Washed Up – by Chris Taylor


Along the waterfront, playthings of the rich
bob frivolous among reflections of million dollar hideaways.
Caribbean Explorer. Sunset Dream. Grateful Not Greedy.

Two blocks over, cast up on the steps of Central Library
[insert verb] piles of cardboard, canvas, human flesh –
cast-offs of Reagan and Bush, Abolitionism and the Chicago School.

Robyn asks me for a dollar.
Green eyes flash, red hair glows.
“I’m getting low right now. Food Stamp Card
is empty until the fourth.”
That’s a week away.

She rambles through her life story:
Oklahoma, two kids, three beautiful grandkids.
Teacher, Elementary School Head –
until four years ago when
her brain froze one side of her face.

Everything here is like eggshells.
Everything one slip from destitution,
one stroke from endless demise.
Everything here has someone’s name on it.
This street, this park, plaza, school, dining terrace –
fragile monuments to frail ego,
petrified of their own mortality.

Everything here is fragile.

I am fragile here.
I feel I would crack
if held too tight.




Chris Taylor lives in Yorkshire and is unofficial poet of The New Story. His poems, which are often blunt and heart-felt, channel a more beautiful future. Part political, part spiritual, his work avoids polemic while refusing to duck the issues of our age. Chris splits his time between writing and working as a life-coach, facilitator and mentor for people and organisations that are building a better world amongst the ruins of late-stage global capitalism.

One thought on “Washed Up – by Chris Taylor

  1. Love the illustration of fragility of the individual in a flawed system. Work like this seems even more important in today’s world. Powerful without preaching.


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