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John W Leko

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by John W Leko
Friday, July 04, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
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           >> View all 57

the sound of heat
like fire in July
upon an old wooden fence
and a boy of four standing
through a missing whorl
passing time.

while parents
of this only child
inside a house
before a marathon
of Twilight Zones
something misplaced
could not be more
black and white.

music unseen
yet heard marching
a red white
and blue parade
echoes through little fingers
placed upon pine
while memories
of different light
begin to shade
the sun of day.

eyes closed
one small child
he might find himself
in fields magnetic
drawing in
to art
realism of bandstand banners
and a man
in a park upon stilts
tickling everyone’s attention
to cry uncle
while softened
ice cream sandwiches melt
and hot dogs
become the thieves
of flowers scented.

to believe
that sparks of all colors
born on earth
are launched
to become the only brilliance
of enlightened stars in heaven.

and imagining
as one hand
holds his Father’s
that he turn
and with his other
pick up a small flag
upon the ground
heading home
in the freedom of darkness
with sparkle in his eyes
to paint dreams
now awake in his heart
with a new coat of warmth
to something still standing
knowing everything
from hence going forth
would never mean as much
as this moment.

© 2008 Copyrights of John W Leko
All Rights Reserved






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Reviewed by Rafika Anderson (Reader) 3/28/2010
Wow! This hit me like a ton of bricks. Thanks for sharing this colorful, evocative and revealing piece. Great writing, John.

Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse 12/14/2008
John I feel like an ole memory lost in time while reading "absent", then I feel like a lonely child making wishes for love of family...this is a wonderful story poem, like memories speaking into the soul...
seeking...unending...harmed, yet hopeful....alone, yet seen....
Peace, Love & Poetry
Reviewed by Debra Kraft 7/31/2008
a twilight zone of parenting, and a child who lives on the strength of imagination. it could not be more black and white
Reviewed by Kathy Armijo 7/27/2008
I couldn't help but remember the parade in "The Music Man" ... the pride that we feel and the joy. You have taken me to a moment in my youth where life's expectancy was filled with hope. I still cling to that hope, yet it is now skewed with reality that there is no magic wand to make everything 'right.'

God bless you. Kathy
Reviewed by William Bonilla 7/23/2008
An Awesome write John
I haven't been around to read and post review
but now I am trying to catch up
Peace be with you

Reviewed by Kate Burnside 7/11/2008
Another piquant and evocative write, John. In the midst of such public and communal celebration of liberation and hope, this touches my heart with a sadness for a tiny boy who has emotional awareness way beyond his own years, if I have read this right. Forgive me if my view is skewed, being English apart from anything else! But this so taps into my own childhood pains of living where all is perhaps not so light and easy-going, in ways that you etch for us masterfully here. An eye/hand pressed to a chink in the fence says it all... a little voyeur on the street-party of life, having a wizened understanding that there is more than hotdogs and icecream that is being missed out on here. The very complex thinking of a desire for enlightenment, lightness and liberation to come into his own household, to bring joy to emotionally ailing (perhaps) parents. The typical selflessness of the child, who cares more for the well-being of the parent, notwithstanding his own needs for youthful enjoyment. And, perhaps most especially... the creation of massive imaginary landscapes as a world within a world into which to escape. I have waxed lyrical... and again I apologise if I have put my own personal interpretative gloss on this beautiful cameo. But you have touched chords here, and I wish I could sensitively, delicately address such issues in so suggestive and delicate ways as you do here - rather than head-on! Little children have many epiphanic instants... and so often wish them onto the adults in their world who have long since forgotten what they might be! :)) I hope I haven't outstayed my welcome here. But again, much applause for a revelatory write. Kate xx
Reviewed by Katie Gabrielle 7/10/2008
I really like this poem "absent"! a child's imagination is a magical and wonderful thing! its a real shame the parents were wasting time watching twilight zone instead of spending time with their son!! time goes so quickly and I like the way you put the imagination of the child in play with the bursting of fireworks and the natural surroundings of nature the sky, the earth and looking at the world through the child's sure do know a child's heart!!

very very well done!! bravo John!!!
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 7/10/2008
What an amazing way to describe the 4th of July celebrations! from a little child eyes that stands bordering the street where that marathon of Twilight Zones would go by, where he was lose the scents of flowers that were stolen by those of hotdogs and cotton-candy.
Masterly you make him to go away wearing a coat of warmth and sparkling eyes.
More than excellent.

Reviewed by Joyce Bowling 7/9/2008
A beautiful poem my friend, your powerful imagery creates a wonderful vision for the reader, well done!
Joyce B.
Reviewed by Debby Rosenberg 7/9/2008
through the dreams of a child's eyes...a beautiful piece on many levels.
Reviewed by Douglas Bentley 7/8/2008
What can I say that hasn't already been said.
John, this is REAL good.
I really like your fifth stanza "wishing . . .to believe . . . . ."
It restores my faith.
Reviewed by Theresa Koch 7/7/2008
My goodness this has such heart~*
Reviewed by Christine Alwin 7/7/2008
John,, I really don't have the words,,,my tears fall as I read this over and over again,,,,,Freedom through a childs eyes... Touchingly BEAUTIFUL!
Love and Blessings,
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten 7/7/2008
I recall my feelings as a child, watching my brothers march at Valley Forge...the flags, the uniforms, in the unison of the soldiers steps, I found out what it was to be proud, to be an American!
I placed my hand over my heart, not out of mere habit, no, not that day... but because I was overwhelmed with respect for how much they withstood, and why! A face of duty and discipline embeds in the child of flit and circumstance...enlightening some taste of expectancy to lay down your life for your country, if you had to!
Wow! AGAIN!...this "absent" brought me back to a place, I had yet to grasp like this! Perhaps I too have been "absent" lately, this poem can fill so many other places and circumstance in life, one's we shouldn't dare miss!
Outastanding poem, John...Another...WOW!!!!!!!
Love and Peace~
Reviewed by Gwendolyn Thomas Gath 7/6/2008
Wonderfully written John, hope you did enjoy your holiday.
Thank you for sharing these sentiments many blessings to you and take good care.


Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 7/6/2008
Absolute nostalgia...throughout this offering.

Thank you for sharing!!

love Tinka
Reviewed by blue soplain 7/6/2008
you blend the fever of youth with the nostalgia of age....and this trickles slowly in the waning twilight... only to be illuminated... so gently and wildly backdropped with life. ..
heart.tugging write.
Reviewed by Gerard Gauthier 7/6/2008
John I love how this poem is told through the wide spread fingers of a four year his hope and imagination fills in the missing parts of life...Great read John
Reviewed by ~ Holly Harbridge (Reader) 7/6/2008
Such a deep emotional write John....I'm with Chanti, it's not hard to see why you are becoming so popular here at the den. Splendid work! Love Holly
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 7/6/2008
John, I love how you've written this, through the eyes of a child. Your writing always stirs your readers emotions with it's imagery and the way that you are able to use words.
"while softened ice cream sandwiches melt and hot dogs become the thieves of flowers scented," favorite lines.
Reviewed by Phyllis Jean Green 7/5/2008
SO evocative. . .beautifully conceived and beautifully written.
Thank you for sharing this, John. I am sure that, like me, others will come back and read the poem again. . .and again. . .'Pea' <3
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 7/5/2008
This poem is very engaging in every way, John. Thank you for sharing it. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Bernice Lakota 7/5/2008
That little boy with stars in his eyes, only he could feel the star within him rise and you took me there on that fourth day in the month of July with your splendiferous piece of poetry...I absolutely enjoyed and love this....Welcome back!
Reviewed by Cryssa C 7/5/2008
To me, there was melancholy wistfulness spoken in these lines...mixed within a story of a boy wishing he were at the celebration of freedom that you so vividly described. Either way, with your usual perfection you have pulled off a heart-felt poem that drew me in and helped me see through your eyes.
Cryssa :~)
Reviewed by Michael Guy 7/5/2008
It's amazing how you keep producing a new opus in your well-defined style, time after time. You certainly have crafted a unique voice, AND you're the memory man! Nothing better than seeing & feeling July 4th through the eyes of a child's memory in a world now gone. You bring memories to LIFE...Makes me miss my 60's childhood beach days.
Later, michael
Reviewed by Chanti Niven 7/5/2008
You've fast become one of the most popular poets on the den and it's easy to see why. You have a unique style that doesn't employ the usual techniques in order to deliver a great message. However, your words are effective and your imagery is fantastic. I do have one suggestion (and forgive the editor in me) and that is to add an apostrophe to the word "flower's" since it seems to have been used in the possessive sense. Great line by the way.

This is the first review I've posted in a while but the poem inspired it. It's nice to have you back and I hope we read more of yours. :-)

Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 7/5/2008
Truely captivating John. The poem captures special moments, feelings, andplaces. The images are soft , yet intriguing. Its a great patriotic poem.....M
Hope you had a nice Independance Day !
Reviewed by Jon Willey 7/5/2008
The spirit of July Fourth was captured for me with the rendering your poem provided on the blank canvas in my mind. A young lad's perspectives etched with the indelible ink of pride and compassion. A most remarkable sensory event. Bravo! For the youth of today in America. The symbolism provided by tributes such as Fourth of July parades form a bond with our nation and the citizens that is a priceless lesson in national pride. We need to revive that esprit de corps in young America. May peace be always with you. JMW
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 7/4/2008

First of all, welcome home - you were absent, I missed you!

Secondly, what a write - all of the senses are stimulated and come into play - much depth of feeling here - remembering the true reason behind Independence Day as well as the fun traditions - excellent.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Ron (sketchman) Axelson 7/4/2008
simply marvelous...
Reviewed by David Thompson 7/4/2008

What a wonderful write on this most patriotic of all days. The innocence of childhood will one day fade, and the reality of adulthood will set in. So much imagery of independence, with sounds of the day, smells to remind us of our freedom, colors bursting before us, and pleasant tastes to let us know that all is well in our world. All that you say causes me to dream, rest, and then dream some more. 'Tis such pleasing thoughts you pass my way on this day of celebration and thanksgiving for the country in which I reside. I will not soon forget the lessons you teach. May God be with you on this glorious day. And, may He forever bless the United States of America!

David Lee Thompson
Reviewed by Gene Williamson 7/4/2008
A wonderful poem that sweeps us along to that beautiful last stanza.
You've written a poem that should be posted everywhere on every 4th.
Thanks for sharing, John. -gene.
Reviewed by Shedding Light 7/4/2008
This is great literature John !!

Harold M. Nash
Reviewed by John Flanagan 7/4/2008
This is fine writing, writing of the first order. Bravo!
Reviewed by Charlie 7/4/2008
wide-eyed-wonder at the sound-popping, sense-opening feel of celebration...and what better cause to celebrate than independence? I remember the day my eyes/heart were opened wide to the flag--to home and country and patriotism. It is magic, that feeling. You capture it well, from a boy's eyes. --Charlie
Reviewed by Staci Gansky-Wagner 7/4/2008
A touching poem, as it may be a reflection of someone's special past childhood memories, or an imagination of a child wishing it was a present memory. Where family values seemed important. Elegant writing style creates feelings to come alive in the reader. :)
Reviewed by F William Broome 7/4/2008

John, my erudite friend, your words are the freshness of a Fabulous Fourth; words ttat have almost vanished from our cities and towns. It is so reassuring and warm to read your view of things held close and dear. Thank you for rediscovering our Fourth of July in our hearts. We are indebted and glad of your talent and friendship. - Patriotically, Bill

Reviewed by Ingeborg von Finsterwalde 7/4/2008
That is what the Fourth of July is all about. Remembering that we live in the greatest country. Fun, hot dogs, firecrackers, ice cream and memories of watching the sky at darkness exploding into all colors of the rainbow. It was fun to read your version, very well done John. It is good to have you back. Happy Fourth of July!

Reviewed by Rose Rideout 7/4/2008
A very touching write John, as this little guy will have memories forever and nothing will ever mean more. Thank you for sharing.

Newfie hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Liana Margiva 7/4/2008
VERY NICE, I LIKE IT!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva
Reviewed by Myrna Badgerow 7/4/2008
How wonderful it is to see your words again! It doesn't happen often enough but I know we all write as we must or as we will.. so anytime it happens I am so pleased. I think most of us will see ourselves in this piece.. but not all of us could express it as well as you, my friend...
Well done!
Always, Myrna
Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart 7/4/2008
This touched my heart John, a powerful pen.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 7/4/2008
Man, you painted a word picture of this little tow-headed kid back in Arkansas big time . . . Fantastic visuals and just generally great inside from the get-go . . . The only thing the poem failed to do for me was give me that insight at the end that nothing would mean as much as it did then . . . Of course I see it NOW . . .Great job John . . .

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