“…someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo!”~ from Simon & Garfunkel’s “At The Zoo”
Here lies a man who always knew
what to say when it was needed,
never needing to define his words;
always wishing his words defined him.
Forever hoping to be read,
but eternally silent now.
He’s dead. ~ Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012 (My epitath!)
It was a slow and painful demise.
It would have been wise to go with the flow
and show I was more than an aromatic alligator
bag full of words. Even a herd of buffalo
would know it would hurt if allowed
to blurt out poetic words. It’s absurd!
Never thought I would swoon on the third
day of a 1974 June. My vision gone too soon.
But you may have guessed, I lied!
I don’t own an alligator bag!
© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017
My alias precedes me,
even if my history doesn’t.
A Nantucket sailor on a whaler?
Not absurd though it sounds as if I’ve been around;
from classroom to classless seafarer, dare I
step away sight unseen from the Merchant Marine?
A man obsessed and depressed in Manhattan,
following death as she follows me.
Ahab’s Pequod offers refuge in this centrifuge
chasing the great white; following death as she follows me.
Narrator, philosopher, sometimes poet. You know it
isn’t easy when you’re among only men adrift at sea.
Let me introduce myself. I am Ishmael. Call me.
(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016
A boorish brute, loyal to the last.
a henchman, evil and brutal.
He’d seal your fate with one quick blast,
begging for your life was futile.
Don Corleone was your boss,
protect his life at any cost.
Brasi, your death was quite messy.
Luca, dorme con i pesci.*
* Sleeps with the fish
Alabaster and roan, she was put down; a
broken fetlock blamed for the turn lame.
Certainly, a sad end for a once proud and
determined foal. She was a true beauty;
effervescent and ethereal.
Furlong after furlong, a strong
gait with the gallop of each
hoof striking a counterpoint to the crowd.
Indeed, now the odds were against her.
Jockeys would run her hard and fast,
keeping her on the track far
longer than she should have been.
Many years back, she was a champion, but
now in her later days, she was not.
Other trainers would have put her to
pasture, but where her legs failed, her spirit remained strong.
Question her determination, and she’d prove you wrong.
Rest would have helped her for sure, but
she knew she had one good race left in her.
Three quarters of the way around the track,
unknown to her owner, she fractured a leg.
Very few horses would have continued, but
winning her final race would reveal a true champion’s heart.
X-rays would verify the sad fact. After
years of racing, her fate was sealed. Outstanding in her field,
Zenotrope’s Zip found her rest in eternal pastures.
“Heaven For Horses” by Lew Sarett