A Pocket Poem from ‘Michael, I Thought You Were Dead’

Michael Fitzsimons got the news no one wants to hear, says Gill Ward.

Since that day he has had many medical interventions,  describing his scars as ‘body art’. 

He has funnelled his illness and treatments into a stunning book of poetry.

‘His words are like the stitches to his scars’

All full of love, faith and hope. His words are like the stitches to his scars and his appreciation of the riches he has in his life.

Every poem in his book gives glimpses of his feelings but he doesn’t bang you on the head with them.

‘Michael, I thought you were dead

He has risen to his challenge and his new book takes us along on his passage to calmer waters. The name of the book, ‘Michael, I thought you were dead‘ (Cuba Press 2019) is a title only a writer would recognise and use! Michael tells it like this:

‘My favourite poet with a ponytail greets me warmly at the launch of his latest book of poems.Michael, he says, I thought you were dead.’

This book with beautiful poems and exquisite last lines in each poem is like reading a novel. You share Michael’s life. I will put an order in at our library. Here’s one of his best —

Meditation on a lemon tree

Mug of tea smokes the cool air,

breathe as easily as you please.

Today, for once, I surrender

everything I do not need,

sit quietly in a corner

of the room of my mind,  

in a green sunlit corner

of the planet,

in a jackpot corner of the cosmos,

when you think about it, but 

let go of all thoughts, lay them down

on this halleluia morning and look.

Look at the little lemon tree in the rain,

all yellow fruit, no tree.

All yellow fruit, no tree.

All yellow fruit no tree.

Thank you Michael for letting us share your poem, Gill

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