myth and poetry

Mythopoetry Scholar

Annual Reflections In Depth Perspectives
Mythopoetry Scholar vol3 2012
"All The World", "an elegy" & "Antibes"
-Johanna Fisher


All the world’s a stage
and all the men and women
merely players…..
Jacques, As You Like It (II.vii.139-140)

and only by happenstance
should one find oneself as part of the dream

Act I
thrust into the spotlight
of accusations-insults-humiliations

history somehow revisited against
one’s will to do so

torturing oneself
wholly, privately
shuddering to think
that one can be one’s own executioner
yet there is a kind of satisfaction
a vigil in waking dream

Act II
cold backdrop
mocking words
meant only to harm
what a fine thing justice is uttered mockingly
there are enemies on every side
a sudden pouring out of false “evidence”
standing silently
a hemorrhage of feeling from the heart
the mystery of evil
love is absent from this act

roar of the broken heart
a silent scream like Schoenberg’s Red Gaze
the hope for real justice is shattered
the endlessness of a created memory
and then the curtain falls upon the moment
one dies a little more

When we are born,
we cry that we are come
to this great stage of fools…
Lear, King Lear (


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   an elegy/ dachau 2007

we are here
in this waste land of  history

sharing a heartbeat
you and me……

there are these peripheral moments
outside our conscious being that send us into memory

artlos und fremd

weep softly/gently over
the graves of all our
drinking troughs

it urges us to remember as
if to absolve us of all our Dachaus
that continue to be constructed
in the mind-in time

time—small and subtle
ghosts rise above us-deeply contained
in the mesh of hatred

and our timid graces often fail to say
that which so often needs saying
it is like what Rilke once said, “Now you feel how nothing clings to you."

                           (mich ruft der Tod)

i can smell the stench of charred bodies in the air…
i would rather smell the drift of slowly burning cedar chips and
watch the smoke covered moon rise through the first gray of dusk

i hear the last farewells of lovers…
i would rather hear the love song of the red cardinal in my spring garden
the center of memory demands it so

i taste the choking fear of those ghosts
who pause by idle cars
they are hinged in spaces between the living and the dead

and as such time seems to crawl
from my heart through my mouth
as this new poem becomes the
inexorable consequence of our
being here together

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the afterglow of sunset
gives way to violet light shimmering on
the slow waves of the sea

in back of me
the breeze drags hints
of lemon and orange
through still warm air

love’s summoner whispers to us
some passionate wisdom
about the rapture of intimate being
you and i
i and you

touching you at this moment
the waves suddenly modulate to a
dizzying rush to crash the
rocks not far off shore

now no longer waves
i am reminded how beautiful death can be
even the death of this moment
becomes some verbal artifact

about the depths of our desire to forge
this time
in this place
in this realm of sensuous and aesthetic experience

some small glimpse into that eternity beyond death
how could we but marvel
at the knowledge that time has been undone

the impulse to break the silence between us is
halted by the crash of another wave upon the rocks
now  we stand and watch the immense blackness
of night rolling toward us
all its impending hours

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Johanna Fisher
Author Bio
Johanna Fisher
is an Adjunct Professor at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York where she teaches in the English and Women’s Studies Department. She has published two volumes of poetry in conjunction with Dorothy Smith: Join the Conversation and Time, Space, Home and Place: The Conversation Continues. Her scholarly interests are in the social construction of gender in medieval literature as well as comparative considerations in the Arthurian legends. She has also been published in the SSSI Journal for Social Imagery [University of Colorado] as well as various other journal publications. She is a professional dancer, choreographer, theater director and she has co-founded the performance company, Zoe Players. Johanna is currently working on a novel set in Timmendorfer Strand, Germany.

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