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Best Poems Written by James Fitz-Gerald

Below are the all-time best James Fitz-Gerald poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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In the Mirror

In the mirror,
When I look,
I see the son of thousands.
I see the son of the foragers,
The wanderers who hunted the world,
The agrarians who farmed the fields,
The ones driven by famine to strange lands,
The ones taken in battle, enslaved and sold,
All those fathers, mothers and teachers.
Others looking into their mirrors
They see one face staring back,
Their own, their own two eyes,
Their own nose and their own hair,
Such as they have—or have not.
Men of short sight despite their stature, 
Self-made men, blind to those thousands before
Without whose shoulders they would not there stand.
They have eyes, but they cannot see into their own depths,
Their vision shallow as the fog settling lower on the glass.
They see only the One they are now in that soppy looking-glass,
That steamy, silvered, steadfastly secured sheet sheathed in steel,
Framed or clamped, it matters not, it matters nothing—
Save for that face they see.
They cannot see what they are, where they have been,
The sufferings they have suffered, or the glories they have lost--
While they look into the mirror.
They see not at all 
All those glories and terrors that have made them.
They see but a single reflection, this moment, 
Their singular selves looking back.
Forgotten are the thousands of mothers who nursed them,
The thousands of fathers who protected them,
Hunted, killed, sowed and reaped,
And taught them to live, to survive.
They see not the thousands,
Wise and fools, slaves and free,
Conquerors and conquered
That are stitched into their very being,
That which makes them who they are.
But, for today, I see.
These eyes of mine, they see that army that I am.
The dead are not corpses, not dead in me this day.
They of the centuries, the millenia, the untold eras behind,
They stand here with me, in me.
I am the son of thousands,
I am the reflection of the reflection 
In the mirror.

Copyright © James Fitz-Gerald | Year Posted 2018



Details | James Fitz-Gerald Poem

Dang Slang

They call us 'rents'.
Less kind than kin.
Their words obscured in part
Though their tongues
Are hinged and unpinned.
As if they could think,
But not fully speak,
Their minds formed--
Simple, 
Mono-syllabic their words,
Concatenated words,
Puffing and cheeky words.
As if, tongues are burdensome, 
Spared the effort spent.
Lips to move--hard pressed,
Breathing steady, no duress, 
But a second syllable?
It is seldom expressed.
A decade back
Would we have, yea did,
Spew our poly-syllabic words
Coin of our age
Page upon blessed page
Until, by-and-by, 
We had to stop, pause, breathe.
Ah-h-h-h.
And there is the rub!
We made those words last,
If last they could,
If last they would
Longer than we, ourselves.
And where is that language now?
The Next Generation speaks!
Soon Americans will be 'Cans'
Or is that word already
Rendered,
Or rent?
Eh?
Oh, not the 'rents like we
Nor rent once paid as fee,
But rent as rent
As rended, twisted, spent;
Torn in twain,
Until all that is left of the word
Is an honorable mention
A guttural intervention,
A single syllable
Meaningless
Incoherent.
Coinage for a lazy tongue.

Copyright © James Fitz-Gerald | Year Posted 2018

Details | James Fitz-Gerald Poem

Worms in the Fruit of God

Are we, yea, the worms in the fruit that twas God's,
We that hollow out hills mining rock, stone and clods,
We that heap up the fill into mountainous wastes
Until nothing is left
Until nothing is chaste?
Worms, we, dining so fine that we blind cannot see
That the fruit once loved fresh
Is now riddled, 
Diseased.
Paradise had we in our grasp, in our ease.
But that Paradise had is one lost through Man's greed!
We have eaten the whole tree
From fruit unto root
And are still--
Unappeased!
We whose avarice churns forth to the Me-Me-Me masses
All Nature's abundance in plastics and glasses,
The abundance of a once chaste Creation
Mined, melted and molded,
Baked, boiled, boxed and UPC coded.
Until all is consumed by unnatural Worms
Whose leavings are to themselves harm.
Are we the Worms in the Apple of God?
If so, can we alter our state, 
And learn to nurture this Garden
So wrecked by our Greed
And sow in this Garden a better seed,
Else we might follow the creatures passed from the Light,
The mammoth, the dire wolf and the dodo alike
So that this once holy Creation, 
This blessed Remnant, 
This Fruit of Light,
Might remember our passing,
We being but
A blight.

Copyright © James Fitz-Gerald | Year Posted 2018

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In Case of Insanity Eat Chocolate

Stirring in the bed,
Three o'clock in the morning,
The Sun still sleeps,
My good-wife lays a-bed--asleep--
But, I must stir.
A feeling, a vibration, an irritation low in my spine
Speaks to my legs, “Move!”
And they obey,
They—fruitless in their movements,
They—churning me not to the supermarket,
They—moving me not to church or car,
Club or bar,
Game or match.
No.
My legs just stir.                                                                          
My muscles moving, they must.
Oh, they must or...
Or what?
They cannot run up my credit cards.
They cannot write bad checks.
They cannot extort me to commit a crime.
Or what?
If I move them, they will still stir again.
If I move them, they will not be my friends
And let me return to blissful rest.
At best,
They irritate me, ceaselessly,
With their stirring, stirring, stirring.
And, I say, and,
If I resist and stay still
Until the sensation passes
In an hour or hours
They will reward me
In the morning
With faintness, exhaustion, and leg cramps.
Days on end
And still they are not my friends.
Is it any wonder
In a pinch
That I blunder
To that sweet relief, that bitter pill, 
That bane of my sane self,
But the heaven to my insanity.
Left with no recourse
For the moment without remorse--
I break the glass
And eat chocolate.

Copyright © James Fitz-Gerald | Year Posted 2018

Details | James Fitz-Gerald Poem

Life

We are wisps in this cosmos,
The flimsy bubbles,
The clumsy issues'
In this decay, this cosmic swamp.
We are the degassing 
Of a dying celestial being's bowels,
The place where is-life churns and seethes,
The place where was-life nourishes the breeds,
The place from which is-life hangs by a volatile thread,
A thread whose cutting sends is-life back 
Where was-life is dead,
Back to the darkness, 
The ooze whose 
Offspring are the very heirs,
The legacy and legions of was-life 
When was-life and is-life was but life
And now,
Our lives bare-stir ancient Time,
That flame which consumes us and our now,
So that our glories that differ are alike brief;
So that our words, our words 
Even when many,
Fill empty air, empty air 
More often than ears;
And, when ears hear words ours—
Only the basest parts do they 
Convey,
And in those unintentioned parts, those undesired and unmentioned parts
They inflame,
They bite the sane— 
And ignite the insane,
Words evoking passions—sweet or bitter—
In gods whose wrought art—or wroth acts
Make a gardens and ghosts of the world.
And we, we that are is-life,
We care, it seems for none of that,
But, rather,
That the word was spoken
Thinking that the world will long remember
That we were here.
Ignorant that one day we shall return
To that incorporeal state of was-life
And all that will remain
Is our effect
Upon a future generation, a future world
Yet to issue forth
From the ooze.

Copyright © James Fitz-Gerald | Year Posted 2018



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Umbilicus Severed

Each of us is an infant seized
In the moment of labor spent.
We each are Samson, stained, restrained,
Chained between the pillars that confine us.
The womb of the mother god, Wisdom,
She holding us back from our awakening,
But we press outward, downward,
But we force, our desire to emerge,,
To be free of our old abode,
The hold of another's will,
The hold of another's thoughts,
To be free to become more--or less,
To be free of the cord that binds us,
That cord Umbilicus that makes us a part of Her,
Our breath her breath,
Our blood her blood,
Our life her life.
To be severed from the She that finds us
Being disgorged between her thighs,
The holy pillars through which all life
Must pass.
To leave the holy sanctum
At last.
To see with our own eyes,
To hear with our own ears,
To utter our own sounds,
Knowing this: That there is no going back.

Copyright © James Fitz-Gerald | Year Posted 2018

Details | James Fitz-Gerald Poem

The Dead Know Nothing

Lift up your head.
You can feel beaten down,
But you are not beaten.
The Dead feel nothing.
Nothing.

Breathe in. Breathe out.
Bend the knee, feel the pain,
But, you 'feel' the pain.
The Dead feel nothing.
Nothing. 

You have life. You have hope.
You write the script,
You are the Pen writing your story,
Your chapter enlarging, charging, changing;
Your life inking out pages in the Book of the Living.
The Dead write nothing.
Nothing.

Let it rain! Let it snow!
Come Hail fall! Come Wind blow!
Let the sea ebb and flow,
For I am here and these things are 
Mere--oh yes!
Mere color in my day.
The Dead know nothing.
Nothing.

Come sorrows! Come grief!
Cheer will follow me,
And hope, too.
And before I dot my last 'I' or cross my last 'T',
And while this Pen scribes his final chapter,
My final sentence,
My final word,
My final syllable,
That final stroke in that Book of Life,
I will believe this:
I am living,
I am loving,
I am doing
What the Dead who know nothing,
And do nothing
Cannot.

Copyright © James Fitz-Gerald | Year Posted 2018