July 2014


          by Ann Taylor


There’s nothing going on here

this overheated July afternoon –

no redtail, no snapper, no coyote,

no wind roughing into whitecaps,

no blizzard whitewashing the mountain,  

nor wobbly ducklings, goslings, cygnets.


Nothing but stands of Queen Anne’s Lace,

Purple Loosestrife, Yellow Butter and Eggs,

Cat o’ Nine Tails, new in lush brown.

Nothing but the silhouette of a Black Lab

poised like a figurehead on the prow

of a fisherman’s rowboat.


I follow the flight of one Herring Gull

across the one cloud,

itself dissolving into the hazy blue.

For the almost-children’s-picture-book

Monarch and a Honeybee competing

for a single nectarous blossom, I pause.


The evergreen trail home

is dusty, rusty green where

a red-eyed Cooper’s Hawk calls,

settles just above my head.

Back to me, he ruffles smooth shades

of slate gray layered in a subtle cascade.



“Pondwalk” also appeared in the summer 2014 issue of The Avocet: A  

Journal of Nature Poetry



Ann Taylor is a Professor of English at Salem State University in Salem, MA, where she teaches writing and literature courses. She has written two books on college composition, academic and free-lance essays, and a collection of personal essays, Watching Birds: Reflections on the Wing (Ragged Mountain/McGraw Hill). Her first poetry book, The River Within, won first prize in the 2011 Cathlamet Poetry competition at Ravenna Press, and her chapbook, Bound Each to Each, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013.