Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Sirens of Regret…by Robert M. Katzman

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story: www.differentslants.com/?p=355

© June 26, 2014

I can hear it far away

Weaving in and out



Better get outa the way

Wasn’t I painting something?

Mrs. Phillips, your boy has talent

You can tell that at seven?

Picking red strawberries under the Iowa sun

Pretty girl, blond hair spilling over her shoulders

Sirens coming…

In a barn

Up in a hayloft

Jenny, can I unbutton that button?








John, college or painting

Can’t do both

Choose one

You want to be a starving artist?


Accounting is the smart choice

I’ll send in the application

Sirens wailing…


Well, John

Welcome to the firm

Your office is over there

Sorry, no window yet

Mary will be your secretary

Pretty girl, Mary


Mary, look at the view!

I want to paint Cape Cod!

John, forget that

Billy is getting sand in his hair

Oil painting won’t pay for fixing our roof

Or Emily’s braces

Why do you persist?

Sirens…sweet soft Jenny…hay in our hair…sirens


Corner office, John

Finally got your window, eh?

Meeting new clients for lunch?

Looks like a few too many lunches

Nice watercolors on your wall

You painted them?

No! I don’t believe it!

When could you spare the time?


Mr. Phillips, I see a problem

You’re too heavy

Too many cigarettes

You work too many hours

Stress can kill you

You don’t look happy to me

Ever consider a hobby?

Painting, maybe?


Sirens, louder, closer


John, we made you partner

There’ll be more traveling now

Clients want to press the flesh

So first Rochester

Then Buffalo

Then Davenport






You look so pale

Why are you still working at midnight?

Is work all there is?

I’ll get you some water


I need new brushes

Jenny let me paint you

God, Jenny

You’re so beautiful

Wish we had more time!


Wish we had more time…


Wish we had more time…


Sirens so distant…fading away…


John?  John??  John!!!


The author can be hired to read his work by your group or organization. Don’t worry, it won’t corrupt him. Too late for that. Poetry and stories sound different when read by them who write them.

Contact? bob@oldmagazines.com or 847.677.9444 (11-4, M-F, Sat 10-2)                          Seeking representation for speaking gigs.  I’m easy to find.  Find me.


Comment by Katrina THREET

July 5, 2014 @ 12:57 am

Better to do what you love than to die of unhappiness and stress. Doing what you love like playing all if the time, not working!

Comment by Judy

July 5, 2014 @ 9:42 am

Love this one, Bob!

Comment by Joy

July 6, 2014 @ 6:29 am

I love this one, too! Strong message!

Comment by Paul eisenbacher

July 22, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

It has been a long time since we talked. Please forgive me. Sometimes life is like your poem. We get sidetrack dealing with our daily issues but loose direction in what truly is important to us. That importance ,of course, is relative to each individual. Mine is the love of good friends like yourself. More time is probably what most people want, particularly as age sets upon us. To do the things we really want to do. What maybe we should have done earlier. In our lives there are constant crossroads that meander and intersect and we choose a path and follow it. Not to be too Taoist, I think we usually choose the right one. Thank you for your poems, thoughts, and friendship. They intersect my life. Paul

Comment by Louisa kaiserman

September 1, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

Wow! Like ‘Cats in the Cradle’.with a deeper, more human twist.

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