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."

Sunday, March 27, 2011


A sailor, on leave back at home
from his deployment on the USS Borie,
this story has been told by many old
salts of his day. Along the way she
attracted his eye; fetching, catching
his heart off guard. It wasn't hard to see
the attraction, and her reaction to him
was cool at best. But, at his request
she relented, and that sent the gears
into motion. Navigating without an ocean
but steered by the stars in her eyes
his skies became clear. It was the strangest
thing when a young man's fancy turns in Spring!



Blue skies
Welcoming sun

A high of thirty six

Brave souls angling for the love of

Marie Elena
Photo by Keith R. Good

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


She lays confused, lonely, cold
in a world where warmth was never
her strongest point. But she waits

unknowingly for the synapse to fire
a brief link to past thoughts;
sparks of memory to catch and ignite

the life she has lived. It gives
her as sense of self that lasts
sometimes for the blink of her eye.

She cries at the futility.
Tears, the utility of every broken heart
start to stream, teeming within red and tired eyes,

a life as seen through her vision
sits in contrast to her existence.
Days numbered and passing unnoticed.

She sees her young neice as an old friend
from a neighborhood that had died years ago.
A photo of the girl's father, her brother,

sparks a smile with the recognition.
Then her condition takes control and
her stroll down memory lane ends.

Each day starts and ends in darkness.
Every moment in between holds
a murkiness of its own. Aunt Jane lingers.

Fingers curled and fisted, clutching
prayer beads, or maybe the last moments of life.
Her memory fades and she does not remember.

Prelude to:

"She Does Not Remember" by Anna Swirszczynska


Monday, March 21, 2011


Eerily flaming
Rising into Earth’s night sky
Rare parigee moon
Marie Elena

Photos by Keith R. Good

Keith captured these vastly different photos of the March 19, 2011 "supermoon" above the Maumee River.   

NEAR THE ERIE TRACK (The House With None of Us In It)

I do not venture there anymore.
The old homestead near the Erie track
stands in an unrecognizable state.
The tales I’ve been told of our old house are tragic.

The house is empty, a haunted house bears more life.
The sharp contrast cuts like a serrated knife,
shredded, tattered edges and shards of memory
laid to waste and leaving a bitter taste in our mouths.

Generations stacked three high would cry
a collective tear if they went near the Erie track.
In fact, many more would shed when the fact enters their heads
that there’s nobody in the house worth a mention.

I cringe with a strain; a tension winding my spring
until I release and cease to be rational.
A right and traditional home; a suitable sanctuary,
it is scary how quickly it has fallen. It is hard

to imagine a manicured yard and bountiful garden left barren,
I wouldn’t care if the years of my making weren’t taking
their toll on my memory. There is nary a day that goes by
that I do not try to recall her as our domain. All that’s left is pain.

Indeed, she offered us all that a house should, it was good
that warmth and shelter were felt in her embrace.
We played no part in her disgrace; this place is no longer
ours to concern over. We’ve grown stronger in our absence.

I do not venture there anymore. That place,
that house with none of us in it. I do not look back.
Response to:

"The House With Nobody In It" by Joyce Kilmer


Saturday, March 19, 2011


Here in the details, a demon lurks.
Recollections and distractions;
interactions of our lives.
I wear you like your comfortable coat,
which I had spirited away from the home
in which we lived; now abandoned.
Its warmth still soothes an aching soul,
and no one knows. No one knows.
Your hat, a cap really, shields my eyes,
the brilliance of daylight you cannot
see, belongs only to me. Your vision
lives in my vision; your bloodline secure.
It was no disgrace that you had succumbed
to the most vile of venom; your riddled body
ravaged and recoiled, spoiled for your function.
Your anger and denial fought weakly,
and your resolve held gently to the slender
thread, instead of giving up the ghost
to live in that shroud ever-so-briefly.
Then, your voice was silenced, a wretched
cacophony that shouted through your vacant stare.
And I was there, suspending my own life to share
every last second of your diminished existence.
In the distance you heard her calling,
and I was stalling for one last word of love between
estranged father and son. One last word; maybe “sorry”?
It haunts me, your memory and all that had burned
itself into my soul. There is no mending that could
placate this pain. Again I search through something
of yours to try to repair you to prominence. But,
the predominance of your paternity will remain
for an eternity, ever buried deeply in my memories.

In response to:

“Try to Remember Some Details” by Yehuda Amichai


Friday, March 18, 2011


Back in the story telling business. Here is one of what I hope is many more to come:

WALLEGORY AND OTHER STORIES: PROCRASTI-NATE: "Nathan Shell was a good man, to hear his Mama tell it. 'My son, the screenwriter' she would proclaim. But, all the same she loved her Nate. ..."

Monday, March 14, 2011


Growing into adulthood, I like to think I have set myself up to be a role model for my daughters and the young minds with which I would come in contact. I hoped to be an example of what striving for a dream meant to my own life; and demonstrate the value of commitment that had become a lesson well learned. This emotion has its root in my childhood.

We grew up, four brothers with varied temperaments and interests. A span of six years from youngest to oldest, our battles were legendary around the block - a rock 'em, sock 'em tandem fighting for dominance. But that discrepancy would all but vanish in the celebration of frozen ice on a backyard pond. Lackawanna, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, was home. It may as well have been Victoriaville, Quebec. Hockey had quickly become king in Western New York. A short jaunt over a Peace Bridge was a weekly pleasure, a treasure of our puckish youth and this ice time a rag-tag group of hockey wannabes could secure at un-Godly hours at the Fort Erie Arena. In 1970, the old "Pepsi" Logo of the American Hockey League Buffalo Bisons was replaced by the charging bison above crossed swords of the new upstarts of the National Hockey League, Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres became the glue that bound us. The team leveled our familial playing field; gave us a common ground that rose above our unique personalities. The loyalty bred through that association remains lasting. The proof in this muddled pudding came in the acquisition of three very talented players.

Gilbert Perreault (Pare-o) was THE original Sabre. The most coveted player coming out of Junior hockey that year, he was the equivalent to a Sidney Crosby of today. The majority of his first year was spend as the main attraction for an entertaining, albeit struggling expansion franchise.

Richard Martin, a teammate of his with the Montreal Junior Canadiens, joined Perreault the next year. Where as Perreault was grace and finnesse, Martin was pure power. A natural goal scorer with a knack for finding the opening from all over the ice, their chemistry flourished with the Sabres.

In short time, the Buffalo team had acquired a journeyman forward from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Eddie Shack, who at the time was my favorite player. The young winger, Rene Robert (Ro-Bear) stepped on the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium ice and quickly endured himself to the Sabres fans (myself included). In his experimentation, Joe Crozier, who had replaced the legendary Punch Imlach as coach of the fledgling team, combined the three on the same forward line, which would become one of the most prolific combinations in the leauge. They were dubbed the "French Connection" after the player's French Canadian heritage and the popular movie of the same name.

The three youngest of the Wojtanik boys, brothers Tim and Ken and myself, would attach their aspirations on the rise and fall of their favorite players. Tim was the miniature version of Martin who became his idol. He possessed a hard shot and an acuity for scoring goals. An injury kept him from a tryout with the Binghamton Broome Dusters minor hockey league team and pursuing his dream of playing professionally.

Ken was a graceful skater and a very heady player. He had a touch with the puck as well, but was more of a playmaker. He took his cue from Perreault and followed his career with interest.

I was a big fan of the game, but my skills were less developed than my siblings.
Let's say I could hold my own. As aforementioned, Robert had found his way into vision.

With those allegiances, we became the French Connection. We were Perreault, Martin and Robert, on a lesser scale. But that bond brought a unity to a family of our fractured fraternity that remains to this day. We are brothers first and foremost, and "teammates" for life.

Why do I rant? Richard Martin died yesterday in a one-vehicle crash, apparently caused by a heart attack he had suffered prior to losing control of his car. The news touched me deeply. I thought back to his playing days in Buffalo, and his unknown influence on a band of hockey playing brothers. It saddens me that a part of our youth, our very fabric, had been taken from us. I think of my brother Tim, who idolized Rick Martin to the extent of wearing his number 7 throughout his playing days. I worry for his health. With a family history for heart maladies and his more rambunctious lifestyle, I'd hate to see him suffer a similar fate.

A man died Sunday. In all, Richard Martin was a husband, father, friend, teammate, and hero to thousands of Buffalo Sabres fans. And in his passing, once more a group of brothers became connected. Rest Peacefully, Fallen Hero.


Friday, March 11, 2011


The milk of human kindness pours
freely; clearly. Nearly everyone
aspires to a higher calling,
but ends up falling flat on their
best intentions. Conventional wisdom
is a conscienable nudge to action.
But, only a fraction of the folk
respond. It is beyond comprehension,
not to mention beyond reason.
Those who want stand in legion
pleading, needing to just sustain;
a respite from the torrential rain
life pours down. Sounds simple,
but pride becomes the pimple
that blemishes the clear complexion
of a complex humanity. Such insanity
is treated in a fashion, a mix
of compassion and ignorance. And all
that is required is an effort,
a sort of determination to improve
the station of those who had lost their way.
Do it because you want to; do it
because you can. Take a stand;
you'll be better for it. Don't ignore it,
we're all deserving of one good turn.


Thursday, March 10, 2011


Rising and falling,
sea birds calling
a trill, shrill
and resounding.
Surrounding the shore,
seaweed tossed and sands
of lost childhood, decay.
On a good day, you can see
clear across to Canada,
a cyclical sonata awash
in rushes and retreats.
Beneath the feet
of beachcombers, the warmth
of a million suns baking,
taking shells and driftwood;
a good haul for an early spring.
Still, the gulls sing
a redundant song, strong and shreiking.
Another wave rises, then beats
a hasty withdrawal. Through it all
you breathe the freshness abounding,
Rising and falling, your chest
duplicates the lunar lambada
of the Great Lake. Waters rake
the moistened sand on its departure.
Sunsets and crashes leaving colorful dashes
across the glinted surf. Tides return
to where they had come as the night descends.
Another day ends in the swell of tides.



Nature's wonder
under the thunder,
over the span of generations
the cascade continues.
One of those venues that
stirs the heart
and moistens the eyes
(and most of your clothes
if the wind takes a turn)
You yearn for the beauty
to capture you, taking
your pulse to feed its frenzy.
Many come to be enchanted,
enhanced by the sheer power
they can stare for hours.
Newlyweds and wannabes,
seek to sneak a peek
on their way to more
intimate locales. Sex sells
but in the shell of the gorge,
the churning is matched
only by the memory it leaves.
Branded upon a romantic heart,
the roar of Niagara remains.
She never leaves you.
You'd be a stooge to not
take refuge in her thunder.
Nature's wonder, Niagara Falls.
Slowly I turn...


Wednesday, March 9, 2011


A woman in charge,
barging into life with ambition,
a condition she's served well
in twenty-five years, that's my "Mel".
Confident and secure, demure
to make a princess curse.
My first born and my best
critic. Mimicked, but never duplicated.
I've waited all these years to see,
the younger version of me
in a prettier package. Glad to be Dad.
Happy Birthday, Kid!


Monday, March 7, 2011


So, a few less dollars grace my pockets,
and no sky rocket celebrations in the offing.
And maybe my offspring don't inherit any more
than their mother's good looks
and their father's well turned phrases.
At this phase in my life, my wife and I,
though preferring a lifestyle upgrade,
have decided that our pride and upbringing,
could have us singing in the rain,
instead of preying on that rainy day pittance.
Our daughters have learned well, and it tells
in the way they carry their grace and name,
and although they are not the same by any stretch
of my over-active imagination, they know their staion.
It might seem that we have no ambition to position
ourselves on the ladder of success, but I guess
raising these beauties with an eye towards
bettering themselves and the world around them,
is worth its weight in a life well lived.
We're not well off, but are much better off in the long run.


Angels sing me lullabies
Softly lilting voices rise
Wafting gently through the air
Carrying an earnest prayer:

“Dream of Jesus, little one
He who hung the moon and sun
Cradles you all through the night
Safely snug ‘til morning light.
Safely snug ‘til morning light.”

(My father [Sophie's Great Grandfather] wrote an original tune for this lullaby.   It may also be sung to the tune of Mary Poppins’ “Stay Awake.”)

Marie Elena (Nonna Marie)
Photo by Marie Elena Good

Sunday, March 6, 2011


While His children sleep
In quiet stillness of night,
God paints purity.

Photo by Keith R. Good
Marie Elena

This is not a black-and-white photo.  This is Keith's un-retouched color photo of our Chinese Red Maple during last night's exquisite snowfall.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


  Polish lad
    Friday’s child
      Smidgen wild

        Stuff fixer
          Rhyme mixer
            Beach walker
              Ed talker

                Hard worker
                   P.A. lurker
                    Bills fan
                      Buckeye man

                        Poem writer
                          Sleep fighter
                            Word gifter
                              Mood lifter

                                Lake dweller
                                  Funny feller
                                    Smile bearer
                                      Blog sharer

Marie Elena

There.  I KNEW I'd seen a photo from your BeatleMagic Ed Sullivan gig.  Hope you don't mind that I snooped through your FB photos and snatched your Ed Sullivan impersonation pic, Partner. Too fun! Now maybe my "Ed talker" line will make a little more sense to people, eh? ;)