All of my books are available in both print and e-versions at Amazon.
Poetry: Solace for the Soul!
The Speed of Sweat
Fletcher's work is often about nature but here he speaks out on politics, history, religion, and ecology in a collection of eclectic musings.
He writes of discovering an arrowhead and of discovering patience. Of stretched friendships and lost loves. Of unity and division, JFK and FDR, of November 3 and January 6, and about reading and writing poetry.
The poet expertly compresses language and imagery within a narrative structure, yet ... has a timeless, unhurried feel.
— Sarah Carleton, author of Notes from the Girl Cave
Wild Seeds is a sensorium of landscapes both vast and intimate. An immersive journey through singular moments of perception rendered in plain but sweepingly precise poetry. A reminder of the grandeur latent in observing sun, rain, or soil.
A collection of wonder and inspiration.
— Eva Bednar, Professor of English, Humber College, Canada
The Visible Spectrum of Desire:
An Interstellar Love Story
Poems as letters from across infinity in an intergalactic game of lover's
hopscotch. From our moon and beyond the solar system to another star,
a search within and out for love and meaning within the boundlessness
Does your hue, your skin color turn a soft golden
as the travel agents whisper, does an aura visibate silvery
around you and tinkle when the spheres begin their chime?
[from "Griffins & Hydras']
The Covid Chronicles: Poetry from the Pandemic
Poems that illuminate our subliminal fear in the face of unseeable peril as pandemic statistics become people we knew.
Self-confined in his neighborhood, Fletcher watches life continue and alter.
Outside my window everything
looks so normal until the package arrives
carried between surgical gloves.
He brings us vignettes that we have all witnessed, and does so with a touch of humor—both lite and dark—with writing that is warm and evocative.
This poet clearly finds solace in nature and his words provide us with comfort.
Together blue sky and green grass, sun and shadow
frolic in the slow waltz of day. Above, a zephyr
dispenses and disperses vats of buttery cloud
Poets observe and reflect. Fletcher’s poetry reflects his observations in writing that appeals to a wide audience and speaks to the heart of our humanness.
Roses for the Canyon
"Beautiful and haunting images"
David Roby, author of Unseen Character
“If you love poetry, read Fletcher’s work;
if you hate poetry read Fletcher’s work”
Stephen Sanders, author of Songs for a Mechanical Age
Barbara Blanks, author of Traveling Sideways
“His poems mirror our world .... Kindly. And whimsically.”
Cathy Earnest, author of Another Bone
“A much-needed clarity“
D.A. Gray, author of Contested Terrain
“Rhymes to flutter the heart”
Byron Edgington, author of A Vietnam Anthem
A Pentateuch of Poetry
The Complete Collection of the First Five Books
• Poems from Terra
• In a Burst of Recycled Electrons
• Émigré: Poems from Another Land
• Mercury & Moonlight
in one massive volume. Poems to touch every soul.
Death: New and Selected Poems
"Long ago I began to collect a funeral pyre of corpses to follow in my wake."
Here are poems "Dressed in garments of farewell, bon voyage for a ticket purchased long ago." Stroll through this private cemetery with shadows beside the path. To "graves where sorrow eats its own body and joy is ever tarnished with guilt." Where unfinished hangs in the air. Read these tombstones of tribute, the poet's "sad things to grace their coffins."
Death I never noticed thee
though you have always been here
as shadows on my path.
Love: New and Selected Poems
“Love is the molecule that binds [poetry] / The DNA, the nucleus of the poetic atom.”
-- James Thomas Fletcher, "Mercury & Moonlight"
Within this volume are poems about love, some with a touch of sex or lust, some of place or friendship. Gathered into this bouquet from my previous books with additional new poems.
James Thomas Fletcher has lived in a tenth-century Cistercian Monastery in Belgium, the Piedmont of the Carolinas, a protected heron rookery in the northern wetlands, the Acadian bayous of Louisiana, the shortgrass prairie of the Great Plains, and on the side of a volcano in the Republic of Panamá. He also trekked the jungles of Vietnam while in the United States Army. He steamed down the Amazon River and up the Nile, sailed the Atlantic in a storm, scuba dived in the Pacific, skydived in Oklahoma, and snowshoed in Canada. These poems reflect those experiences and his impressions of the flora, fauna, and weather—the true sense of place—of the many locations that he has called home.
War (Revised Second Edition)
James Thomas Fletcher enlisted in the United States Army on Saint Patrick’s Day, 1969. He was an M-60 machine gunner in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
Revised and greatly expanded from the first edition.
My previous books of poetry all contain poems that touch on war to some degree, from the Trojan War through the World Wars to Vietnam and beyond. Those poems hint at psychic wounds, at displaced lives, at Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and at the helplessness of survivors. Most of these poems deal more directly with my military service in Vietnam.
The pale battalions of the mouthless dead forever march behind every combat soldier. Yet only the living may reflect on war and its psychological aftermath. Many have stories to tell. Here are fragments of mine.
"Words invited as lovers under one roof on the twilight Rue Gît-le-Cœur."
"Fletcher holds past loves in his memory 'as if they were cups of tea.'
Have a sip from this delicate philter."
In this revised edition of my 1981 chapbook, I allow the youth and innocence to show through. My craft has gotten better over the years and yet some magic still remains in a young man’s dreams. These poems are from a time when pain was fresh, love new. The wounds show without the polish of sophistication.
Mercury & Moonlight
In this collection, James Thomas Fletcher writes about lost letters and lost love, the hazards of living in a foreign land, the nature of silence, and the poetic movement of Tai Chi.
"Mercury & Moonlight is filled with emotional candor and lyrical beauty."
Émigré: Poems from Another Land
Until recently, James Thomas Fletcher lived in the Republic of Panamá. This book reflects his life in that Central American country, and also ponders love, death, and sex, in poems both poignant and whimsical.
(The author's personal favorite!)
In a Burst of Recycled Electrons
Poems, Short Stories, and Plays!
• Your sense of poetry completely changed MY sense of poetry.
• Poetry is not something I am attracted to, but one recognizes immediately
that [Fletcher's] poetry, or sense of writing, is beyond the normal.
• All the qualities of genius.
Landmarks, monuments, and tombstones along the road of life. Meditations on nature, love, longing, war, death, and being.
Praise For James Thomas Fletcher:
• A penetrating and provocative smorgasbord. His poems sing and inform in thoughtful, non-conforming, wonderful ways. Life's harmonies coupled with a realistic sprinkling of irony and brilliant dissonance. An existential celebration of life.
• From intimacies of love to an explanation of the universe ... Fletcher spotlights the quirks of human longing and the enigmas of memory.
• The slow sipping of a refreshing libation mixed with a perfect blend of romance and magic ... adorned with the lemon-lime twist of macabre fantasy.
• The breadth of topics is impressive. [Fletcher's] depth of thought, humor, love for words, and poetic skill made the book a joy and a challenge to read.
• Humor, passion, reverence, irreverence; a connection to people, a reflection on life and self, an exploration of ideas. The tantalizing hints and allusions made me want to have the poet in the same room so that I could plumb for more.
• Highly personal, experiential.... free flowing exuberance of the visual. The intensity of feeling is superior.... Their complexity is almost painful.... I was moved, confused, astounded, curious, excited.
• James Thomas Fletcher's poems ... fly straight to a reader's heart. Fun, intelligent, trenchant.
Poems from Terra
"The intensity of feeling is superior.... Their complexity is almost painful.... I was moved, confused, astounded, curious, excited."
Combining grit and grandeur while mingling religion and sex, science and spirituality, this intense examination of life reveals the author's struggles with the nature of reality and existence, in language both simple and complex, erudite and approachable.
Showing influences of Bukowski, Poe, Cohen, and a tinge of Greek mythology, the author examines wonder, pain, love, and fantasy. A strong and diverse volume that addresses themes with which we all grapple.