A Collection with Something for Everyone #FridayFunReads #Poetry #Inspiration

Colors Passing Through us

by Marge Piercy


What Amazon Says


In Colors Passing Through Us, Marge Piercy is at the height of her powers, writing about what matters to her most: the lives of women, nature, Jewish ritual, love between men and women, and politics, sexual and otherwise.

Feisty and funny as always, she turns a sharp eye on the world around her, bidding an exhausted farewell to the twentieth century and singing an “electronic breakdown blues” for the twenty-first. She memorializes movingly those who, like Los desaparecidos and the victims of 9/11, disappear suddenly and without a trace.

She writes an elegy for her mother, a woman who struggled with a deadening round of housework, washin gon Monday, ironing on Tuesday, and so on, “until stroke broke/her open.” She remembers the scraps of lace, the touch of velvet, that were part of her maternal inheritance and first aroused her sensual curiosity.

Here are paeans to the pleasures of the natural world (rosy ripe tomatoes, a mating dance of hawks) as the poet confronts her own mortality in the cycle of seasons and the eternity of the cosmos: “I am hurrying, I am running hard / toward I don’t know what, / but I mean to arrive before dark.” Other poems–about her grandmother’s passage from Russia to the New World, or the interrupting of a Passover seder to watch a comet pass–expand on Piercy’s appreciation of Jewish life that won her so much acclaim in The Art of Blessing the Day.

Colors Passing Through Us is a moving celebration of the endurance of love and of the phenomenon of life itself–a book to treasure.


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My Thoughts


Marge Piercy has inspired my work for years. Her poem, “In Praise of Joe,” which appears in a previous collection, inspired my poem, “Ode to Dr. Pepper,” which appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. Her memoir, Sleeping with Cats, inspired me to write My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, in the same style, with a poem at the end of each chapter.

I found myself relating to many of the poems in Colors Passing Through Us. I enjoyed “Got the 21st Century Blues,” in which she writes about a day when her furnace, computer, and cable stopped working. “Minor Losses,” in which she waxes nostalgic about buying homemade ice cream, reminded me of times as a kid when my family bought ice cream from Baskin-Robbins in Tucson, Arizona, and from Dairy Queen and the ice cream stand in the park here in Sheridan, Wyoming. “The Disintegration” made me thankful my marriage ended in death, not divorce.

I found some poems disturbing. A good example of one of these is “Family Values,” in which she reflects on domestic violence that occurred in her neighborhood when she was growing up. I didn’t particularly care for the sexual references in “Kamasutra for Dummies” and other poems.

But I especially liked the poems on nature themes in the section, “Winter’s Promise.” I found the poems on Judaism in the section, “Little Lights” fascinating. Colors Passing Through Us has something for everyone, and I highly recommend it.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?






Saturday Song: The Beatles–Across the Universe

Last year when President Trump took office, and things started changing for the worst, in my opinion, I kept having to tell myself that it wasn’t my problem and wouldn’t affect my lifestyle, and there was nothing I could do about it, anyway. This song echoes that sentiment. Enjoy, and have a great Saturday.


Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
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Poem Speaks Out Against Trump


I usually don’t get political here, but when someone in my Third Thursday Poets group suggested we each write a poem about the meaning of January 20th for critique at our last session, I couldn’t resist. Click on the title below to hear me read what I wrote. You’re welcome to comment, whether you agree or not, but if you don’t like what you read or hear, I hope we can simply agree to disagree.





Today, our country turns over a new leaf.

A different leader takes the Oath of Office.

A billionaire, racist, bigot

with no grasp of foreign policy,

little respect for women or minorities

or concern for impoverished Americans,

the economy, environment,

he won the Presidency, not by popular vote

in an election possibly rigged by Russians.

What will become of America?


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

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