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."

Saturday, January 29, 2011


“Give credit where credit is due!”
(Apparently something I blew.)
In movie-line credit
go look for my edit.
See, Peggy? I did that for you!

Marie Elena



We feel like we’ve lost you too soon,
but just when we’re needing a boon,
we’ll look up and smile:
in true Powers style
you’ve platinum-plated the moon.

Marie Elena

Inspired by my cousin, Carrie Powers-Miller.  Thanks for the idea of Uncle Jim and Punk platinum-plating the heavens! 

Also inspired by my son, Brandon, who was inspired by his Aunt Peggy (my seeester), who was inspired by Truvy, who reminded us that "It's all right. Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." Truvy (Dolly Parton); Steel Magnolias. 

The edit of this credit was inspired by Peg, who read it, then reminded me that it was *she who told my son to get it.   


Friday, January 28, 2011


Psalm 139:16. … all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

James E. Powers, Sr.
April 21, 1931 - January 28, 2011

On August 7, 2010, I wrote the following to honor my Godfather, Uncle Jim.
At 12:45 this morning, he lost his battle with leukemia.

My parents and I went to the hospital as soon as we got word, where we found a room filled to capacity with his wife, daughters, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
Noticeably present was Jim, Jr. (“Punk”), his only son, business partner, and best friend,
who left us on November 19.

Written on the patient whiteboard was Uncle Jim’s goal for today:
“Golf with Punk.”
That brought a smile to my face. Goal met.

Thank you, Blessed Father, for allowing Punk to be there to escort Uncle Jim into Your presence.

Link to "Crossroads,"  A sonnet for my cousin:  http://aleerily.blogspot.com/2010/11/crossroads-sonnet-for-my-cousin-with.html

(Originally posted August 7, 2010)

Generosity, personified
Outstanding uncle

Honest businessman
Respected by all

Uncle Jim is a man to be admired. In 1977, he bravely started his own precious-metal plating company here in Toledo. It was a 1200 sq. ft., father-and-son business. Once business took off, he employed many over the years. He offered free education through a tuition reimbursement program, full healthcare coverage, and respect for everyone from part-time housekeeper to chemist. As is the case for too many small businesses, the economy has taken its toll, and he has had to downsize severely.

He is a loving father to his own children, and father-at-the-ready for me. When I was a little girl, I feared nearly everyone … including (unfortunately, and for no reason) my own father. When I was approximately four, I decided my dad was an okay guy after all. One day in our kitchen, I decided I was going to tell him how I felt about him. I climbed up in his lap to give him the very best compliment a man could ever be given: I told him that of all the "men" I knew, I loved God first, Uncle Jim Powers second, and him third. Poor Dad. I was such an evil child. Sincere, but evil. I've never lived that one down.

Too often, we wait until it is too late to express our love and admiration for people in our lives. On this side of the Lake, I have many.

And I’m not waiting.

Marie Elena

Monday, January 24, 2011


Floating in a sea of her own perspiration,
she clutches the bed sheets like a life preserver.
Vacant is her stare, a weapon of every ache and pain
ingrained in her broken heart.
Showing little life; her eyes clench
closed to the world of familiarity,
a similarity to the other residents
who have found themselves left
to languish in lassitude.
Aunt Jane appears to be asleep,
tears seem to weep through her slumber.
The touch of a tender hand is all
that stands between life and the abyss.
A gentle kiss on a timeworn cheek
eyes flutter to a bleary peek
at the face inches from hers.
“How are you Aunt Jane?”
Her tired eyes smile briefly.
“Better” she whispers,
turning to her pillow with a sigh.
In that moment, she found recognition.
In her condition, it was more that I had hoped.
You don’t care that you’ve been forgotten.
You embrace that brief flash of lucidity
and accept that life still caresses her heart.


Thursday, January 20, 2011


God offers heart peace
To the world-weary sinner.
A soothing soul balm.

Marie Elena

Thank you, Jim Donadio, for pointing me to this “heart peace” this morning.  Jim started a new faith-based blog, and it is blessing me greatly.  I love you, Cuz!  http://victoryinhisgrace.blogspot.com/2011/01/identity-crisis-ii.html .

Monday, January 10, 2011


Even from high in the bleachers
he looked mammoth.
Broad shoulders and legs
strong, churning, crushing.
Eight years old
and I was hanging close to my Dad's knee.
I knew the name. Cookie Gilchrist.
Before I knew all my prayers. Cookie Gilchrist.

Cookie ran for the Buffalo Bills
on this cold afternoon November of 64.
I sat riveted, watching my idol
steamroll over opposing linemen,
linebackers and the odd zebra or two.
Dad laughed as it was
"Cookie this", and "Cookie that"
He knew a boy needed his heroes.

The Bills could have won without him,
but Gilchrist made it special.
"Thanks Dad" I remember saying,
"He's my hero"
Dad smiled a smile
that continues to warm me to this day.
We grabbed our gear and headed out.

"This way, Sonny" he instructed.
And I followed in obedience.
Ramp, after tunnel, after stair
to a ramp. We found ourselves
in the lowest point in the "Rockpile".
A swarm of screaming kids blocked the way.
Standing above the throng...
Cookie Gilchrist.

Dad leaned in and whispered to me
and I nodded in compliance.
In my loud eight year old voice
I called, "Mr. Gilchrist?"
He stopped. And glancing our way, he smiled.
Cookie pressed past the crowd
to the place where my father and I stood.

This mountain of a man
reached for my program.
He smiled even more broadly
and he plied his signature
onto the glossy crisp page.
In awe I stammered,
"Thank you very much, Mr. Gilchrist!

One last smile graced his face.
"No son, thank you!"
I came to understand
his gratitude as the years passed.
For in a simple gesture,
my father taught me a great lesson.
I learned respect.

I had the opportunity to thank my father
before he had died.
"No Sonny, thank you!" he said.
With that the lesson was completed.
A boy has to have his hero.

Carlton "Cookie" Gilchrist died today from a recurrence of Cancer. He was 75.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Masked intruder,
Prowler, looter --
Cute as cute can be.
On a lark
At Sidecut Park
Along the great Maumee.

Marie Elena
Photo by Keith R. Good


First comes the thaw.
A heartless tease from a gentle breeze,
bringing showers and hours of warm.
No storm in site; just the right temperature
to make a nice White Christmas
a fond memory. Every sensory stimulus
is less provoking as I stand, choking back
my enthuiasm. A wide chasm between
reality and what I know to be an illusion.
It is this intrusion of this lake; unfrozen and
enabling, labeling these shores as
the snow capital of nowhere. Glancing to stare,
aware that the forecast calls for resurgent flurries.
You scurry to catch a quick glimpse of the skies
and there before your eyes you realize.
The snow machine is well in tune.
I hope it ends before we hit June!


Saturday, January 1, 2011


Starting from here;
going on from now.
A fresh start is at the heart
of all that is to come.
A brand new year
comes to call, and all
that transpires grows
from the seeds planted
in the twelve month prior.
That fire in your belly
spurs you on, a prodding
giving the nod to better things.
A fresh start is at the heart
of perfecting your art.
It all up to you
to begin anew.