Remembrance of Water ~ Twenty-Five Trees – John Taylor

With paintings by Caroline François-Rubino
The Bitter Oleander Press
June 2018

  • Grace Cavalieri December 12, 2018 – Washington Independent Review of Books

Our creative team is seasoned by an association where sometimes the work comes first, sometimes the painting. In this book, the noir masterworks appear to follow the verse in that they amplify and describe so accurately. Taylor is an ex-pat living in France who calls upon his childhood in Iowa as well as his explorations in Europe to memorialize nature’s great sentinels. It’s an art book and a poetry book. At the center of each landscape is a voice of wonder and appreciation as well as a memory and mortality. Being alone in nature will do that, lets you know what you think and remember — an inner porthole to the past in the beauty of today’s surroundings. But Taylor is not alone; the paintings give another authority to what is said and a chance to feel something more. The paintings are not simply innate skill. They are a spiritual power.

The Paper Birch

your father’s birch bark canoe
glides by

again and again
over the years

in his drawing
he once made at Christmas

you are standing on the shore
of an Iowa lake

just today
on the north bank of the Loire

the mists lifts
reveals the distant island
with its chaos of shrubs
and crooked trees

you knew was there
could no longer see