Marilyn L. Taylor


Tackiest of Trees

(With abject apologies to A.E. Housman)

Tackiest of trees, the power poles
festooned with latticed rigmaroles
ascend our flowery hill like troops
of power-hungry nincompoops.

They speak a tongue not formed from leaves,
but from the buzzing in their sleeves
after a downpour, which converts
to hissy-fits in Megahertz.

Something’s ruthless in the look
of them, the zeal with which they cook
the view—transforming countryside
to grid, forever uglified.

Marilyn L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee, is the author of six poetry collections. Her poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, American Scholar, Measure, Able Muse, Poemeleon, Light, Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column, and the Random House anthology Villanelles. She has been awarded first place in contests sponsored by Winning Writers (the Margaret Reid Award), The Atlanta Review, Passager, The Ledge, Dogwood, and the GSU Review. Marilyn taught poetry and poetics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is currently an associate editor for Verse-Virtual and Third Wednesday poetry journals. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she facilitates independent poetry workshops and presentations in communities throughout the state and elsewhere.