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."

Monday, May 31, 2010


Bless those who gave their
For our todays.

Penned by friend and neighbor Gregory Gebolys, who gave eight years of his time, energy, and heart for the construction and dedication of the Veteran's Freedom Memorial in Lima, Ohio (shown in photo).  Thank you, Greg, for this labor of love, and also for your U.S. Army service. 

With gratitude, love, and respect to the men in my family who have served:
Grandpa (U.S. Navy)
Dad (U.S. Navy)
Son (U.S. Navy)
Uncles (U.S. Navy and U.S. Army)

Thanks also to Keith's Dad, who served during wartime in Vietnam by building a lepresarium.  He no less risked his life in service to our country than those in our armed forces.

Marie Elena

Photo by Keith R. Good


One-O-Five Summit:
Celebrations of years gone,
And now loved ones gone.

And loved ones now gone
Have laid to rest with their souls
Traditions of old.

Old traditions of
Bocce Ball and barbeque,
Morra and laughter.

More of the laughter,
As we watched evening fireworks,
Donned in our pj’s.

Donned in our pj’s,
Gladly “spending the night” at
One-O-Five Summit.

Marie Elena

Grandpa, I can still smell the roast on the rotisserie spit. Grandma and Grandpa, thank you for the "Decoration Day" memories of yesteryear.  God rest your souls. 


In the starlit skies,
reflected upon the
gentle Erie rush
of wave and wind,
a star burst; bright and vivid,
livid with the explosion of color.
Shortly another flash,
varied and multi-colored
twinkles; a million glints
on these Great Lakes waters.
Scattered gulls honk in marvel
each burst bringing an avian
"ooh" and "aah". A moment
to raise our eyes and lift
our voices in remembrance,
as the fireworks display
fades into another rapid burst.


Thursday, May 27, 2010


"Why are you crying, boy? Are you lost?"
In a manner of speaking, yes!
Who'd have guessed I'd find myself here,
a lost boy in the world of learned men.
Nothing but a moral compass always
pointing due North, giving forth all
my heart desires, leaving little in reserve.
My sole existence seems to have swerved
into an unfamiliar place as I face
my aging with as much ambivalence
as that little spark remaining can ignite.
And I declare to "stand up and fight"
as I soar past the second star on the right
and straight on until morning, without warning.
I will take you as my Wendy, a friend
who knows me as well as can be imagined,
a solitary figure at the window living dreams
only read in stories and fables. You are able
to provide the urge to stick to my muse,
and my shadow and everything else that slips away.
No Nana barking in the night, for it just seems right
that the vigilance of such protection is
taken to heart as I start to feel the tingle
of youth long forgotten, slightly rotten
but never totally elusive, or exclusive to my survival.
I feel my spirit lift. A light and airy faerie that
refuses to die since I truly believe, and am relieved
that I am not the only fool clapping; slapping hands
together, whether you can hear me or not.
I can claim my place along with the other lost boys,
the Michael's and John's and others, brothers all,
never to fall far from the tree, fulfilling this need,
I know, I have to crow and let my voice be heard,
every word of this fantastic voyage of life,
looking to find a place to land in this Neverland!
When it feels life is giving me the hook
and I'm up to my knees in Smees, it's a crock
to think that time is ticking away from me.
I'll find my "Happy Thought" and go do what I ought to,
making as much noise along the way. The second star
to the right is the way to go. And don't forget to crow!



Sedentary and tranquil
gives way to tumultuous and
turbulent; a churning

turning your demeanor
irascible, highly harassable
and looking to pick

your battles when they come.
Never one for confrontation,
but in your station you choose

to defend your honor and hone
a place for yourself, (or a small
piece of you) to claim your notoriety.

Your sole propriety to society
is to stay alive long enough
to outlive your dreams and it seems

the only way that will happen
is to rage against the light, and
anything else that gets in your way.

For on this day, you have decided,
there is no need to hide your ire,
you fire from the hip and slip into a stance,

your chance; your only chance
to take charge, be large and barge forward.
Don't mind rocking the boat, the tide has come in

and you need no assistance in churning up
the foamy brine. For in your own mind,
you are already making waves.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


When your burden is heavy,
place them in my hands and continue your journey.

When your mind is troubled,
hand them to me and be comforted by clarity.

When your challenges are oppressive,
give me the chance to handle them. Be at peace.

When your heart is breaking,
remember I hold the capacity for eternal love.

When your eyes are unseeing,
know that my hand is outstretched to guide you.

When your confidence wanes and doubt resides,
be grateful my hands will wash yours, strengthening them.

And when life seems arduous,
rest in my hands, and I will carry you.

I will hold you close,
and you will be loved.


Sunday, May 23, 2010


As the sun slips beneath the water,
Her afterglow lingers above -
Much to wooing moon’s delight.
And they bask in the glow
Those fleeting moments
They call their own,
As their hearts

Marie Elena

Saturday, May 22, 2010


As the sun's glow scurries for horizon,
a gentle embrace finds us,
and our hearts become one.


Friday, May 21, 2010


On starless nights, she traces the shoreline
entranced by a calling wave
and sympathetic tide.

Marie Elena

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I come home. Keith is running the vacuum.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“I am just sucking up.”

Marie Elena

Honest.  Just happened. I love that man. =)


The splash of a distant wave calls your heart,
leading you to the shoreline
a ripple in the tide



Quick! Wet Ones®!
Murky Erie planted a kiss
On baby’s lips!

Marie Elena

Here, Walt.  Let me get that for you:  Groooooooooooooan...


Erie shores awash,
kissed by the raging tide. 
Quick wet ones.


Monday, May 17, 2010


Coloring outside the lines
Clapping to the off-beat
Seldom dressing to-the-nines
Adding salt to balance sweet

Drinking hot tea every night
Watching college football
Rhyming everything I write
Softly silent snowfall

Crunching leaves beneath my feet
Cutting grass in summer
Seeing fields of corn and wheat
Beat of different drummer.

Marie Elena


I love the summer season
when it comes to Buffalo.
I couldn't give a reason,
I love the summer season.
It's not akin to treason,
I'm no big fan of snow,
I love the summer season
when it comes to Buffalo.

(But I much prefer the fall!)



And how does one sing
When it is Christmas Eve, and
You've just lost your wife?

Marie Elena
(In honor of Uncle Erwin, an artist and opera singer, who sang "Oh Holy Night" for Christmas Eve mass, after the passing of Aunt Marguerite on December 23, 1970.  Though I was only eleven, the memory of his voice remains fresh.  May they both rest in peace.)


Labored and shallow,
a respirator kept the last vestige
of breath on a regimented pace.

Inhalation and exhalation mechanized;
kept the plane of life still in view
for eyes closed and mortified.

All sense of pulse was just
a faint memory, and suddenly
the sound of a father's voice was hard to recall.

The strength of it nestled in a heart
so deeply that it defied fibrillations.
The ashen hue of his drawn cheekbones

made the vision of him indistinguishable.
Erratic and broken now, each gasp begged
to be his last. A faint squeeze

of a clutching hand flashed the image
of your "hero" walking you across the street
for the first time. Now as he crossed,

it was your grip that led the way.
There came a gurgle; a guttural gag.
And suddenly the room fell silent.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Summer approaches in theory,
a month away and the middle of May,
and it appears to be a nice non-rainy day
to finish putting my winter away.

Grass to cut and edges to trim,
the neighbor in foreclosure, he left a mess,
and I'll be cleaning up after him, I guess
I'll do what I have to to make it less

a cesspool around my domain, I'm kicking it in gear,
giving the yard a good spring cleaning,
(at least these intentions are what I'm meaning)
the sky is clear in the direction I'm leaning

but off to the East, it appears darkly cloudy,
this changeable weather is well expected,
but with all the rain lately, I'll feel so dejected
not being able to do what I've projected.

The middle of May, there's flowers to plant,
gardens to plan, and as usual, I'm the guy
to do the bull work as I like to, and try
to get it all done, but I sigh.

I felt a drop, and he brought family,
if it's a brief shower, I think I'll be fine,
on God's little acre (and this part is mine),
but if it pours, I'll get wet and whine.

Beware the Ides of March May,
take this day and seize 'er,
"Et tu, brutal (weather)?"
This Spring's been a killer.


Friday, May 14, 2010


Silent wallflower,
barely empowered
to rise above the current;
always prey to the undertow.
Wouldn't you know the escape
so prescribed hides in the words
chosen to become the battering ram
for any debilitating aftermath. Standing
more sure of foot and confident, triumphant
and courageous; wielding an outrageous sword.
Expressive Excalibur! Strident; leading with
little chance to lose your bravado,
believing that sure and steady wins
the moment at hand, away from the corner
to be surrounded by those who admire.
Strength in supportive numbers.




Mafia ally, or crime ring's worst foe?
Headed for heaven, or places below?
Darling of Youngstown, this one they revere:
Congressman, sheriff, toupee’d racketeer.
Once ran for office from prison, no less --
Running again now, says CBS press.
Monster, or hero? Crook, or mere slander?
Rise back to Congress? Or sink in *Meander?

Marie Elena

*Mahoning Valley’s Meander Reservoir is legendary for the number of dead bodies the Mafia has dumped in its waters.

Jim Traficant: "I'm Going to Run For Congress" CBS News Article

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


There’s talk of a monster in Erie
and, though it is merely a theory,
I won’t dip my feet
And risk being the meat
For this theory of which I am leery.

Marie Elena

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Writing poetry;
thoughts conceived in the heart.
Finding life
in every emotion,
notions of words to express.



to hear the unsaid
to envision the unknown
to be a poet

Marie Elena

Sunday, May 9, 2010


We walked together, you and I,
close by were your mother
and your mother-in-law.
Well, I walked and carried you
here in my heart. You are never far
from the first beat you felt
of a heart so faint and labored,
now older and drawn to this place
where your lives met their terminus.
Your mortal life had come to rest,
in the shade of gigantic poplar trees.
And I hit my knees in prayer for your soul;
the eternal life that began here as well.
Here with your parents who guided you
through the earliest recollections of truth
and faith. Here with your husband; the father
who had joined you after a long exile. I smile.
A length of paces removed from the parents
that had given him their names and their heritage.
Names emblazoned in marble; a monument to
your mortality, and in reality just markers
from where your new journey began.
Written in stone: Irene Wojtanik,
Bertha Kura, Lottie Wojtanik.
Together again for eternity 
from this day, Mothers loved 
and blessed at the behest of this heart
that sprang from all three. From me
to you, Happy Mother's Day.



a godly woman
honored by all who know her
my mother-in-law

Marie Elena

 A loving mother-in-law is nourishment for the soul.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Escapes are tricky,
for somewhere halfway through
your mind shifts to thinking of returns.
For all the relaxing and refocusing,
our minds know we belong somewhere else.
But in the meantime, we squeeze
every last ounce of living out of those moments,
relishing the closeness, soaking in the beauty,
and being alive; a good place to be.
Back to the familiar; reappearing in the commonplace.
Going back to the homestead.
A return from getaway.

Welcome back across the lake!


Thursday, May 6, 2010


Within the scenic Hocking Hills,
Lies treatment for our city ills.
Where sound is hushed, and life is good:
Our little cabin in the wood.

Her cozy stonework fireplace calls,
and tranquil ambience enthralls.
For centuries, her walls have stood:
Our little cabin in the wood.

The time we spend is far too short,
though always of the healing sort.
We’d sooner stay here if we could:
Our little cabin in the wood.

Marie Elena
Photo by Keith R. Good


biked fourteen miles out
my bicycle wailed and groaned
biked back t-i-m-i-d-ly

Marie Elena

(Rode the bike path from Nelsonville to Athens.  My poor bike began clunking [LOUDLY], and we still had about 12 miles to go before we'd be back to our truck.  Scary, but it made it. Keith thinks it might be the drive mechanism. Yikes!)


The sign aptly states
the potently obvious:
smells like dairy air.

Marie Elena
Photo by Keith R. Good

(“Smells like dairy air” was my pun-lovin’ husband’s quip. I’m still giggling over that one.)


I can't believe it's you.
You look regal; majestic.
Amongst your peers,
and yet, you stand out in that crowd.

Quiet, unassuming and blooming
into the strong and determined woman
we quietly prayed you'd be.
Finally finding your way,

on the course to a dream.
We should have known.
Your sister worships you
for she knows, she'd be

less well off without your influence.
The games you played despite
your seven year age difference,
put you on the course

to take your spot on that stage.
You played school, the two of you.
She, the eager student.
You, the patient teacher.

You taught her an alphabet.
You showed her math skills.
She acquired reading skills at three,
thanks to your loving tutelage.

She learned what you taught,
as she continues to do today. I've never
seen her so proud as when you walked
across that platform to take

what was well earned and deserving.
You graduate today.
Now you are certified to do
what you've done all your life.

Teach. You've even taught me
a thing or two. Because of you,
I've learned that beauty and brains
are a lethal combination but

hold great power in the proper hands.
I've learned that my methods weren't as
maddening as I feared, giving you
a firm bit of ground on which

to make your stand. And I get
the sense that I'm not letting you go
out into the world unprepared to deal
with life, I'm giving you to the world

to give others the pleasure of your smile,
the warmth of your personality,
the courage of your convictions,
and the same advantage your sister had

in learning how to survive this life.
For no matter where you go, there you are!

*** Last night, I sat in awe of my daughter Melissa, the little girl/turned confident young woman who graduated with honors from the University of Buffalo with her Masters degree in Childhood Education. I've seen the power of what she could do, long before she decided to do what she was meant to: teach. I am the proud father. (If you couldn't already tell!)


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Surely you see it
when you look into my eyes
I'm falling for you

Marie Elena

(Falls at Old Man's Cave; Lower falls)

Photo by Keith R. Good


“Mildly Strenuous,”
The trail sign warned us. We hiked
A full seven miles.

Then, that evening,
Our cabin’s private hot tub
Soothed away the miles.

Marie Elena


Though rain stops falling,
drops converge mightily at
Hocking’s Cedar Falls.

Marie Elena

Click here for a video clip.

Photo and video clip by Keith R. Good


Tap-dancing raindrops
Perform on a tin roof stage.
Fine entertainment.

Marie Elena
Click here for a video clip.    

Video by Keith R. Good

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Clouds, dark and ominous,
a predominance of wind and chill,
not enough to kill the plants
but enough to make them dance
in the whip up of weather.
A silence falls; precursor
to a storm approaching,
encroaching on a good day
with the threat so offered.
A mist begins, begetting a shower;
a sudden downpour ensues
while you rush to the car
with keys in hand and a hope to reach
the power windows before
giving the seats a good soaking.
Tough luck. It's a shame
you don't move as quickly
as you used to. Rain - 1, seats - zip.


Sunday, May 2, 2010


The second third of the year begins with weather patterns in flux, and poets all over the world are off soaking their tired muse, after the activity during National Poetry Month. Ambition and confidence has been stoked enough to prompt a new focus on getting our work published. Nothing new here Across the Lake. I'm sure Marie will allow me to speak for her when I say, our work strives to that end. May will seem like child's play compared to the past thirty days, but activity levels will remain high in our quest for excellence. We may see some amazing things Across the Lake, Eerily. Or may not!


Saturday, May 1, 2010


The final April moon will soon take leave.
Contentedly, he navigates the sky.
He knows not that his passing makes us grieve,
Nor hears the tone of our collective sigh.

For thirty eves, the moon has cast his spell
Releasing inspiration from his core.
Yet, now has come the time to say farewell,
As April’s moon will strum our hearts no more.

No gathering beneath his fetching smile,
Nor once-upon-a-timing ‘neath his glow.
Though next year, he will once again beguile;
Inspiring prose and verse to daily flow.

Our melancholy hearts will melt away
For there will be a new moon come what May.

Marie Elena

My last poem of the 2010 April Poem-a-Day Challenge.  Phew!  I truly don't know if it is acceptable to end an otherwise solemn sonnet with a bit of humor.  (?)  It's been a sometimes grueling, but always pleasurable experience.  I've learned much once again from the talented poetic community at Poetic Asides. 

Welcome, May.