20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


For Tia

No words or poem can console the loss of a loved one so fresh but I share this which I wrote for my mother who died of cancer and my wife’s aunt who committed suicide within a few months of each other. It took another year before I could write this. Let time be your teacher and friend and strength.

What will you see
     When your sight is lost

What will you feel
     Without feelings

How will I sound
    To your deafened ears

How will I hear
    What you're saying

Will you taste:
        My bitterness
        My anger
        My confusion
        My sadness

Will you understand;
     I cannot, right now
Will you smile at me;
     I cannot, right now

Would you watch me now;
     I could use that now

Could you teach me now;
     Would you show me how

When I think of you
     Will you touch me, friend
When I close my eyes
     Will you hug me then

In the dark of night
     Will you stop the cold
At the break of dawn
     Will you wake my soul

During quiet times
     Will you come and stay
When the dusk first falls
     You could light my way

You can count your days
     As I count my years
You can hold me tight
     As I count my tears

As the months go by
        And time presses on
You will see:
        My struggles
        My resolutions
        My perseverance
        My reckonings

When my step first slows
    You will be my cane
When I ache to move
    You will ease my pain
When my light falls dim
    You will lead me on
When my thoughts all fade
    You will bring me home

What will I see
    When my sight is lost
What will I feel
    Without feelings
How will you sound
    To my deafened ears
How will you hear
    What I'm saying

As you lift me up
       And I raise my head
We will feel:
       Our souls
       Our joy
       Our peace
       Our love


Cicada Serenade

 The long days of summer 
           allow me time
   To cut the grass late
        into the evening.

I am accompanied now by
This orchestra of
Insects.  My own cicada

 To many an annoying din
          Of white noise.
     To be shut out with
          Closed windows.

5, 13 maybe 17 years
Waiting to
Sing out loud, called
To the sunset.

   Every tree around me
       Its own ensemble
     Rising and falling
          Almost as one.

It starts in the elm.
Then fading,
The ash takes up the
Rolling line.

   Patience reveals the
     Not of seconds but
      Minutes and hours.

By the honey locust's
Encore, the grass
Is done and the song
Fades into the night.

(c) 2012, Norman Dziedzic Jr.

1 Comment

Like a Simile, Not Similar

Like a river
         not a stream
Like an Illusion
         not a dream
Like a car
         not boat or plane
Like going crazy
         but not insane

Like a wanderer
         never home
Like a hermit
         always alone
Like a mute
         never heard
Like a clown
         always absurd

Like knowing
         all that's messed up here
But having to speak
         to a deafened ear
Like doing all
         receiving none
And sweating
         just to get it done

Like having bosses
         so confused
When things get tough
         they think they're used
Like being blamed
         by everyone
For things
         you haven't even done

Like trying so hard
         you just can't sleep
With no reward
         you have to weep
Like going back
         time and again
And hoping that
         this all will end

But likenesses
         they aren't what's real
The truth
         is what they will conceal
I hope you see
         and most will claim
It's all just part
         of playing the game


It has been a little while. My wife and I have been running kids to camp and picking them up from camp and visiting relatives with little time to write in between.

99 Degrees, just wait.
Leaving the A/C of the office I
Close the door and start the car.

Breathing deep the hot air, windows closed
Fan off, I am endothermic.
I am sweating now.  Dripping.

Letters ooze out of
Pores. My shirt is stuck
To me, stuck to this image.

Turning North the sun
Irradiates my left arm
I know the signs of heat stroke.

Words drip, formed from
Sweat condensed across
My back.

I should cool down but,
She will be sweating too
When I pick her up.

Demi-plié, assemblé,
Pirouettes will ooze grace
From her feet.

The steering wheel
Pirouettes in my hands,
Almost too hot to touch.

Now all the stanzas cling
To my jeans and my
T-shirt and matted hair.

This fire, this
Energy has run its
course, entropy flows.

Closer to the studio
I give in and hit the button
That brings cooling air.

(c) 2012, Norman Dziedzic Jr.

1 Comment

Poetry on Prose

The writers of prose
The thinkers of things
The keepers of time
The scribes for the kings

They write not in verse
But their hand isn’t lost
For their meaning is seen
Their symbols aren’t crossed

And their place is as true
As a great laureate
Their message as valid
As anyone’s yet

Though their feelings aren’t clear
The facts they stand tall
And their purpose is served
When they answer the call

They work not in meter
Or neatly trimmed feet
But perfect every sentence
And make paragraphs neat

Where I would call rain
Tears from angels on high
They say, “precipitation”
From clouds in the sky

As I grapple for adverbs
Or fight with a phrase
They just say, “this is it”
And erase all the haze

No matter how different
Our tactics might be
Our goal is the same
To get people to see

As the facts they make known
And my feelings I show
We walk side by side
Making known what we know

(c) 2012 Norman Dziedzic


On Words

If you have seen my other stuff you will know I don’t normally do traditional rhyming patterns.  This is an old poem from when I did.  I will follow “On Words” up with two others which are On Prose and On Poetry when time permits.

The equality of words I think
Is perfect most agree
For one word isn’t more a word
Than other words you see

In other words a word’s a word
That is as words I mean to say
Just standing there all by itself
A word’s just that in every way

Now groups of words I’ve heard have weight
That is some think some sum up more
Than other groups of equal words
As if they give each one a score

But words of heart they have no weight
I mean their weight we cannot see
Heart’s words can move your feelings much
And leave your brain without the key

When words and groups and feelings mix
The weight is there but can’t be found
And endless sayings are all said
Without a single talking sound

(c) Norman Dziedzic Jr.


Old Brown Shoes

           I don't know why  I put them on
           The old brown    worn out shoes I
                  Found      discarded
         Along the side       of the road

           So very tight       my baby toes wailed
            But the laces      held a while
         And the old brown      worn out shoes
              Held a while       onto my feet
                    I begin       walking backwards
          Along the side of       the road
    But not really walking       more searching
          For the history       of leather

           Following the       rumble strip
 Feeling for impressions       of dusty footprints 
            Of worn out       black soles
           Of worn out       souls

          As I walk        I listen
          For echos       of your steps
              Echos      of your breaths
       From nearby        walls

        Slowing now       I scan the scene
    For impressions        of reflections
           Of light         bounced off you
       I am hunting         hidden daguerreotypes

     I shuffle toward        familiar visions
           From almost        thin air
           Almost solid        they hold a while
           Onto my mind        this history of leather
               Déjá vu         approaches        
              Askew and      without warning 
         And I am frozen   in time
              Frozen in old brown shoes

(c) 2012 Norman Dziedzic Jr.


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