Janet Fisher

A Huddersfield Poet

Tag: 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?

God’s Wife

God’s Wife

He grew up round here. His own country.
‘Since God were a lad’ they say,
remembering. The local paper
prints yesteryear photos of old teams.
There he is, foot on the ball.

He was always restless, spent
hours in our back yard, fettling.
He’d come up with all sorts – animals
you’d never seen the like of, bits of stars.
All gone now.

His smile shone like sunrise.
His fingers were lightning bolts
jolting my skin as he smoothed my breasts.
His blood ran swift as rivers, his heart
a rock veined with silver.

He was changeable as the weather.
His temper ran riot: that booming voice!
That was the start of the split.
He couldn’t stand being stuck in one place.
By Whitsun he’d packed his bags.

I hear rumours, like thunder across the tops.
We’d wanted kids, but it wasn’t to be.
Then he took up with this girl, under age,
already spoken for. A son was born –
I often wonder what became of him.

I love it round here, but I miss him:
the stirrings, the danger.
Sometimes I go walking,
gaze up at the hills,
but they don’t help.

Janet Fisher
In Life and Other Terms
Shoestring Press 2015

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