walking on the track.

‘Are you ready?’

The dog spun in the passenger seat.

‘Give me a minute.’  He pushed the truck door open.  His legs were stiff.  He slowly made his way around the front of the truck to the passenger door.  His friend rushed from the truck and ran toward the girl.

‘No. Come.’

The dog stopped and returned, ‘She doesn’t know you and you might scare her.’

They walked in the opposite direction.

***

She watched the truck park and saw a large dog that looked like a German Shepherd jump from the passenger seat.  She thought the dog wanted to see her.  She wanted to pet the dog but the man had called him back.  Now they were walking in the opposite direction.

She walked on and thought about her work and then didn’t want to think of work.  The track was a mile long loop and she hoped she might see the man with the dog soon.

***

The track circled around the soccer fields and then a cluster of trees.  He could see the girl who was walking quickly.  His friend was pushing the pace.  ‘Leave her be.  She doesn’t know you.  And, look at me.  I’m no fine sight.’

The dog pushed on.  He watched his friend work the edge of the woodland and smell to learn.  She was close enough now to see the shape of her face.

‘Can I pet your dog?’ She called.

He stopped walking.  He had thought of putting his friend on his leash. ‘If you’d like.’

‘What’s his name?’ she asked with a large smile.

‘Friend.’

The dog waited.  He had heard everything but needed now for her to ask.

‘Come here, Friend.’  She was excited to finally pet him.  The dog hesitated.

‘Oh, go on.  Go see her.’  And the dog tore off.

She bent her knees and slapped them lightly to welcome him.  She pet his head and told him he was a good boy.  The dog leaned into her.

‘He’s a good one.’ He said, ‘We’ve had him since he was a puppy.  He’s only two now.’

‘He’s very sweet.  I wanted to pet him earlier when you let him out of your truck.’

‘I thought you’d be scared.  I called him back.’

‘No.  Not me.  I grew up with German Shepherds.  I trained them.’

‘They really are a good breed.’

‘And good with family.’ She said.

‘This one’s name isn’t really Friend.  That’s why he hesitated.  We had two more.  I know it sounds like a lot.  We had two more and then one passed.  That was when this one had just joined our family.  He was sad, but didn’t know much about it. Then, the other passed and my wife took it hard.  She told me I better take care of this one because she was going soon too.  That night she sat in her chair with this one at her feet.  She died the next morning.  So now, I have him and I don’t see many people and he’s good to me.’

Tears rolled from her eyes to her nose and then to his friend.