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Dominic Fisher Poetry

As if a tree could stutter briefly into being
 lose all its leaves then vaporise”

Bonfire Night from a Loft Window 

Sun up site up

As the sun comes up over Bristol, this site goes up too. It’s been live a week or two now, and you may have seen the blog about Silver Street. The previous website languished over Covid and its cancelled gigs etc, but a new collection A Customised Selection of Fireworks, came out at the end of May this year (you can get at signed copy of it by post via this site). And as we head into December, this the second blog here, brings news of some recent readings and events, a poem from the collection, hopes the UK can survive its present government, and that in the world at large we can find some way out of war, famine, and the climate crisis.

A bit like the grass on Horfield Common, poetry events in Bristol have been coming back to life. In the heat this summer the grass went pale brown. Now in a much wetter but unseasonably mild November, the grass is electric green. I’m not sure exactly how many poetry nights and other events have popped up lately, though in mid November when I read at Under Red Guitar at El Rincón I met someone who had been to a poetry event five nights in a row. And of course, they’re not all at night. The aforementioned Silver Street Poetry is 12.30 till 2.00 on the last Friday of the month. If you search Silver Street Poetry in Facebook you’ll find the page, some mermaids, and more info.

I’m not sure how many Prime Ministers there have been either since the grass went pale brown. At least a couple, and one was a brief but vivid hallucination who espoused giving tax breaks to the very rich as a way to make those of us not at all rich a little bit rich. Ironically, the market hated the idea. The next PM wasn’t keen to be seen going to COP27 in Egypt, his predecessor having leant on the new King not to go, and both PMs being very much in hock to a section of their own party who like to light bonfires by striking their heads against hard surfaces. Anyway, he went, and espoused ‘green growth.’ A seemingly harmless little soundbite from a distance, but certain kinds of growth (those that don’t take environment into the equation) are very much the problem. But it was ‘growth’ the hallucination went on about during her brief period living behind the shiny black door.

This may seem to be a bit digressive in a poetry blog, but of course poetry has always celebrated, venerated, and invoked nature. And now we must do so in the knowledge that the richness of the natural world, upon which we ourselves depend, thanks to us, is in severe danger. It’s not something we can wish away with nostalgic verses. Here then, just a few weeks from the winter solstice, is a poem from the collection set in the summer solstice, that I read at Under the Red Guitar.

Solstice Fish

It’s night now in blobs and patches
and our houses’ eyes are glazed
with peach and nectarine
though the doors are wide awake.

Somehow we are under water
but still breathing in this late
long time of meadowsweet,
rooks in close-cropped fields.

And up where Friday drains away
midsummer fish are cruising
like deep-sea seraphim.

 May they save us all before
our heavy metals drown us
or we forget our santería

of wings and scales, of finches
willowherb and meadowsweet.

(From A Customised Selection of Fireworks, Shoestring Press, 2022)