Mr. Galing’s Sunrise, Sunset is published by Peerless Press. Mr. Galing’s Author’s note explains that the title is taken from “Fiddler on the Roof” as it best fits his collection of poems. These poems take in childhood memories and current day reflections of his life. As always, Mr. Galing’s poems are straightforward and communicate exactly what he is trying to say, which I enjoy immensely. I hope you’ll enjoy the small sample of the poems I’ve selected:
Waiting For My Son
it will take him
two hours to get
jack’s deli, where
i am waiting
he lives in
says he can’t get a good corned
beef sandwiches there.
so he is coming to meet me
here, and i sit in a booth
and wait and i am holding an
full of pictures from the old days.
one is when i bought him his first
bike, oh, how he rode around and
around, waving his hands happily.
it was the first bike he ever had, and
we lived in a housing project, very,
poor, but somehow, i was able to buy
him the bike.
i had never seen a happier boy in my life
i want to show him these pictures when he comes.
so much time has gone by since those days
for one, my wife has died, and
i am alone, and the album is about the
only thing that keeps me thinking young.
my wife once said: why do you keep the
pictures so long?, she couldn’t understand how much it meant to
be able to see the
past, when we were young and happy.
he should be here soon…i keep thinking
now he is seventy years old, and i’m
ninety one… it’s hard to believe so much time
has come and gone… so many tribulations.
wait till he sees this album, i think…
and there he is, just walked in, he sees me
and waves, and for a moment I can’t believe
this is my ten year old son…this is a man…
who is slightly bent over, has a moustache, limps,
and is headed my way…no, there must be a mistake…
but here he is now, smiling and saying, hello, dad,
but the traffic is awful out there… now let’s eat
some of the good cornbeef.
hello son, i reply. be my guest.
i don’t think I will show him the album.
that’s a different story, a different time…
This poem definitely tugs at my heartstrings. Mr. Galing is looking fondly over the photos of his family when they were all young and his son full of energy on his bicycle. When Mr. Galing looks up he sees the transformation of his son’s youth to a man bent over and walking with a limp, he doesn’t have to say his heart aches but you know through his words that it does. It would break his heart to show the album to his son by the time he arrives and so he puts it away to spare himself. This is a poignant poem from the heart.
we didn’t know, really,
how good we had it,
until the day it
came to an end,
it was a long time
when burlesque made us
feel like real men,
when the girls
danced on two left feet,
dressed in gaudy
costumes with plumes and
feathers, but at least
and the strip teasers pranced
up and down the stage,
to the staccato beat of the
drum, keeping time with every
beat, tatatata tatata…
shedding a little bit of
clothing every time,
until all of us would
scream, take it off, take
it all off,
to see a naked girl in
the flesh, young, beautiful,
not ashamed of their bodies,
you always bought a candy box
from the candy man who said
there was a prize in every box,
which was a lie,
but we didn’t mind,
part of the fun of bein
alive at this time,
seeing naked girls without
having to beg for it
when burlesque faded
away, like a 45 rpm, it was
a bad day for us,
and now it is gone, and
in its place is a WALMART DRUGS
store, and the only sound
now, is the sound of the cash registers,
and thats the only music
they care about,
and nothing else.
I thought I’d lighten up the mood after the previous poem. This one is a no-holds-barred poem about a man missing the burlesque shows and knowing there is nothing like it anymore. Straightforward and funny, to me anyway, Mr. Galing describes “the good ol’ days” in a way that most men do not. Thanks for the big grin, Mr. Galing.
in the day care center where i
often go for a visit, i see all
kinds of old people, some in wheel
chairs, walkers, staring out at
the world who has treated them so
unkindly… who asked for a broken
down body? who wanted to have
alzheimers? we have nothing to say
about it. we pray, we go to church
or synagogue, hoping that God will
hear our prayers… i know someone who
eats in a jewish deli, about eighty
two years old, who wrings his hands
together and looks up at the ceiling,
praying to someone up there to give
him just one more day of life…
i know what he’s thinking… he knows
that the odds are great that when his
number is up, there is nothing he can
do about it, even if he prays every day.
at least he eats his corned beef sandwich
with relish. and ketchup too. and i
watch this old little man, who prays
in a jewish deli, and then eats like
there is no tomorrow… i hope he likes
corned beef up in heaven, if that is where
he goes someday. as for me, i like a
good bowl of matzo ball soup. and please,
some rye bread too.
This poem makes me smile, too. Mr. Galing observing a fellow diner while they enjoy their respective dishes and witnessing prayers to God for one more day of good food is an entertaining subject for a poem. Think of how many different kinds of people thank God for their meal and then think of this poem. It makes me smile all the more, watching an older man wringing his hands as if to say “please just one more corned beef sandwich before I die” instead of the usual prayers said at mealtime. Mr. Galing is inspired to add his own prayer which is for matzo ball soup instead, with some rye bread, and leaves me smiling at the end. I think I’ll be appreciating my meals even more from now on thanks to this poem.
I hope you enjoy these poems as much as I do. You can snag a copy for yourself for $5.00 from Ed Galing himself. If you are interested, please e-mail me at email@example.com
I don’t want to give out his mailing address so openly on the internet, so please do e-mail me if you’d like a copy of this chapbook.
You can also read and learn more about Mr. Galing by visiting his blog, run by his friend Doug Holder, at:
Thanks always for reading, please click in again tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…