“A Master of Folk” ~The Boston Globe

A Song Singing, Word Slinging, Story Swapping, Ballad Mongering, Folksinger, Teacher, & Poet

“A masterful weaver of songs whose deep, resonant voice rivals the best of his genre.” 

~Spirit of Change Magazine

“Beneath the friendly charisma is the heart of a purist gently leading us from the songs of our lives to the timeless traditional songs he knows so well.” 

~Globe Magazine

“The Nobel Laureate of New England Pub Music”

~Scott Alarik

Adventures in the Modern Folk Underground

Trawler

by John Fitzsimmons | Fires in the Belly

Somewhere North of Bangor

by John Fitzsimmons | Fires in the Belly

Superman

by Denise & John Fitzsimmons | Dawghouse

I’ve always made my way down to the rivers. Even now as I sit on my back porch, I hear the rush of the Assabet a half mile to the north, already filled with an early and surprising winter melt. Any leaf of me could fall and be carried back to the fork of the Sudbury and Concord rivers. My whole life has been a continual returning to these three rivers and my common ground—the water, fields, woods and village of Concord and now, just to the west, the small mill town of Maynard.

More and more I remember less and less, but there are still granite walls that will not change for another thousand years and still a few hills to defy development; still a few farmstands with the same trucks and tractors parked by weathered sheds, and still a few cantankerous old souls hiding their smiles behind seventy or eighty New England winters. I wonder if they remember the kid who worked for them so long ago? I wonder what they remember? I wonder what they wish they’d kept?

This collection is my way of keeping what I remember. Musketaquid is the native name for the Concord River. Someone once told me that it meant “slow moving river.” It seemed like a fine and apt name to me, so much so that it didn’t bother me to discover the actual translation is “grass grown river.” The fields are now all wooded over—a bramble of Hawthorne and Swamp Maple hiding almost every view; but it still a slow moving river—and always will be. Even the Nipmucks would have to agree with that.

These songs, poems and ramblings are what I have to add to the rivers. They are the small streams of my experience becoming a smaller part of the Musketaquid, which, hopefully, flows into some greater sea of understanding and insight. They are the good, the bad, and the ugly drafts of my life scattered in here with the randomness of the winds and tides that have driven me and carried me to so many shores—and have always brought me home.

These are the poems, stories, rambles, and reflections that have been written over a long run of time, usually close to home, but often in far off places, and sometimes simply as conversations with my students, friends, or family, but always within dreamshot of the beautiful, beautiful rivers that ramble through my home.

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy some part of what is here.

Festivals & Celebrations —Coffeehouses —School Assemblies — Library Presentations —Songwriting Workshops —Artist in Residence — House Concerts —Pub Singing — Irish & Celtic Performances —Poetry Readings — Campfires —Music Lessons —Senior Centers —Voiceovers & Recording

Explore The Ancient Ballads

Songs passed through time...

Recordings, History & Resources...

American Folksongs & Ballads

 

Recordings, History & Resources...

 

Songs of the Sea & Fo'castle

Recordings, History & Resources...

Winter in Caribou

I know your name. It’s written there.
I wonder if you care.
A six-pack of Narragansett beer,
Some Camels and the brownie over there.
Every day I stop by like I
Got some place I’ve got to go;
I’m buying things I don’t really need:
I don’t read the Boston Globe.

But I, I think that I
Caught the corner of your eye.
But why, why can’t I try
To say the things I’ve got inside
To you ….

Listen...

Ring of Fire: The Power of Simplicity

In fifth grade my mother finally let me go to the Concord Music store and buy a "45" single.  I bought Johnny Cash’s version of “Ring of Fire” written by his future wife June Carter and Merle Kilgore, a noted country songwriter of his day. There was no doubt in my...
Listen...

No Dad To Come Home To

Rain’s falling outside of Boston—
Thank God I’m not working tonight.
I’ve got six of my own,
And a stepdaughter at home,
And a momma keeping things right.
I wonder if they’re at the table
With their puzzles, their papers and pens?
When I get off the highway
And pull in that driveway,
Will they run to the window again?

Listen...

Life Ain’t Hard; Its Just a Waterfall

You say, hey,
who are you to say that you’re the one
to go telling me just where I’m coming from.
You can have your cake
but don’t frost me ‘til I’m done.
I can’t be fixed and I can’t afford to stall;
because life ain’t hard it’s just a waterfall.

Listen...

Last of the Boys

Come on over here
and I’ll buy the next round:
cold beer and some shooters
for the boys on the town;
Darby ain’t drinkin’
so let’s live it up
‘cause he’ll drive us all home
in his company truck

Jesus Christ, Jimmy,
man you say that you’re well;
I say we drive into Boston
and stir up some hell;
put a cap on the weekend,
a stitch in the night,
watch the Pats play on Sunday
and the welterweight fight.

That’s all she wrote boys,
there ain’t any more;
that’s why we’re standing here;
that’s what it’s for.
That’s why we all go on working all day
busting our ass for short pay:
~Hey…

Listen...

The Queer Folk

True to my words of earlier this week, I finished this song last night, and at the time, I liked it--but in the clear light of day, too much of it seems forced, especially the rhymes. But that is part of the process. I think I am almost there. Let me get my saw and...
Listen...

Somewhere North of Bangor

Somewhere north of Bangor
on the run from Tennessee.
Lost in back scrub paper land
in section TR-3.
It’s hit him he’s an outlaw
a Georgia cracker’s son,
who killed a man in Nashville
with his daddies favorite gun.
It’s hit him with the loneliness
of wondering where you are
on a long ago railway
stretched between two stars.

Listen...

No Dad To Come Home To

Rain’s falling outside of Boston—
Thank God I’m not working tonight.
I’ve got six of my own,
And a stepdaughter at home,
And a momma keeping things right.
I wonder if they’re at the table
With their puzzles, their papers and pens?
When I get off the highway
And pull in that driveway,
Will they run to the window again?

Listen...

Out of the Forge: March 30, 2017

Every Thursday Night at The Colonial Inn On the Green, in Concord, Massachusetts This is my first attempt at trying to record a night at the inn, so please forgive my engineering errors as a producer. I simply used the Bose Tonematch into Garageband and called it good...
Listen...

Superman

There’s a little blonde boy in a superman cape
Racing around the back yard;
Sayin’, “Daddy don’t you know I can fly to the moon;
I’m gonna bring you back some stars.
And after that I’m gonna save the world”
Cause I’m superman today.”
I scoop that boy right into my arms,
And this is what I say:

You don’t need a cape to be a hero
You’ve got all the special powers that you need
Your smile’s enough to save the world from evil
And you’ll always be superman to me

Listen...

Joshua Sawyer

I doubt I’d ever have taken this road
had I known how fallen it really was
to disrepair: driving comically,
skirting ruts and high boulders, grimacing
at every bang on the oil pan.
I tell you it’s the old road to Wendell —
that they don’t make them like this anymore.

Listen...

Many Miles To Go

I see it in your eyes
and in the ways you try to smile;
in the ways you whisper—I don’t know—
and put it all off for a while;
then you keep on keeping on
in the only way you know:
you’re scared of where you’re going
and who’ll catch you down below.

Listen...

Out of the Forge: April 6, 2017

Some nights I feel like I am singing in a mall. Tonight--in a fun way--it felt a bit like I walked into the Natick mall at Christmas time and pulled out my guitar in front of the Apple store and started to play, but like every night down at the inn it evolved into a...
Listen...

Don’t Let Go of Your Soul

Sometimes yeah.
Sometimes no.
Sometimes it’s somehow somewhere in between.
Sometimes it’s somewhere that no one has been–
no, nobody, nowhere, no nothing can end.
So don’t you let go and hope you’ll find it again.
Don’t you ever let go–

Listen...

Shane

It’s been too long feeling sorry for myself.
It’s been too long with my life up on the shelf.
Sometimes wish that I was Shane—
shoot Jack Palance, and disappear again;
don’t have no one
don’t want no one
don’t miss no one:
living lonely with a saddle and a gun.

Listen...

Searching for an Alibi

Here I am out on the road again
and it feels longer than it was back then;
when I was younger, man, it saw me through—
now it don’t do
what I want it to—

Too ra loo ra loo ra lady I—
I’m just out searching for an alibi
Too ra loo ra loo ra lady I
I’m just out searching for an alibi.

Listen...

Weekend Custody

Jesse calls up this morning—
“You can come downstairs now;
You see the grapefruit bowl?
Well, I fixed it all;
I fixed everything for you.”

Everything’s for you…

“Let me help you make the coffee,
Momma says you drink it too.
I can’t reach the stove,
But I can pour it, though—
What’s it like living alone?”

Listen...

Calvary

It seems like it ain’t been a long time,
But I’m damn pleased your coming by again.
It’s been a while since we sat down and rambled
About this and that and why and who and then
You said that you had to get a move on,
Move on and leave a space behind.
So I spent a while hitting all those old roads:
Old friends and kicking down the wine.

Listen...

Ghetto of Your Eye

A Veteran's Day Remembrance I wrote this song back in the winter of 1989 in the dining car of a steam driven train, somewhere along the Trans-Siberian railway, after meeting a group of Russian soldiers fresh from battle in Afghanistan—that poor country that has been a...
Listen...

Trawler

Leave the fog stillness
of a cold harbor town;
cup our hands
in the warm diesel sound—
leave while the children
are calmed in their dreams
by light buoys calling:
“Don’t play around me.”

Listen...

Metamorphoses

It’s something I‘ve hardly ever thought of:
this simple and rattling old diesel
has always gotten me there and then some;
and so at first I think this sputtering
is just some clog, and easily explained:
some bad fuel maybe, from the new Exxon,
or just shortsightedness on maintenance.
I’ve always driven in the red before,
and these have all been straight highway miles —

Listen...

Out of the Forge: April 13, 2017

In my forty years or so of actively singing and playing folk music and writing songs, I have played together with a remarkably narrow list of musical partners: Rogue, Wally and Barry with camp songs and Hatrack and Seth with literally everything. These last few years...
Listen...

Garden Woman

I woke today and had my tea
and at the window spent the morning:
the same scene I’ve seen so many times
is each day freshly born;
from the ground I turn each spring and fall
come the flowers sweetly blooming;
you disappear among the weeds—
you are the garden woman.

Listen...

Ghetto of Your Eye

I wrote this song back in the winter of 1989, in the dining car of a steam driven train, somewhere along the Trans-Siberian railway, after meeting a group of Russian soldiers fresh from battle in Afghanistan—that poor country that has been a battleground for way too long.

We stare together hours the snow whipped Russian plain—
rolling in the ghetto of your eye.
We share a quart of vodka
and some cold meat on the train—
you know too much to even wonder why;
I see it in the ghetto of your eye.

Listen...

Zenmo Yang Ni

I lost the time I hardly knew you,
half-assed calling:
“How you doing?
Laughing at my hanging hay field;
I never knew the time
that tomorrow’d bring,
until it brung to me.

Yuan lai jui shuo: “Zenmoyang ni?”
Xianzai chang shu: “Dou hai keyi”;
Xiexie nimen, dou hen shang ni.
Xiwang wo men dou hen leyi
Dou hen leyi

Listen...

Essex Bay

This house makes funny noises
When the wind begins to blow.
I should have held on and never let you go.
The wind blew loose the drainpipe.
You can hear the melting snow.
I’ll fix it in the morning when I go.
I’ll fix it in the morning when I go.

Listen...

Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives…

~Henry David Thoreau

The Value of a Classic

“Classic' - a book which people praise and don't read.” ~Mark Twain A note to my 8th grade class:      All of you are supposedly reading a classic book, but what Twain says is true: few of us go thirsty to the well and willingly read the greatest works of literature...
Read more...

China Journal: Part One

I           The dull staccato throb in light rain on a dark night. Unseen barges make their way up the QianTian River—concrete shores marked by the arch of the bridge, the spans of beam stretched on beam, the impeccable symmetry of the street-lights broken by a stream...
Read more...

In the unfolding chores

The day sometimes slip away from me, a huge pine half-bucked in the backyard, the kids old tree fort cut into slabs, a ton of coal waiting to be moved in a train of buckets to the bin. Sipping cold water on the back deck I hear Emma rustling for soccer cleats and...
Read more...

A Hard Sell

     As a teacher, I am tired of the word blog, probably because the word “blogging” is incredibly limiting and myopic, especially for someone whose teaching is centered around an online curriculum with blogs front and center on my academic table. I sat through a...
Read more...

The Small Potato

Maybe there is a God. I just came home and sat down in the kitchen to grade some papers and input some grades, but the internet is buggy and slow, and I thought, "maybe this is the message" that I am trading my soul for work. I even remember myself  pontificating in...
Read more...

Out of the Forge: April 13, 2017

In my forty years or so of actively singing and playing folk music and writing songs, I have played together with a remarkably narrow list of musical partners: Rogue, Wally and Barry with camp songs and Hatrack and Seth with literally everything. These last few years...
Read more...

Out of the Forge: April 6, 2017

Some nights I feel like I am singing in a mall. Tonight--in a fun way--it felt a bit like I walked into the Natick mall at Christmas time and pulled out my guitar in front of the Apple store and started to play, but like every night down at the inn it evolved into a...
Read more...

A Priori

How do I know what I know? The sharp angles of this simple cottage perfected  in every board sawn, shingle split and beam hewn into place goes together placed, splined, slid together, bound more by intuition than...
Read more...

Mum…

Very jealous today of all the folks I see spending time with their respective moms--and sad for those who can't and for those whose wives were taken from their families too early in life... This is my remmebrance of my "mum" who died several years ago.       I ran...
Read more...

Waiting for a Poem

  It’s not like a poem to come curl by my feet on this morning too beautiful to describe, though I am looking and listening and waiting: A rooster crows above the low hum of morning traffic; the trash truck spills air from brakes and rattles empties into bins; my...
Read more...

The Right Side of the Inevitable

  Like birds of a feather, we gather together, 'Cuz they're feeling exactly like you... ~John Prine   I am not afraid of being a white minority. I had lunch today with a Jamaican drummer, a Ugandan farmer, and a Senagalese potter. I don’t say this out of...
Read more...

Presenting…

"Anything worth succeeding in, is worth failing in."~by Edison?      A contractor friend showed up at my house a few weeks ago just after I finished making the hearth and installing my new wood/coal stove. He complimented me on how "awesome" it looked. I then lamented...
Read more...

How To Be Human

Mark Twain once wrote that it is good to be a good person, but it is better to tell people how to be good--"and a damn sight easier!" So much of my life is lived in response to the moment and not in a practiced and cultivated wisdom. I sat here this morning looking...
Read more...

Yesterday did not become a poem

Nothing became something else; No thoughts filled my head With wonder or wisdom. Listless sky. Jumbled frames. Fleeting images: Chattering squirrels, Distant rumbling Of rush hour traffic. Today I am more determined, But all that is left Is the promise Of...
Read more...

Close Your Eyes and See

      A lot of things in life fall short of the mark, but thoughtfulness has never let me down. For some forty years I have faithfully kept journals of the wanderings of my mind—most of which is lost in some way or another, but the effect hangs on like a sailor...
Read more...

A Monday Ramble

There is always a hard shift for me at the end of the summer, and today is that day for me. I miss the freedom of last week: I'd wake in the morning, come out to the deck to write poetry or work on my novel--but now today, I feel like I should be preparing for school,...
Read more...

A Late Night Metacognition

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after ~Henry David Thoreau           When you need something done, find a busy person to help you get it done. My mother loved repeating that to me all the way to her dying day,...
Read more...

Out of the Forge: March 30, 2017

Every Thursday Night at The Colonial Inn On the Green, in Concord, Massachusetts This is my first attempt at trying to record a night at the inn, so please forgive my engineering errors as a producer. I simply used the Bose Tonematch into Garageband and called it good...
Read more...

Evolution

The coyotes and fisher cats seem intent on striking some new deal with each other to toy with our fears in this gentleman's wilderness— patches of dense woods dotted with overgrown fields, riven and intersected by highways, powerlines and quiet, suburban...
Read more...

The Litter in Concord

I have been following a Facebook thread about the movement in my beloved hometown of Concord to ban plastic water bottles, plastic bags and styrofoam cups. I am trying to discern whether or not my initial responses are pure and true and not simply reactionary and...
Read more...

Why Trump Is Not Flipping Me Out

I wonder why Trump is not flipping me out? I wonder if there is some bigoted, ignorant and right-wing element that lurks inside this folk-singing, poem writing, neo-socialist shell of mine. Maybe it is not that hard for me to make the empathetic reach to feel at least...
Read more...

The End Is the Beginning

For the past twenty years this night has always been a bittersweet moment. I have never been hobbled by boredom or a lack of "things I love to do," so whatever supposed free time I have is rewarding in whatever I choose to do. The flip side is that I am teacher, and I...
Read more...

Canobie lake

Going to Canobie Lake is always the turning point of the year for me. It is like some primal signal that It is time to turn away from the school year and towards the future.  Obviously, it is my hope that you learned some useful skills this year, but, more...
Read more...

The Enigma

Black Pond is not as deepas it is dark, dammedsome century agobetween ledges of granite and an outcropping of leaning fir, huckleberry, and white pine. For years I have paddled and trolled;swam, fished, sailed and sometimessimply tread water in the night trying to...
Read more...

Make Something out of Something

It's hard to make chicken salad out of chicken manure      Dirty hands are a good sign, so hopefully, you got some mental mud on your hands and created some content to work with today.  To a starving man, any food is good food--unless it...
Read more...

A New Hearth

It has been a long time since I wrote a simple old "this is what I am going to do today" post. So this is what I am going to do today: [and trust me, it will have nothing--absolutely nothing--to do with school work:)] Before the true winter settles in, I am going to...
Read more...

Practicing What I Preach

It is not where you go. It is how you go. ~Fitz Is there any value in coming to the page this late at night after three hours of singing in a pub, just because I said I would? I expect you to go to the empty page and pry tired and stubborn thoughts and lay them on the...
Read more...

Finally…

Just closed the lid, so to speak, on what seems to be weeks of school-related paperwork. I am excited to go to my classes tomorrow with only those classes on my mind--not the letters home to parents, the secondary school recs, the grades and comments to homeroom...
Read more...

Practice Doing

Someday, someone might fire you for not doing what you should have done.    There are some days when a teacher might wonder whether it is worth giving the extra effort if the students are not giving the extra effort. I am lucky--and cursed--that I get to live and...
Read more...

Supermoon

Last night the August supermoon reminded me of the fickleness of time and how substance becomes shadow and memories begin to etch themselves immutably into the hardness of what is already lost.
Read more...

Joshua Sawyer

I doubt I’d ever have taken this road
had I known how fallen it really was
to disrepair: driving comically,
skirting ruts and high boulders, grimacing
at every bang on the oil pan.
I tell you it’s the old road to Wendell —
that they don’t make them like this anymore.

Read more...

Denise

There is something about coming hometo this empty house, yesterday'sheavy downpours scouringclean the alreadyweathered deckwhere I sitwishing...
Read more...

The Threshing

I trace her charging through the cornfield shaking the timbers of the ready crop startling up the blackbirds, and surprisingly, a jay. It’s the jay who startles me—
who with two quick pulls wrests itself from the transient green, screaming back from its familiar scrub...
Read more...

Kampuchea

I stutter for normality across the river from black men fishing for kibbers and horned pout. Barefoot children rounded bellies curled navels stalk the turtle sunning on a log. lonely in the field grass lonely on the curbstones I stutter for normality. Not a mother...
Read more...

Molting

I am always molting; leaving my hollowed skin in awkward places, scaring people and making them jump. They touch me and think I’m real; then laugh and say things like “What a riot.” I’m tired of this changing of skins. I’d rather stumble on myself and be fooled; and...
Read more...

How do I know

what I know? The sharp angles of this simple cottage perfected in every board sawn, shingle split and beam hewn into place goes together placed, splined, slid together, bound more by intuition than...
Read more...

In Reply To Einstein

*God casts the die, not the dice. ~Alfred Einstein I am cold down the neck, turtling my head to showers of ice that fall dancing and skidding on skins of crusted snow. I hold my breath when I step, inflating hopes of a weightlessness, and so be undetected
to the play...
Read more...

Pruning

These trees have driven so many friends batty, wedged in unstable crotches, embracing hollow, heart-rotted limbs, reaching tentatively, maddened with indecision. From a distance your gestures are very lobsterlike— waving a last embattled claw, as if dueling some...
Read more...

In the unfolding chores

The day sometimes slip away from me, a huge pine half-bucked in the backyard, the kids old tree fort cut into slabs, a ton of coal waiting to be moved in a train of buckets to the bin. Sipping cold water on the back deck I hear Emma rustling for soccer cleats and...
Read more...

Supermoon

Last night the August supermoon reminded me of the fickleness of time and how substance becomes shadow and memories begin to etch themselves immutably into the hardness of what is already lost.
Read more...

Raccoon Welcome

Welcome
Read more...

Evolution

The coyotes and fisher cats seem intent on striking some new deal with each other to toy with our fears in this gentleman's wilderness— patches of dense woods dotted with overgrown fields, riven and intersected by highways, powerlines and quiet, suburban...
Read more...

Welcome

I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men's lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land... ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden I’ve...
Read more...

The Snow

has dropped a seamlessness before the plows and children can patch it back to a jagged and arbitrary quilting putting borders to design and impulse. I imagine myself falling everywhere softly, whispering, I am here, and I am here.
Read more...

Raccoon

I’ve stopped the chinks with newspaper and rags wedged tightly against the wind blowing cold three days now. I feed the fire and curse its hissing and steaming mixing green oak with sticks of dried pine calling myself Raccoon grown fat in the suburbs sleeping in...
Read more...

The Fisher

To cast far is to cast well. I’ve always believed that the biggest fish are just beyond my range and lie in dark water I could never swim to. But experience is the wisdom that has me now casting closer to shore, nearest the reeds and overgrowth — a subtleness geared...
Read more...

Chores

The day sometimes slip away from me, a huge pine half-bucked in the backyard, the kids old tree fort cut into slabs, a ton of coal waiting to be moved in a train of buckets to the bin. Sipping cold water on the back deck, sharpening the dulled teeth of a worn...
Read more...

Goathouse

Goat house In reaching for the scythe I’m reminded of the whetstone and the few quick strokes by which it was tested-- the hardness of hot August; the burning of ticks off dog backs. It’s winter now in this garage made barn, and the animals seem only curious that I’d...
Read more...

The Tide

They are building a world and the plastic is fading: Margaret and Eddie's buckets are split, pouring out the warm Atlantic as they race along the tidal flat, filling pools connected by frantically dug canals. Tommy squats naked and screams in guttural joy at the...
Read more...

Concord

The people, the music filledness of rush hour traffic skirting puddles work crews packing in laughswearingmudyellowed slickers lighting candle bombs. My sadness the euphoric detachment. I love this town. It breathes me.
Read more...

The English Soldier

There is a soldier dressed in ancient English wool guarding the entrance to the inn. He is lucky for this cool night awaiting the pomp of the out of town wedding party. He is paid to be unmoved by the bride's stunning beauty or her train of lesser escorts. He will not...
Read more...

Dealing with Ether

Trying to only see what is in front of me my eyes are continually drawn away from this page and the work left to be done— my labored words etched and scratched away like fleeting mosaics in dry sand. I need a windowless cell to work the alchemy that shapes the...
Read more...

Dad

Moaning like a lost whale the thin ice bellowed behind us then cracked and rang as if spit from a whip. The sharp steel of my over-sized skates etched unspeakable joy into the slate-grey, reptilian skin of Walden Pond. Our mismatched hands gripped together in the...
Read more...

The Mystery Within

EJ wanted a banana tree for Christmas so that early morning brought a plastic bag, a few meager roots and no directions. I bought some potting soil and a square cedar box EJ placed deliberately by a westward window. He gently splayed the roots, pressed the soil, and...
Read more...

Yesterday did not become a poem

Nothing became something else; No thoughts filled my head With wonder or wisdom. Listless sky. Jumbled frames. Fleeting images: Chattering squirrels, Distant rumbling Of rush hour traffic. Today I am more determined, But all that is left Is the promise Of...
Read more...

Eighteen Years

At midnight I hear the cuckoo clock chiming from it’s perch in a cluttered kitchen locked in cadence with the tower bell gonging this old mill town at midnight to a deeper sleep, like a call to prayer reminding me that this new day, starting in the dark of a hallowed...
Read more...

Thanksgiving

I am surprised sometimesby the suddenness of November:beauty abruptly shedto a common nakedness--grasses deadenedby hoarfrost,persistent memoriesof people I’ve lost.It is left to those of us dressed in the hard barky skin of experienceto insist on a decorumthat rises...
Read more...

Weeds

  Somewhere locked in this choke of weeds spread like a mangy carpet is the hardened vine of Pipo’s Concord Grape he planted in an eager spring three years ago. Gasping for air and sun and water perhaps it has found some way to hide from my flailing hoe and the...
Read more...

Thanksgiving

I am surprised sometimes by the suddenness of November: beauty abruptly shed to a common nakedness— grasses deadened by hoarfrost, persistent memories of people I’ve lost. It is left to those of us dressed in the hard barky skin of experience to insist on a decorum...
Read more...

Waiting for a Poem

  It’s not like a poem to come curl by my feet on this morning too beautiful to describe, though I am looking and listening and waiting: A rooster crows above the low hum of morning traffic; the trash truck spills air from brakes and rattles empties into bins; my...
Read more...

The Enigma

Black Pond is not as deepas it is dark, dammedsome century agobetween ledges of granite and an outcropping of leaning fir, huckleberry, and white pine. For years I have paddled and trolled;swam, fished, sailed and sometimessimply tread water in the night trying to...
Read more...

Goathouse

In reaching for the scythe I’m reminded of the whetstone and the few quick strokes by which it was tested— the hardness of hot August; the burning of ticks off dog backs. It’s winter now in this garage made barn, and the animals seem only curious that I’d be here so...
Read more...

A Priori

How do I know what I know? The sharp angles of this simple cottage perfected  in every board sawn, shingle split and beam hewn into place goes together placed, splined, slid together, bound more by intuition than...
Read more...

TheCraftedWord.org

 

Writing Help When You Need It…

 

Visit TheCraftedWord.org

Contact Fitz….

2 + 2 =

%d bloggers like this: