I'm Walt. And I'm Marie Elena.
This is the collaboration of two kindred spirits; partners in rhyme;
"the best friends we've never met."
All "Across the Lake. Eerily."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Lake Erie is a temperamental beast.
A haven from the oppressive summers,
but winters feast obsessively upon
each morsel of moisture left exposed.
A chain of timbers are left to float,
an ice boom to restrict the transmigration
of the frozen precipitation. Keeping clear
the water intakes and outlet culverts
from its destructive assaults. No fault
to the Corp of Engineers who follow their orders
and Mother Nature's dictates. Every storm that takes form
from Toledo to Buffalo passes over her wake,
seeding the clouds with a chilled wind and an evil grin.
For within its scope is the hope that accumulations
will be controlled. But you'd sell your soul
that the lake's effects will not wreck that plan.
A man with a snow blower can take only so much.
And such is life in Buffalo.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Haiku Double Header

Bottom of the eighth
Mud Hens, Five. Buffalo, One.
Bisons drop sixth straight?

Aww ... sorry, Walt!

Vote Mud Hen Will Rhymes
“Minors Moniker Madness”
Best name in the league!


Marie Elena

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Across the Lake, Eerily" has won The Versatile Blogger award!

  The 4 rules and our responses that accompany the Versatile Blogger award are:

1. Thank the person who loved you enough to bestow this gift.

We thank Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik (http://www.drpkp.com/), for honoring our blog with The Versatile Blogger Award. Pearl is a published author, psychoanalyst, philanthropist, and poet. Her insight is always extraordinary and honest. In short, this encourager is a Pearl of great worth.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

1) Marie Elena: As a little girl, I used to “play” writer with my cousin, Susie. I did not attempt writing until middle age (that is, if one believes they will live to see 100).

2) Walt: My writing began as a tinker on our piano when I was thirteen. Melodies came easily, but the lyrical content was where I was at my most creative. As my music evolved into a more complex form, my poetry found substance.

3) Marie Elena: I’ve written poetry daily since April of 2009 when I attempted a Poem-A-Day Challenge. This is thanks in very large part to encouragement from my partner across the lake. In addition to my obsession with poetry, I write children’s short stories (one publication under my belt), and am working on several picture books. Too bad I can’t draw anything besides my own breath.

4) Walt: Three days into the same 2009 Poem-a-Day challenge, I contemplated ending the rouse that was my perceived poor attempt at poetry. Marie 's interest was piqued and she said she had enjoyed my work. I couldn't disappoint her so I continued on to a modicum of success. If you call being named the 2010 Poet Laureate a modicum. Thanks partner.

5) Marie Elena: When Walt suggested a poetic collaboration, I calmly and demurely replied, “Sir, allow me to ponder your kind offer.” Yeah, right. I think my husband had to lasso me and pull me down from the ceiling.

6) Walt: I am a playwright who loves to pen poetry. I have three plays that have all won awards from Writer's Digest Magazine, and had been performed on local stages around Buffalo, NY. However, my diversion (poetry) has become my passion.

7) We glean much enjoyment and mutual satisfaction from our kinship and collaboration. In addition, we are blessed to be part of a supportive poetic community.

3. Bestow this honor to 10 newly discovered or followed bloggers–in no particular order–who are fantastic in some way.

Here are the 10 blogs that we agree deserve this award:

http://thepopularitypapers.blogspot.com/ Amy Ignatow
http://whimsygizmo.wordpress.com/ De Jackson
http://ever-land.blogspot.com/ Chev Shire
http://inthecornerofmyeye.blogspot.com/ Mary Kling
http://caraholman.wordpress.com/ Cara Holman
http://pmpoetwriter.blogspot.com/ Patricia Anne McGoldrick
http://banana.blog.co.uk/ Michele Breton (a.k.a. Banana the Poet)
http://briarcat.wordpress.com/ Barbara Yates Young
http://marinelareka.com/ Marinela Reka
http://1ightverse.blogspot.com/ R.J. Clarken

And if allowed our Honorable Mention list would include:
http://shutta.com/ Shutta Crum
http://www.kellyhashway.com/ Kelly Hashway

4. Drop by and let your ten new friends know you admire them.

It is our pleasure to honor you with this Versatile Blogger Award. We have chosen you because we feel you ignite the writing community with your professionalism, support, and talent. We are thankful for the way in which you represent writers, and we are honored to be associated with you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Whale, I never!
Who you callin’ anemone?
Sea hare, you!

Marie Elena


I must rescind on aquatic beings,
plural though they might be,
Across the lake with friends like you,
who needs anemones?



… and now comes deciding if squat
is plural already, or not.
I'm guessing it is,
but this isn’t a quiz,
I just like the cuteness squats brought!

Marie Elena


Deciding “squat” sounds rather sea-creature-ish (stretch your imagination), there’s this:

Seen only by folks named Marie
are squats swimming gleefully free
in Lake Erie’s muck
with the carp and woodchuck,
all skillfully dodging debris.

Marie Elena


Though critters of Erie are lame,
I’m here to stand up and proclaim
Superior’s beasts
Do not make seafood feasts:
Superior only in name.

Marie Elena


Erie has critters
but they aren’t as amusing
as they otter be.

Marie Elena


Why does the ocean
get all the fun sea creatures,
while Erie gets squat?

Marie Elena

Disclaimer:  Okay, I guess fish and snakes aren't "squat."  But they sure aren't dolphins and sea lions and otters and manatee and ...

Monday, July 19, 2010


so utterly blessed
to have found this connection
that stirs and buoys

Marie Elena

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Announcing: 2010 Writer's Digest Poetic Asides Poet Laureate!

Congratulations to my Partner-in-Rhyme for earning this prestigious title. Believe me, this comes as no surprise to me. Walt has an innate passion and talent, is well loved by not only the PA poets, but the poetic community as a whole, and is a consistent encourager of his poetic peers.

As you know, Walt, it took a year longer to be recognized in print than it did in my own heart. That’s okay, though. Victory earned is victory earned … no matter the wait.

So proud of you. 
Your friend and partner, across the lake

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Somewhere inside me
a child peers out a window
pining for puddles

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Once tree lined,
until Dutch Elm Disease
took her toll. A quiet knoll
that came to life when the kids came out to play.

We'd play all day,
along this out of the way
thoroughfare, it was there that
we came to life; brothers, sisters and I.

A double lot 
was our footprint, no postage stamp
of God's little acre; the Maker gave us
all that we could handle and all we wanted.

The generational home,
where we were born, where Mom was raised,
where my newly naturalized grandfather settled
to raise his growing brood. He also grew food

on the lot he purchased 
along the rail lines. That was the place
that piqued my interest in trains. On time,
always to the schedule the iron rumbled.

Cousins always near,
the only fear we embraced,
came from the characters we devised.
The knights of Wood Place spent our nights

sleeping in the backyard,
roaming the 'hood after dark,
never in a malicious manner, more
of a watchful and protective way.

From the end
of our driveway to the second
telephone pole was our domain, street football
on a neatly painted asphalt gridiron; the envy

of the kids in the neighboring
streets. We were emulated; never duplicated,
celebrated for our camaraderie and brotherhood, 
in our neighborhood on Wood Place.

Dad held fort
until the end and after we and our friends
had found our own stations; our own Wood Places.
I remember the faces in my dreams.

Now Wood Place is a memory.
You can't go back again. It isn't
the same; wasn't meant to be. It was
a starting point, that mint green castle. No hassle

came without backup.
I do not venture near there.
I wish for my memories to be unburdened
by the sadness of her rapid decline, a sign that

we left Wood Place
at the exact right time. In my heart and mind
I run the streets at night, kicking cans and keeping
my hiding spots secret. All in sanctuary, on Wood Place.


Friday, July 9, 2010


They came as nine.
Perfect for this game.
Third base line seats tucked
behind the opposition dugout.
Every cheer and shout directed
at the pristine field. Five were brothers;
one by proxy. Three were cousins, close.
The ninth, a long time compatriot, a brother
of sorts; cohorts in this simple game. Hit. Catch.
Throw. Wouldn't you know it would be so simple?
"A sky so blue, it'd hurt your eyes to look at it!"
A strand of clouds lined the outfield. Contrasting,
completing; highlighted in pinkish tones. No bones about it.
Our father was punctuating a perfect day, in "the land of the free,
and the home of the brave". Play Ball!

Walt                                                            Photo by Aron Martinez (Coca-Cola Field Security Man)


On Erie's shore
just south of Buffalo;
in the shadow of Bethlehem Steel,
Woodlawn Beach languishes.
Sand strewn with drift wood,
seaweed interwoven between
seashells and toes; rocky layers
stubbing and protruding, eluding
them was a battle.
Passing years brought stench,
abandoned Steel Plant stand
and ominous reminder of the decay.
Dead fish and gulls where children played,
now they stay off shore. No more
escaping or scraping memories out of
her unkempt shell. Just as well.
Woodlawn Beach is closed again.
This Year. Every year.



A lifetime ago
When my kids were kids
Summer meant Erie

“Overnights” with cousins
Hours fishing on the dock
Sipping trumpet vine

Boating with Grandpop
Awaiting words, “Want to steer?”
Bracing for waves

Haunted Erie Lighthouse
Spotting Turtle Island once more
Wading Toledo Beach

Faygo quenches thirst
Seagulls play Follow-the-Leader
Sleepyheads nap reluctantly

Lakeside fire pit
Outside in pajamas, laughter abounds
Sticky blackened marshmallows

Rainy-day fun
Kitchen-table Euchre with Grandma
Blanket tent cities

The music room
Grandpop’s headphones gobbling their heads
Jazz on vinyl

Time with Grandpop
Stretched out on the floor
Catching “Tarzan” reruns

Fond memories abound
Summer days on Morin Point
With devoted Grandparents

Marie Elena

Saturday, July 3, 2010


*Responsible, Empowered People; United By Liberty, Independence,
and Civic virtue

Marie Elena

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Eerie Lake

A Great Lake,
connection betwixt Toledo and Buffalo
an Eerie bond.

On the shore
ripples of waves come crashing,
lashing the sand.

Children run freely,
splashing in the rising foam.
Roaming in surf.

Sea Gulls swoop
down to the water's edge,
dredging swimming morsels.

At evening's end,
the sun seeks refuge below,
amidst orange glow.

Erie finds rest,
to arise anew and refreshed.
Summer in Buffalo.