Phil Kaveny

The Works of Philip Kaveny

Three Poems for a dear friend Dr. Mike Zielinski By Philip Kaveny c 2015


loretta youg 1952

Three Poems for a dear friend Dr. Mike Zielinski

By Philip Kaveny  c 2015

These three Poems  are dedicated to my dear friend and source of inspiration Dr Mike Zielinski who three decades ago pointed me in the direction of my present Christian spirituality.  The poems themselves were all written fifteen years ago. They are me in three iterations of my life when I might have died a violent death, or worse yet caused some else’s’ I remember saying to Mike who I shared a room with at the Minnicon Science Fiction Convention in 1985 when I was 41 that I was surprised that I was still alive considering some risks I had taken. Make who has a profound and engaging spirituality and the mind of a math professor said in reply without breaking stride.

“Maybe Phil, you were kept alive for a reason.”

This was me looking for death by cop as a fourteen year old


Nov 22 1958: It¹s 1:30 AM and the dance has been out for three hours.

My name is Philip. I am fourteen years old. I am six feet one inches tall and I weigh 223 pounds.

Sparks fly from the cleats on the heels of my black engineer boots. My Black leather jacket fits me as I move as if I grew it.

The lead ball I melted onto bicycle chains rest UN easily in the pocket of my greasy jeans, and the thirsty machete I have double edged sharpened and strapped inside my pants leg makes me walk a little like Chester on Gun Smoke.

Everywhere I turn what I fear most is behind me. Have I become death only looking for more death?

Please, please, please, do not scare me for I may kill


This is how I almost froze to death, died of alcohol, or drowned in the Yahara River

Cool Cold December Nine 1959  I nearly drowned  on moon beams or Roma Brand Port Wine.

Carnival Pilgrims

Razzo Pilgrimage, Easter 1970 (on our way to the Poynette Wisconsin Rock Festival with its cast of 40,000 human souls)

Vita: This poem is written by me to celebrate my 30 years of total abstinence and sobriety from alcohol since Feb 2, 1971.

The summer of Love turned to my winter of Discontent, and
April 1970 was truly the cruelest month.
Therefore Steve and I set forth our quest for lady death.
She took the form of an eighteen year old, blond haired blue
eyed cutie dressed in a mini skirt with linen gauze blouse, sandals,
flowers in her long blond hair and wore absolutely no
underwear, of any sort whatsoever.
We were carnival pilgrims with black leather jackets, but
No hair shirts – riding both aback our two-wheeled Norton
750 at 120 mph.
Cold sleet walled in our faces my greatcoat flapping like a
Land locked sea bird. My arms wrapped tightly around
Steve’s waist and a case of beer tucked under each armpit.
Faster ever faster the engine roared after her receding form.
We sought to swap our lives for a dance with lady death.
Road, ice, and sleet became a solid silent wall. Time past
Time present all time hung forever As we froze.
Then I felt her icy breath and lips against my cheek as
she laughed, and laughed , laughed and said:
“Vietnam has filled my dance card with fine young men,
much dearer than the likes of you.
Besides, silly boys with me it is always ladies’ choice.
But please; meet my wallflower sister lady grace

One comment on “Three Poems for a dear friend Dr. Mike Zielinski By Philip Kaveny c 2015

  1. Ann Zielinski
    March 12, 2016

    Where’s the 3rd poem? Mike loved poetry. His spirituality was maybe our strongest bond. Funeral is in Roselle at St Walter’s. Viewing starts at 10AM. I hope you can come but I understand if you can’t. Let me k know, Ann.


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This entry was posted on October 2, 2015 by in Phil Kaveny, Poetry and tagged , , .
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