Something to Read on the Plane


Product Description

poems by

Richard Allen Taylor

Poetry chapbook, 40 pages, cover price $7

IBSN: 978-1-93090-765-2

Release date: 2004

This title was selected for publication as a result of finishing as a runner up in the 2004 MSR Chapbook Contest.


About The Author

After attending high school in rural North Carolina, Richard Allen Taylor worked summers on tobacco and peach farms, served a hitch in the Navy Reserve, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Ironically, having no idea he might someday want to be a poet, he passed up an opportunity to double-major in psychology and English because he did not care to enroll in the required poetry courses.

In 2001, Taylor “got serious” about poetry, attended workshops and became a fixture on Charlotte’s open mike poetry scene. His first poems were published in 2002 and since then his work has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. Something to Read on the Plane is his first poetry collection.

Taylor has spent over 30 years in the business world, having held various management positions in the manufacturing, transportation and retail automotive industries. He has two grown children, one grandchild and lives in Charlotte with his wife Julie.



God bless all who brought us light: the cave man
who found fire when lightning struck and learned
to strike sparks; the little known but very bright
Chinese inventor whose insights in chemistry produced
the All-American firework sights we see every July 4th
and in the rocket’s red glare, the light of Lady Liberty,
her torch raised high. We will never forget Edison,
who labored though the night those long years, looking
for the right filament. Westinghouse, Sylvania, GE,
many others we applaud; bees for their wax,
whales for their oil, fossils for their fuel. Let us not
overlook the luminous sun, the stars, the illuminated moon,
the reflected light that collects like silvery rain in mountain lakes,
refracted light split into rainbows, waves or particles,
emitted light, photoelectric, photosynthetic, bounced from mirrors,
passed through prisms. To those who illuminate dark corners
we give thanks and praise—poets, philosophers, electricians,
all who make us see the light, rhetorical or incandescent,
who teach us to examine things in the light of day, to hope
for the light at the end of the tunnel. To all who shed light
on the subject, we shed our grace and say oh say can you see
the dawn’s early light, the twilight, the highlights, soft lights,
lamp lights, white lights on dark nights and all the colors
there ever were, light itself divided into a thousand voices
all starting with Genesis and heaven and earth
and God, who thought of it first.


is grossly underrated, glad to be here, eager to get going.
Unlike Monday, it doesn’t care that the weekend is over

or that it was not designated a national holiday.
Tuesday is morning news and handy tool, the good dog

that comes when you call, the horse saddled
and ready to ride. It’s different from Wednesday,

which wants to be Friday, or Thursday, already dreaming
about the weekend. It’s the second pot of coffee,

fresher than the first, the ball already rolling. It’s not at all
like Friday, watching the clock, making dinner reservations.

Tuesday is about direction, not destination, about dreams,
not history, about going somewhere, not arriving. You seldom

find Tuesday hanging out in bars, unless it’s on a business trip
and has nothing better to do. If it stays out late, it knows

Wednesday will complain. Tuesday is a go-getter, a rip-roarer,
the kind of day everyone wants on their team. It almost never

gets invited to weddings or parties (except Mardi Gras) but more
than its share of funerals and insurance seminars. Tuesday works

more but has less time off than almost any other day. Even when
it goes on vacation, its has to tag along with Saturday

and Sunday and the rest of the family, who have already planned
the trip and scheduled the activities, usually without asking for

Tuesday’s opinion. Tuesday is bells ringing, whistles blowing,
the fire engine leaving the station, not the most popular

day of the week, but the kind you might pick
as a business partner, the day most likely to succeed.


I can’t say exactly when the hoarding started—first grade perhaps,
maybe sooner: coloring books, children’s storybooks, comics.

Later in life: old textbooks, novels, poetry, a whole shelf
of how-to books but none on how to

cure a bookaholic. I do read everything I buy, eventually, but
have never been more behind the literary eight-ball with the book bag

I am left holding, forty unread pounds at least but who can resist
the newest novel from a favorite author, a friend’s latest chapbook,

not to mention my subscriptions and books of all descriptions
that arrive in the daily mail, adding to the piles that grow

steadily in my special room where the shelves runneth over,
where books stand in stacks on the floor, lean against the wall,

darken the ceiling, rise like a snowdrift over the only window.
Books, books everywhere and not a book can slink

to an unoccupied cranny, plenty of books to give away
when I die. But who will have them? A library, perhaps

they’ll take a corner, possibly a whole department, name it
after me, or a new wing added

at tax-payer expense, a whole building maybe
but what’s this? You say that books will be things of the past,

everyone will be transistorized, the knowledge of the ages
condensed to a tiny chip implanted in every brain. Then

what strange destiny awaits my books? A pyramid, perhaps,
built of atlases and paperbacks, National Geographics,

anthologies and tomes. Or did you mean tomb, me somewhere
on the lone prairie bulldozed with my books and land-filled

to the rim, a mighty canyon made into a golf course, the best
ever built, each fairway a testament to the printed word,

challenging book traps guarding every green, drama on every hole
and best of all, a statue of me, the founder, a bronzed reader

next to the eighteenth tee, and at the base, this inscription:
He Was Always Overbooked

SKU: 978-1-93090-765-2 Categories: , Tag: