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Mark M Lichterman

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Books by Mark M Lichterman
  SkiBo and Me
by Mark M Lichterman
Monday, October 08, 2012
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent poems by Mark M Lichterman
•  Elderly Woman
•  November
•  Words, I Need Words!
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           >> View all 410

This is my third poem regarding some talk of or form of religion.
As before, for those that are believers, please no sermons.

SkiBo and Me


“SkiBo” his internet name.

His given name: Gene Tarnowski

but simply, “Ski” to all that knew him.


Friends for years;

Ski living a four minute walk

from my rear patio

along the green velvet lined walkway

then ten steps up to the grassy knoll

to behind Ski’s patio where,

no matter the heat,

would always be shade,

would always be a cooling breeze.

Where two chairs would be moved onto the grass

where vodka tonics would be made and sipped.


Onto the grassy knoll

where Ski and me watched

Gus and Harry;

our two “Yorkies”.

Gus the daddy and Harry his “kid”

would run and romp


to the delight of passersby,

Gus and Harry would run to greet.



no matter the heat,

the shade stippled,

breeze cooled

grassy knoll

Ski and me would talk of this

and would talk of that.


Near a week younger than me

we would talk as two elderly

dear friends would talk:

of grown children

of our grown children’s children.

Ski and me would talk of our wives,

only good things, of course.

And of food.


Ski loved to eat,

as do I.

Difference being,

Ski loved to cook

so conversations most often went to food,

along with the preparation thereof.

Difference being,


I’m more an eater.


Conservatively, politically aligned,

conversations most often went to politics.

So now,

In this year,

considering the consequences

I can but imagine the conversations

between Ski and me.


Personal conversational problem, though.

Ski, a “Born Again Christian.”

And me,

a non-religious,

non-practicing Jew.


When, years earlier,

Ski’s words to me,

on a near daily basis:

“I love you as a brother,

I know what’s coming,

so accept Jesus Christ

as your personal savior.”


Though a Jew.

Knowing I am a Jew,

knowing also,

1 am a non-religious person.

Knowing Ski meant well:

“No, Ski, please!”

I would reply on a near daily basis.

“Please, just drop it.”

Though spoken on a near daily occurrence,

 in those earlier years Ski would,

just drop it.


Bonnie, my wife,

said I’d be sorry,

said I would miss him.


Years going on,

becoming more vocal,

 “Accept Jesus Christ!”

Becoming more demanding,

“I love you, brother!

Accept Jesus Christ!”


“Drop it, Ski!”

I would demand.



Bonnie said I’d be sorry,

said I would miss him.


I am as I am!

As you are as you are!

As Ski was as he was.


My friend’s intentions,

I know were good

but time came when

“Accept Jesus!”

became an everyday command.


Eventually, in time,

I stopped walking the four minute walk

along the green velvet lined walkway.

Ski and me no longer talked as elderly dear friends.

We no longer talked.


One year passed:

Bonnie said I’d be sorry.

Bonnie said I would miss him.


Two years passed.


Eventually, in time,

Gus, the Yorkie daddy, died.

Eventually, in time,

Harry, the Yorkie son, died.

Eventually, in time,

Ski, my dear old friend died.


So true .


Now I walk the green velvet lined walkway

with Kody and a day does not pass that I do

not look to the shade stippled grassy knoll


no matter the heat,

would always be a cooling breeze.


two chairs would be moved onto the grass.


vodka tonics would be made and sipped.


talk of food and families and politics would

be spoken between two elderly friends.


So it is said;

two subjects to be avoided:

politics and religion.


SkiBo and me.


Bonnie is right.



©October 9, 2012 / Mark M. Lichterman






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Reviewed by Patrick Granfors
Nicely done Mark. Bonnie was right and so were you. Better to preserve fond memories than end a relationship badly. Patrick
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton
Bonnie may be right, Mark, but I can't help but agree with your decision to stop taking that four minute walk. The same thing has happened to me, in a way. My was strictly cyberspace communication. She got so demanding that I "see the light' that I have stopped all communication with her. She was always a little pushy with her born again attitude, but when I began write my latest novel, "The Late Great God," she became frantic.
Reviewed by Sara Coslett
Mark, what a wonderful poem! Don't feel that you walked away from the friendship. You didn't. The friendship has endured. You just chose to end the daily pious conversation when he wouldn't. But clearly from you poem, he is now, even in death, very much a cherished friend.

I am much like you. My oldest brother leans Marxist (my opinion, not his). Whenever I mention Obama's dangerous positions on Israel, we get into a heated argument. Then we don't speak to each other for a few days. But eventually we both let it go, realizing there is more to life than fixed positions on politics.

Reviewed by Laura Fall
Truly a deep meaningful write written so excellent as always Laura
Reviewed by Joy Hale
Great poem! Politics and religion are two "crosses to bear" between me and a family member, so I have just learned to avoid each subject, it's better that way. I am a zealous Christian, but your friend, Ski, should have backed off when you asked him politely to do so. No one should push their ideas down anothers throat, share with them a time or two and then respect their decision from that point on. I am so glad you shared this with us because it is a good lesson learned. Well done, Mark.

Joy L. Hale
Reviewed by Ronald Hull
As a nonreligious person, I have often had born-again Christians try to proselytize me as though it was a life-and-death matter for me to go their way. So Ski has (gone that way).

I'm having a political (not religious) battle with my sister right now. Fortunately, it has not broken our a love for one another yet.

You have a way of writing a story that is so clear and lucid that the reader is drawn in to the experience. Of course you miss him. We often miss those we disagree with. It would've been so much nicer had he spent his time talking about many other things with you while you still had time together.

Reviewed by Annabel Sheila
AMEN! Far too many differing opinions and beliefs for both religion and politics.....I avoid those subjects....and can't tolerate those who try to make their opinions mine! Sad that it tore two friends apart.....

Reviewed by Budd Nelson
wonderful memories ansd tribute to your friend
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