I come to these grounds of your rest;
the best I can do to be with you today.
The sky is unsettled, and dreams long
since dreamed land clumsily shattering
like glass. I rub your stone; an image
of your name in charcoal remains,
stains of a heart broken, this small token
of the life you gave me. I listen and murmurs
blown though barren tree branches
whisper, waiting for the axe to fall.
And all at once it vanishes. Memories
of a mother departed still close to heart.
(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014
“May I help you?”
I don’t recognize the stranger addressing me
From the porch
Where I used to color with my cousins
Swing in my pajamas
Play with paper dolls.
I respond with an apology
For walking into the backyard
Where I used to play tag with my cousins
Catch summernight fireflies
Lay in the grass, spotting castles
In the clouds.
I tell her this
Used to be
“Would you like to come in?”
My heart pounds. I decline,
Then quickly change my mind.
Yes. Yes, please.
As I walk in, I’m overcome with emotion.
Much is the same.
Some is different.
Everything seems smaller -
Everything but the love.
The love looms large,
Reaching through the decades
© copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
Holding “home” close one last time.
Candles are lit and wishes
for a healthy return burn bright.
But tonight you blow the candles
and we’ll handle life one day
at a time. Your gift you say
would be one more day to raise
a glass and cheer being here
for another year. Until you hear
Happy Birthday once more!
Little one, your journey
has taken a turn and you
yearn for your course to
remain unchanged. But
by some deranged act of nature,
your stature has been diminished.
You’re finished with holding on
and your tragic song is a cry.
You’re losing your grip and any
slip of the tongue sends you
reeling and feeling less than
zero. And it appears I am no
longer your hero. I have few
answers that make sense to you.
Your sink hole is drawing you down
in a profound shift in your footing.
Usually the hard and strong one,
you’ve done little to show your flair.
You sit and stare blankly; angry
at your world and your mother and me.
All you see is a destructive path,
a road less traveled well. Tell me
what you need! Mr. Fix-it can’t
do his job if you don’t tell me
where it hurts. Stop your brashness
and please don’t trash the life you love.
Don’t panic and flail in the shifting sand.
My voice changed.
That fact defined the year which brought me
to the precipice of adulthood.
Unsure of foot and teetering
on the weak knees of youthful thought.
and ignorant to a changing world.
I found myself transforming into
someone I barely knew, realizing
I would find myself soon enough
as long as I tuned in, turned on
and dropped out of the norms of a
distilled upbringing, wringing my hands
at authority and standing up to the “man”,
still yielding to my mother to take out the trash.
of the beast was the least of my concerns.
The females in my realm of thought
made funny things happen to me.
My hands shook, my stomach churned,
and I learned that they were the cause
of my voice fracturing every time they came near.
I had a fear of the war lasting forever,
and having to learn to speak Vietnamese
or Canadian, knowing I’d look bad in fatigues.
but couldn’t keep guys like John
and Martin and Bobby safe from hatred.
Isn’t anything sacred anymore? Did we even know the score?
But one thing always delivered the goods. Music.
Music did it for me. I know that now.
We were lighting fires for Morrison,
while Hendrix did fine all by himself.
Mick was gathering no moss, and the price
of freedom was very high, but worth every cent.
would argue and break up over an avant-garde Ono,
I would tell them the were crazy. I stopped being lazy
in ’69, ever since I found this thing called “muse”,
and how expressing it, gave me and those around me
joy, power, peace; a good release in a lyrical sense
under the false pretense of ever really being
in love yet above all else, music and words lived in me
(but I was just too ignorant to get that clue).
Besides, my voice changed.
You were so damn obnoxious,
in your cage and uproarious.
You in your glorious, hideous
dress and babushka tied tightly,
you were rightly annoying.
I never knew what was so darn funny!
“Laff In The Dark” was your home,
and someone thought it would be
downright hilarious to plant you
near the entrance. You scared
the hell out of me. The parents
would drag us past the “Magic Carpet”
and games of chance just to glance
at your lacquered face, a trace of malice,
you were no Alice in Wonderland.
But, I would stand at a distance
and curse you. And that purse you held
never even matched your shoes!
Still, all these years later I have the blues.
My Crystal Beach is gone and it hasn’t
been funny for years. It brings me close to tears.
And forgive this confessional gaffe: I miss your “Laff”.
NOTE: The babushka was replaced by the hat, but she remains ingrained in memory!
On the edge of reason, we watched and waited.
We hated being helpless, and I guess
we hated being the target of hate.
Many were functioning as they normally had,
but then every man, woman, mom and dad
had much to explain to minds that could not
comprehend. It had sent a strong message,
that we should be ever-vigilant and can’t
let down our guard. It is hard to preach trust
when the thrust of such extreme proportion
penetrates our collective spirit. They thought
they’d split it in two. It is true that we fight
amongst each other, like any “sister” and “brother”
but let another interfere and we’ll be here united
to fight it tooth and nail. We had stumbled, but did not fail.
May God continue to Bless America!
© – Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012
Since its inception three years ago, ACROSS THE LAKE, EERILY has been the home for poetic nurturing and witty banter for two wayward poets trying to find their muse. Many words and emotions have been bandied about, many joys and tragedies were shared and in the process, two total strangers have become great friends and poetic compatriots…and they still NEVER have met.
But things change. Situations dictate a re-prioritizing of time and talent. And it is sadly that, MARIE ELENA GOOD and I have decided to discontinue ACROSS THE LAKE, EERILY.
Unfortunately, there were too few hours in the day to accomodate all the projects we have under way. It is time to pursue other adventures.
The joint assembly at POETIC BLOOMINGS will remain intact. This was a bigger labor of love in our poetic minds because it included all of the friends, who like MARIE ELENA and I, have found great comfort and support in each others collective muse. Thus, it was the logical choice to be left untouched.
MARIE will continue to contribute her poetry throughout the blogisphere, advance her Children’s Literature writing and be in a front row seat to watch her little ball of sunshine, Sophie, illuminate the world.
I will also continue my postings at the various site I have adopted as “homes away from home” foisting my poetics and flash fiction on the suspecting public whenever I can. Music is always a great love as is the theater and my desire to complete my musical AND my screenplay (we all have screenplays!) can only benefit from this respite. Collections of poetry are in stages of assembly and my blogs THROUGH THE EYES OF A POET’S HEART and I AM SANTA CLAUS will be keeping me off of the highways. My association at FLASHY FICTION will also be unchanged. I only pray for the time to allow me to live to see it all through. So far, so Good. So, this is not goodbye by a long shot. It’s a “Until we get a chance…”
(However, I will be keeping this sight, renamed EERILY SILENT, ACROSS THE LAKE for the assembly of similar poems and stories in keeping with MARIE and my objective, the influence of this rather special neck of the woods in which we live. Who knows, maybe …)
So, for the time being, this will be the end of a great first step into the world of our own creation. Poetry lives on long after we’ve stopped writing. “Say Goodnight, Gracie!”