Janet Fisher

A Huddersfield Poet

Category: Life And Other Terms


Dust on the mantelpiece; postcards and brittle letters

telling of boys in old swim-suits, picnics on hot sand,
piano-playing at dusk. Photos of aunts
and unknown friends of aunts; laughter
in gardens of houses long moved from;
baby and dog on a rug.

Merciless, I rip papers from folders,
pack books and ornaments for charity.
She will live in my heart, I say,
I don’t need her on my shelves.
But my heart is lumbered with ghosts, flickering
on the turn of a stair, in a child’s grin.

Janet Fisher
in Life and Other Terms, Shoestring Press, 2015

Life and Other Terms


I split autumn perennials,
layer rhododendrons for spring
lashed by winds,
lacking even good bones
against the virtues of age.

With full hands
I pull at heels of rosemary,
lad’s love sweet and sad,
bitter rue and yarrow.
Geraniums on the patio
turned out like children to get the sun;
the faint green of old bottles
wait for something to be done with them,

and I see living’s a job like any other,
that there are no true and perfect implements
to trim the edges, only working usages, like knives.

In Life and Other Terms


The Moon And Arlo


The harvest moon
in a scarf of cloud
whitens the fields.

Jupiter rests by its left flank.
There’s a lot to think about.
The stars are humble, waiting.

Sheila’s eggs are small moons
naked in the Petrie dish ready
for a strange act of love,

the best to be picked,
implanted in their warm bed.
It’s the date my mother died.

After four weeks
my son texts ‘heartbeat!’
The moon’s full.

in Life and Other Terms
“Like a ghost, laughing” – notice how her mother crept in.
And “The stars are humble, waiting” – where did that come from?

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