Two poems by Maria Taylor

The Landfills of Heaven

are clean as icebergs.

There are Everests of wedding rings
and silver bedsteads that sing
like tuning forks.

There are green, translucent hills
made of empty champagne bottles
and crystal flutes
waiting for the blue lips of ghosts.

There’s a hum marking the perimeter,
the low, sustained notes of cello strings,
guitars and violins,
teased from the hands of their keepers.

There are mint LPs of birdsong
and every human voice.

In one corner blossoms
fall into spotless, white skips.
The caretakers sweep stray petals
into neat pyramids
to be used again as feathers.

A flat, distant bell
marks every passing hour.

Visitors want to pry but can’t
bear the refrigerator cold.


The Invisible Man

My daughter pushes
the invisible man on a swing
under the apple tree.

I’ve known him for years,
recognise him by the dust motes.
I asked him out. He stood me up.

I carried him in my book bag.
He fooled me at kiss-chase.
Now he’s back. He wants my girl.

We think of him as very tall,
so thin and stretchy he could wind
his arms around us like twine.

We sing to him as we push
an empty seat back and forth.
His long toes skim the leaves.


Maria Taylor‘s poetry has been published in a variety of magazines, including Ambit, Magma and The Rialto. Her first collection Melanchrini (Nine Arches Press) was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. These two poems are taken from her forthcoming pamphlet, to be published by HappenStance. Twitter: @MariaTaylor_