An author's note says Chico poet Tom Fuszard is also "a corporate communications consultant, speechwriter, lecturer and speakers' coach," and his background shows in the clarity and directness of his work.
"Places To Sit and Other Poems" ($9.95 in paperback from Felicidad Press out of Chico) is a collection of remembrances. In "Regrets" the poet writes: "Not wise to dwell on the past, / they tell me, / but now I have the time." The time is spent thinking about "What I Learned When I Started to Listen": "That wars are fought / mostly by people / who had nothing to do / with starting them // That a lot of people / are afraid all the time // That much of the world / is in a mess / and a lot of it is because / nobody listens."
These simple words give the reader pause, especially on a day of national remembrance.
Many of the poems are personal, recalling boyhood memories. In "Bird," the poet writes: "I have no idea why / I took your life. // One thinks little / about things like that / as a boy of nine. // You were there / on your little branch / and I with my / puny air rifle / just shot and you fell / and bled in the leaves / and died. // It was not to test my aim, / of that I am sure. / I had killed hundreds / of bottlecaps, / executed dozens / of glass jars. // . . . I did not think about / eggs in a nest / waiting to be warmed / or fledglings waiting / to be fed / or another waiting / for your return / and never knowing / why you did not."
The opening poem, "Places To Sit," has something to say about a park bench, a barstool, a witness chair, and more. Including deep grass: "For people in love, mostly. / People who want to be / away from the crowd. / See, he's brought a little book of poems. / He will read some, and they will see / the depths of each other's eyes / for the first time."
This little book of poems remembers love.