a poetry e-zine










Poems By Ron Yazinski




A failure of imagination wipes the sin away.

Just a simple failure,

Registered here on Hilton Head Island ,

On a bench inscribed with the young man’s name,

His near dates, and generic sadness.


This is not a bench to sit on,

It seems too sanctified for that,

Though I know his body rests

Far away in Pennsylvania ,

Beneath a newly planted hemlock.


There is nothing under this Southern pine

But shade.

Between the immature boughs,

You can see the yachts and sail boats

Tied up snug in Shelter Cove.


Farther on, across the still waters,

You can make out,

Beneath Mickey and his welcome sign,

The security office

To the Disney Resort on the other shore.


From there, no one could read this carving.

From here, in a year or so,

None will remember,

Except that he must have worked here,

Drank here,


And one night,

Closed his garage door,

Started his car,

And fell asleep here.


Camus once asked why didn’t more do it?

Especially after a man outgrew the nonsense

That he would be buried at a Crossroads,

To stare eternally

Into the devil’s face.


But Camus didn’t write for Disney,

Who would have portrayed a handsome boy

Whose accidental death

Did not diminish

His youthful nobility.


For years to come,

Sailors will use this bench

As a landmark by which they

Navigate these treacherous shoals

To return home to their loved ones.


Back home, a golf tournament

Is staged in his name,

An abbreviated novena,

To raise funds for the Jesuit high school

That he attended.


With enough donations

The priests can teach other young men

The consolations of faith,

In the same way

They taught him.


In the Disney version,

Ill, he would win a tourney

And donate the prize money

To reopen the clinic

On the South Side of the city.



The abortions performed there,

Would go unmentioned,

As if Mickey were prepared for confession

By the Jesuits themselves.


No one faults the parents for keeping

Alive their son’s memory.

But it is unsettling

When they raise their eyes to heaven

And thank him for restarting a stuck elevator.


Or for locating their lost car keys

That were in the trunk lock all the time.

In the Disney release,

He would distract the driver of a car

That was bearing down on his nephew and namesake.


The car would swerve into a tree.

The dead man’s heart

Would be a perfect match

For his ailing father,

And all would be well.


But there wasn’t magic here,

There was just failure-

The failure to imagine a tomorrow

Any different than today.

Which is what this bench honors.



Ron Yazinski is a retired English teacher who lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife Jeanne.  His poems have or will soon appear in Mulberry Poets and Writers Association, Strong Verse, The Bijou Review, The Edison Literary Review, Lunarosity, Penwood, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Centrifugal Eye, amphibi.us, Nefarious Ballerina, The Write Room, Pulsar, Menagerie, H.O.D.  and Crash. He is also the author of the chapbook HOUSES: AN AMERICAN ZODIAC, which was published by The Poetry Library and a book of poems SOUTH OF SCRANTON.


Copyright 2010  Chantarelle's Notebook