The Fly in Autumn    Harbour Publishing  2009

The Fly in Autumn Harbour Publishing 2009

The Fly in Autumn

Yes, the light 
            once more
                       comes down 
                                        at last

through clouds
to warm my blue ass
here on the yet green nettle leaf, summer
near the bear plop, and we the species
best at finding dung, in this end light
or in the glow of an early planet

And even so, my wings
carry me, and what thinness
upon which to rely


Winner of the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry

The Fly in Autumn received this citation from the jury: “In The Fly in Autumn, David Zieroth addresses our common and defining human fate—the loneliness that is a rehearsal for death—with a tenderness and buoyancy that shows the reader 'how to walk in the dark with flowers.' The intricacy and exuberance of rhyme and the breadth of vision are stunning.”

"One of the pleasures of reading mature work is the ease, the smoothness, the assurance of the poet, having worked on his or her craft for several decades. The poet knows what does or does not come off his tongue and so one poem moves to another seamlessly and you are easily drawn. You do not question because the discrimination has been done for you. Nothing jars. Zieroth's The Fly in Autumn has these qualities. It is a fitting book to have taken the GG in 2010, similar in its flow to another recent winner, All Our Wonder Unavenged, by Don Domanski. But where Domanski's is more a paean to nature, Zieroth's is more to the mid-age questions of death and personal meaning in a world where meaning and the need for it are ultimately illusory, though one continues looking. An added felicity is Zieroth's use of the heroic sestet: three stanzas of six lines, with a set rhyme and metre, though he has communicated to me that the latter requirement is not one that comes easily to him. So, consider it a modified form that fits. These poems make no declarations just an often shy registered comment and diffidence, in this existence ‘what we borrowed in our mother's wombs’ and will relinquish. A kind of lament both sad and beautiful at times, well, beautiful at virtually all times in these poems. ‘How To Walk In The Dark With Flowers,’ for instance: ‘Open your eyes to the light / in the armful of lilies you are holding.’ Simple, beautiful images. A family joined to urge the dying one to move beyond sense and let them get back to their lease on living, his ‘angel face so open it's bland.’ Harbour and Nightwood have a knack for publishing books that should be published."

D. C. Reid, Amazon