Linda M. Fischer
When I give local readings I am often introduced as the garden poet, because I tend to see life through the lens of a natural setting and my poems often reflect my propensity for gardening. Not surprisingly, the first of my poems to see print was in Fine Gardening magazine in 2001. Since then I’ve been publishing routinely in the small press (Ibbetson Street, Atlanta Review, and Poetry East, to name a few). I’ve authored 2 chapbooks which are listed on my website: lindamfischer.com
Early Intimations of Poesy
I spoke English from an early age,
my mother tongue spoken as my mother
spoke it, and few others. Unwitting,
I used words that marked me as rather
odd: a zebra among horses or mules—
too fancy for the common herd.
I wrote little English in the public schools.
Unpenned to greener pastures I browsed
the literary arts in a corral of survey
courses, beset by words that buzzed
like flies and wouldn’t light on paper.
No nose for prose, I worked up
quite a lather—not so much by
what to say, but how to say it faster.
Art & Craft
So, you want what I write to ‘sound’
like poetry? I spend hours turning
over words like a jeweler assessing
gemstones to determine how each facet
should be cut to reveal its inner fire.
Some days—obdurate as boulders—
they shed no light at all
and as in the Sisyphean myth come
rolling right back down that hill again—
and I begin the endless process of revision.
Paper: scraps and lists littering the desk.
Banker’s lamp cadged from a former office.
Clock face. The reproach of unread books.
Vertical files. Monitor, modem, printer:
soldiers at attention. Imperatives etched
on the calendar—smudged, coffee-stained.
An unemptied ashtray. The morning a bust—
the definite/indefinite article slug fest,
elusive metaphors, the last stanza blues.
Applesauce. Fiddle-faddle. Slash and burn.
Out of rubble—an opal, one small pearl.
The days you were never here,
moments nearly lost even
to memory, I’ve inscribed now—
the way we would scratch our initials
on our desks at school or on a tree,
thinking they would survive in perpetuity—
poems to outlast us, spilling over
into my waking thoughts and dreams:
words for our work and our lives,
for each of the children and their own,
words for weather and the most
treacherous of seasons, words
for the leaves beginning to color
and every flower for its brevity,
and beauty, as one year
disappears behind the next, inevitably.
—first published in ByLine (February, 2005)
©2016 Linda M. Fischer