Archive for March, 2011

THE HIP HIP, for Ella

My readers,

Here is a story I wrote for a very special lady.


Ella was a feisty eighty-eight year old line-dancer. Line-dancing kept her young and full of life, but things were about to change. If for better or worse, I’ll let you decide.
* * *
Ella limped into the Brickette Lounge on a Thursday night. She was immediately surrounded by the usual line-dancing crowd. Sitting down on the first available chair, Richard and Rainy made their way to her, followed by Joni, Amanda and Nancy. Joe, from across the dance floor, wandered over. Elizabeth joined the group.
Amanda was the first to ask, “Ella, what’s wrong?”
Ella answered, “I need another hip replacement.”
Now, Ella blew out hips like some people blow out tires. This would be her fourth redo.
Ella told her friends, “I’ll be back with a new hip. Then, try to keep up with me you children.
* * *
Ella’s surgeon told his colleague, “I have a patient, a spry old woman, who loves to line-dance. She suggested an unusual test. I figure, it can’t hurt, so here it goes. She gave me a CD to play to the hips.’
The doctor placed the CD in a portable player and turned it on. On the table lay a group of hips he could choose for the implant. He studied the hips and said to his colleague, “That’s the one.”
* * *
A month after Ella’s surgery, on a Thursday night she returned to the Brickette.
Amanda elbowed Joni when she saw Ella enter, “There’s Ella. She has a strut now. That hip must me a real blessing.”
Ella sat down with her friends. She appeared fidgety, and upon closer inspection, exhausted.
Joni said, “I’m so glad to see you’re back. You’re looking great, although a little tired.”
“Well, that’s my fault,” she replied.
The DJ began the music and Ella was the first one up. She danced to the first song playing and every other song the DJ offered. Not once did she sit down.
At ten o’clock the music stopped. Ella blew a sigh of relief and staggered over to the table to sit with her friends.
Nancy was the first to ask,” Ella, are you okay?”
Ella responded, “Actually, no. But it’s my fault.”
“How do you mean?” Bronwyn asked in her Australian accent.
“Well,” said Ella, “I insisted the surgeon test the possible hips he could implant.”
“What was the test?” asked Joni.
“I asked him to play a CD that I gave him. I told him to watch for the hip that began reacting, vibrating; that was the one I wanted.
“I made a huge mistake. I can’t turn on music at home without dancing. I can’t listen to the music I love, and at the same time, get anything done.
“If I’m walking down the street and some youngster is listening to music in one of those ear things, and I can hear it, by the way, they have it turned up far too loud, I start dancing in the middle of a street or a sidewalk.
“My surgeon said this hip should last about ten years, and then I’ll get one that will give me some peace.”

March 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm 4 comments


Here is a comment by a reader of my story published by Books to Go now. She bought it on

Maybe you would like to give it a read?

4.0 out of 5 stars Universal Questions, March 10, 2011
By Prisca – See all my reviewsThis review is from: Martian Rebirth (Kindle Edition)
The author takes on big questions in one short story, giving lots of food for thought. It will take you worlds away as the suffering Martians do what they must to survive. There’s an impressive amount of realistic science in it. It really hooked me, and the consequences will surprise even the most experienced reader of science fiction. I just wish it had been longer!

March 14, 2011 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment


My poetry readers,

I offer to you my last, and most recent published poem. The poem was published by Bewildering Stories in 2007.

Let me tell you its history.

Back in the mid 1970s, I was working in New York. You already know this if you read the background for The Camera’s Eye. I would sometimes spend weekends with a coworker and her husband. They lived in Queens, but knew Manhattan which I often visited with them.

One cold winter night, I was sitting in the backseat while they drove. I happened to look out the window at a landscape of tenements, high-rises that packaged the less fortunate.

I will never forget this. Most of the windows were dark, yet one had a glaring light that drew my attention. I was mystified by this and thought about it for many years; then I finally wrote this poem.


Driving along in New York City
One cold stark Saturday night,
The city alive, the tenements dark
Save a harsh fluorescent light.

What were you doing that Saturday night?
Making love, planning your life
That dark Saturday night,
That cold Saturday night.

I saw your light, that lonely light
That cold dark Saturday night.
In the distance a beacon calling us home
As we wandered through darkness that night.

The city was dark, the hope departed
That cold stark Saturday night.
But work was done and dreams were dreamed
In the shadows that journey towards light.

That time is gone, that time is past
Yet my mind recalls the sight
Of you alone amidst the sea,
That fluorescent beacon of light.

You planned, you dreamed, you lived your life,
That cold dark Saturday night.
Where are you now, what have you become?
A demon, a memory, a light.

Did you succeed, did you escape?
Did you survive your plight?
Does your beacon still shine showing the way
As we journey this lonely night?

Recently, I have been working on other poems. When I feel they are right, I will share them with you.

To all who read my blog, thank you. I hope you enjoy what I write, and more importantly, has some meaning for your life.

Walt Trizna

March 10, 2011 at 7:35 pm 2 comments


My poetry readers,

In my last PUBLISHED POEM article I indicated that that was going to be it. But I found another old poem, and there is a more recently published poem which I shall share at a later date.

The following poem was published in the Clover Collection of Verse Vol. XII, edited by Evelyn Petry, in 1976.

I distinctly remember the birth of this poem. I once had a job in The Bronx while living in Newark. I would drive the New Jersey Turnpike every day, through the meadowlands and onward to New York. The meadowlands are not a particularly beautiful area. However, during my journey, I would pass a small dock with a moored sailboat. I began to realize that if I focused on only that gentle area, surrounded by saw grass, I could block out the rest of the world surrounding the scene. I could pick out points of beauty from a world of corruption. This is the poem that resulted.


Camera’s eye catches delicate flowers,
Views the graceful of bee in pollination flight,
Spies the brushing of pollen – laden stamens,
Holds in time a scene most tranquil;
Yet does not discover the roadside trash,
The flower’s home amid mud and mire;
Does not smell the exhaust raining acid
On delicate flowers.

Camera’s eye gazes upon a child framed in a window,
Beholds the easy lean of chin in palm, elbow on windowsill,
Wide eyes looking out at the world in wonder,
Knows the innocent child – wisdom;
Yet ignores the window’s building,
Screens out the ghetto of rotted houses and dreams;
Undetected is the garbage – urine hallway
As the child sits framed in a window.

Camera’s eye seeks the tall dignified pine,
Witnesses early – morning dew set needles sparkling,
Inspects wildlife in arbor home,
Beholds sunlight filtering to needle – soft ground;
Yet neglects the smell and diesel smoke machines
Sumping and gouging the earth of its riches;
Does not display the bulldozer’s approach,
Turns away as the stately pine topples.

I am the camera’s eye
Seeing what pains me not,
Grasping flowers from mud and mire,
Rescuing the child from a rotted tenement,
Preserving the pine in dignified splendor;
All safe and secure in a scrapbook world
As the real world lays waste.

I was so tempted to change this poem, but all these published poems are presented exactly as they were published.
Once a work is published, the writer must step back and hope his work is appreciated for what it is, not what it might have been.

March 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm Leave a comment


My poetry friends,

This is the last of my oldies but, you decide what comes next.

Although I now live in a small town, I have lived in many large cities. I have witnessed the subject of this poem time and time again. I’m sure you have too.

This poem was published in Quality American Poetry, 1975-1976, Book III.
The anthology was published by Valley Publications and edited by William Lloyd Griffin.


Rumpled newspaper in hand
Sits the old man,
Cold morning air sends a chill
Through a heavy overcoat,
Sunday morning light filtering
Through burnished leaves of autumn
Kindling thoughts of Sundays long gone,
Waking next to his wife,
The sound of children filling the house;
Now children grown – wife gone,
Sunday mornings bring only rumpled papers
On a park bench,

March 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm Leave a comment


March 2011

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