The Lyric’s Playground – Poetry Collection

Poems by Lenny Zeltser (me). Assembled in 2005.


Holding Back

I speak through my rubber sheet.
You nod, as if you understand
and mumble a few words in return.
The cotton balls in your mouth
squeak lightly as you talk.

Let's tear the sheet,
eschew the balls,
and run away,
like we always said
we would.



to their curves,
sighs, and embraces,
he laid still
in his coffin
and missed them


You and I

Sometimes I sip your words—
I am calm;

Sometimes I strangle them—
you are cold;

Sometimes I worship us—
we are one;

Sometimes I rattle-snake
all alone...

And I try to imagine how
we can glide through life, if at all.

In the mean time I smile
as we walk and talk,
and grow old.


Commemoratory Toast

I raise a glass to wishes unexpressed,
thoughts left unspoken,
anger well-suppressed.

I hail the mysteries of silent sighs,
mumbled I-love-you's,
and hurried good-bye's.

I toast all men and women introverts:
emotionally mum,
and secretively lost.



Again, a new year upon us.
Another chance for I want
another doze of I won't.


Joys of a Picnic

Husband and wife,
eating boiled eggs
and tomatoes
on the grass.


Sarah's Letter

Yellow light beams in the kitchen, the rest of the house asleep. She pulls a stool from under the table and sits, resting her notebook and pen on the wooden surface. She picks up the pen. Words flow easily through her hand. She pauses once, turns the page, then continues writing. She scribes another paragraph, hesitates, then signs: Yours, always. Sarah.

Sarah lowers the pen and tears the page along the perforation. Twirling a lock of her white-blue hair, she reads her letter, lips and finger in sync with the words. A minute passes before she gets up. Clinching the paper in her left hand, she pulls the stove lighter from the top drawer with her right.

Sarah approaches the sink and clicks the lighter twice. She waits for the flame to outline the paper's edge, then throws the letter in the sink. As the sheet melts away, she turns the faucet. The ashes are washed down.

Sarah cracks open the window, then hurries to the bedroom. She lowers her glasses on the bedside table and lies beside the sleeping figure. Absorbing the familiar warmth of his body, she closes her eyes.


About the Author

Lenny Zeltser develops products and programs that use security to achieve business results. He is the CISO at Axonius and Faculty Fellow at SANS Institute. Lenny has been leading efforts to establish resilient security practices and solve hard security problems for over two decades. A respected author and practitioner, he has been advancing tradecraft and contributing to the community. His insights build upon real-world experience, a Computer Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA degree from MIT Sloan.

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