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The Poetry of Jean M. Fatica
Live Poets Society of Daytona Beach chapter, Florida State Poets Association


At midnight it began -
A faint susurrus,
Round nouns slipping down,
Silvery adjectives cascading
Adverbially, fluid verbs
Dripping from eaves
Into soft subjunctive
Moods, a sprinkle of phrases
Assembling into paragraphs
Of sibilant whisperings.

Dawn brought silence
And a strict grammarian,
A stern Will Strunkian sun
Glaring down, austerely
Professorial, appalled
At all the pools
Of senseless syllables
And swollen streams of

I worked all morning
Mopping up mixed metaphors,
Puddled parentheticals,
Wiping away dangling
Until, cleansed of muddy
By noon, the poem was precise,
A simple statement, concisely
As hard and dry
As truth.

1st prize, NFSPA contest sponsored by New York Poetry Forum, 2004


The house has been surrounded,
Attacked by giant rhododendrons.
Their bulging arms
With crimson biceps rippling
Besiege the porch
And hammer at the windows,
Threatening to scale the eaves
And barricade the door.

Inside, midst faded chintz
And bowls of scarlet peonies,
She pours a cup of rose hip tea
And, sip by sip, surrenders
Willingly to pink oblivion
While in the shed out back
The pruning shears grow dull with dust
And slowly add another year of rust.

Phone Call

Like a wire strung
Between poles
Set too far apart,
Our conversation sags.
It isn't that I have nothing
To say to you,
I have too much.
The words catch
In my throat
And lie disheartened
On my tongue, knowing
One touch
Could say it all.

(Note: 1st place in a State Contest about 1994,
but I don't have that record with me at the moment. ...Jean)

Jean M. Fatica

"Attacked by giant rhododendrons."

Jean was born in Troy, New York, Aug. 8, 1926. She earned a BA in Political Science and an MA in Public Administration, and is now retired after 40 years of service in NY State government. She married John J. Fatica in 1946; their son, Vincent, teaches at Syracuse University. Jean wrote her first poem at age 13 and credits her high school English teachers with fostering her interest in poetry. She contributed to literary publications in high school and college, and wrote verse for special occasions during her working career, but didn't start writing what she calls Real poetry until she retired in 1986. She and her husband now spend the winter months in Florida. She fondly remembers that fortunate day in 1993 when she saw a newspaper item about a poetry group called the Live Poets Society of Daytona Beach. Jean soon became a member and thanks FSPA for providing the opportunity to know Real poets and the challenge to strive toward their higher standards of writing.

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