An absolute treasure of folksongs, stories, and contagious charm 

~Doris Kearns-Goodwin

American Historian

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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

You Are All a Bunch of Punks

Poetry without form is like tennis without a net. ~Robert Frost       Free verse poetry is not, as many assume, poetry without rules. It is a measured and thoughtful crafting of an idea into lines,...

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...

Writing Iambic Dimeter Poetry

I am sitting here realizing how hard it is to ask you--a bunch of fifteen-year-old boys--to write iambic dimeter poetry, a form of poetry that is more or less ignored nowadays. I (literally) played...

Wrenching Day

It has certainly been a long time since wisdom ruled the day. I did get up and run in the rain, and now I am preparing to do some “wrenching” on my motorcycle. I am trying to temper my eagerness to...


Wisdom starts in non-action… The doing and non-doing are the equal balance. Without the luxury of contemplation there would not be a prioritizing of need versus want. Wisdom balances physical...

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 ….

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...

When the same thing happens again

I wonder if God is testing me, giving Me some affable warning Or, perhaps, a more Stern rebuke, replaying A foolish mistake, Rehashing and reminding me Of a harsher possibility. It is only a small...

What’s in a Song

Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet. ~Plato         Writing a song is...

What Christmas Is

  I am not sure what Christmas really is anymore. I am almost afraid to think of what Christians are going through in the lands of the original Christian faith. By dint of place and time, I grew up...

What a Picture Tells

"Zou Ma Guan Hua" You can't ride a horse and smell the flowers ~Chinese Proverb Sometimes I love just browsing through old folders of pictures of my kids when they were just kids in every sense of...


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...

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?”


  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...

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...


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.”

Thinking of My Sister

When Cool Was Really Cool  Life is not counted by the amount of breaths we take,  but of the moments that leave us breathless. ~Unknown             We were coming home from church one morning and...

There is in an easiness

When I begin to think of myself. My girded shell squeezing Oysters in a jar; My oily viscera Jammed and joggled Into impossible places. My pancreas Is never where it should be; My esophagus cut...

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...

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...

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...

The Teacher’s Couch

It’s not just a couch; it’s a sofa, too ~Fitz           I remember my first year teaching at Fenn—and it was really my first stint as a true worker with responsibilities outside of what I already...

The Street I Never Go Down

As is often the case, I sit here with good intent to write my end-of-term comments--a dry litany of repeated phrases dulled by. obligation--and find myself instead writing poetry, the stuff I would...

The Storm of Fallibility

       One good cigar is better than two bad cigars, or so it seems right now. It is a beautiful and stormy night--pouring rain and howling wind, and I thought a good smoke would be a fitting end to...

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,...

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...

The Silver Apples of the Moon.

Stories are a communal currency of humanity. ― Tahir Shah, In Arabian Nights The most powerful and enduring connection we share as a human race is our desire and need to share stories. We engage in...

The Shapes of Stories

While I have always been a storyteller of sorts, I am not much of a writer of stories--but I have always been intrigued by the relative simplicity at the core design level of most books and movies....

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...

When the eyes rest on the soul…that’s Fitzy!

~Lenny Megliola
WEEI Radio, Boston

Booking for Concerts, Readings, Presentations & Workshops…

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

Message or Call 978-793-1553

Keeping Music Alive…

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

~Spirit of Change Magazine

Winter in Caribou

by John Fitzsimmons | Fires in the Belly


  When I first met John Fitzsimmons in 1989, I thought the Old Man of the Mountains had shaved off his beard, picked up a guitar, and was trying his luck as a folksinger. He was a bit late, covered with small pieces of dirt, and apologized tersely for his condition, saying he’d just finished building a stone wall for a neighbor. He shook my hand and I knew he wasn’t lying, but I wondered what kind of a man prepared for a recording session by handling rough boulders. Several hours, and now several years later, Fitzy still makes me wonder, but I find I’m more often amazed than amused.

His songs seem to come from deep within the New England earth. Sometimes burning with fire and rage, sometimes warm and gentle, but always honest and clear. In a voice that’s equal parts granite and brandy, John etches unsentimental portraits of real people facing life’s struggles and joys the only way they know how. Sometimes the characters manage to find some distant light, but it’s the journey, not the journey’s end, that’s important to John.

What makes this disparate collection believable is the road traveled by the writer. Over the past twenty years John has worked as a sailor, farmhand, logger, woodcarver, musician, storyteller, teacher, wrestling coach, and other jobs he refuses to talk about. For the past twelve years he’s held forth every Thursday night in the back tavern of the Colonial Inn in Concord, (once home to Henry David Thoreau’s family) and the place to go if you want to meet some real swamp Yankees, people who lived in these towns before the yuppie exodus made them suburbs. You’re sure to find these folks there: listening to the music, singing along, sucking down brews, and giving Fitzy a playfully hard time.

The other “voice” on this recording is the inspired production and musicianship of Seth Connelly, who plays far too many instruments far too well for a mere mortal. Seth has worked with John Gorka, Catie Curtis, Ellis Paul, Geoff Bartley and others: and when John hooked up with him a couple of years ago, these songs took on new colors and dimensions. they both share a complete trust in each others vision, as well as a friendship as strong as the songs they’ve created.

So I want you to listen to this friend of mine, John Fitzsimmons. His songs give voice to things we all can hear. Put this on, sit back, and hear for yourself…

Eric Kilburn

2003: Best Childrens Album of the Year

~Boston Parents Paper

Don't Laugh at Me

by John Fitzsimmons | Campfire: Greatest Campsongs of All Time

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


by Denise Fitzsimmons | Dawghouse

A Master of Folk

~The Boston Globe 

No Dad To Come Home To

by John Fitzsimmons | Dawghouse

Published Works…


by John Fitzsimmons | Bigelow's Field


by John Fitzsimmons | Three Rivers Anthology

Shane (written by Jimmy O'Brien)

by Fitz | Fires in the Belly

Salty Dawg Blues

by The Salty Dawgs | Dawghouse

Message or Call 978-793-1553