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On First Looking at Antelope Valley
Mary Lou Taylor

Close up, the poppies mix with tiny purple and pale yellow flowers,
a stray lupine, green brush, sand. From a distance they weave
bright yellow trails to the green hills and snowtopped ridgelines.
You might expect to see an easel or two set up beyond the verge.
You can buy poppy seeds along the road. People move about
among the flowers. What they do on a Sunday is bring their tripods,
cameras, a picnic lunch, set out their chairs as if they were seaside
in the blossoms spread over the wavy hills, a scatter of people
in the middle of nowhere by a few dirt roads in the sand.
The countryside is brown desert brush and spotty color. Moths leave
splats on the windshield the same bright golden shade. Magnificence
is the rise, the sprawl, the vista. And the holiness of silence. 
It must have felt the same to watchers, once, on that peak in Darien.

© by Mary Lou Taylor.
Used with the author’s permission.


Mary Lou Taylor tried three other majors before settling on English. A teacher off and on for many years, she got serious about writing poetry after she retired. Author of one book and published in several journals and anthologies, she has a second book in the works and has proven retirement to be the myth it so often is by continuing to teach a few writing and poetry classes. Learn more about Mary Lou, who lives in Saratoga, California, at


Post New Comment:
Mary Lou, one of those "easels set-up beyond the verge" is yours, with you painting this beautiful landscape with your words.
Posted 12/26/2013 03:56 PM
Mary L. Taylor:
I have to agree with Dazbog. Not too many poets now and then compare with Keats. Mary Lou Taylor
Posted 11/08/2013 04:24 PM
I love "the holiness of silence." Thank you, Mary Lou. I grew up in the Southern CA desert, and this poem brings back its unique beauty.
Posted 11/08/2013 12:32 PM
Beautiful images. You paint a picture in words.
Posted 11/08/2013 10:28 AM
Good, but they won't be reading it in 200 years like its precedent.
Posted 11/08/2013 09:23 AM
Wilda Morris:
Wonderful surprise ending.
Posted 11/08/2013 09:08 AM
Ah, the moths give their all, as does the poet. Good poem
Posted 11/08/2013 08:41 AM
Lovely. Thanks for letting me go there through your words.
Posted 11/08/2013 05:38 AM

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