You know you shouldn’t, so don’t.
Some things just aren’t right.
There are commands to guide you,
but they won’t hide you from
doing the wrong thing.
It rings of disobedience if your
expedience gets you in dutch.
It’s much to much to chance.
So thou shalt not dance on the edge.
And don’t hedge you bets.
Go the straight and narrow,
or it’s straight to hell you get!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC ASIDES with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #457: Disobedience



I couldn’t get it through my head
that Dad’s tools were his trade and it made him mad
when I had used his implements.
He’d get bent out of shape and went ape
sure as I tell you. But he knew…

As sure as I tell you, he knew
that I had an affinity for fixing things
just as he had all his life. So the new rule became this:
If you use it, put it where you found it!
A lesson ground into my head from the start.

A lesson ground into my head from the start.
It didn’t take me long to take it to heart.
Leaving a hammer out didn’t bring the wrath of Thor.
He was more disappointed than mad.
He had a way of teaching me his trade.

Dad had a way of teaching me his trade,
and it made me more well equipped to handle
any problem that came along.
Put your tools where they belong.
That message has always resonated loud and clear.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC ASIDES with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #457: Disobedience


Respect came in various lessons,
and messin’ with Ma was one learned early.
The old man went squirrelly when we dissed
his missus. He truly went nuts,
no ifs, ands or buts.

No ifs, ands or butts
would not be spared if we dared sass back.
A swift smack on the behind
would find you and remind you,
“Don’t talk back to your Mother!”

Don’t talk back to your Mother.
But, giving Dad the lip with a slip of the tongue
would have also “brung” the wrath of Dad.
He wasn’t bad, but he had a fuse you needed not light.
We had to fight the urge disobey.

We had to fight the urge to disobey.
We’d say what he wanted to hear,
and wait until we were clear of earshot
before we got our frustrations out.
It wasn’t about what we said.

It wasn’t about what we said.
Instead, it was how we said it.
I’d live to regret it that my last words to mom
came from a dark place. The hurt on her face.
stays with me to this day.
It was too late to watch what I say.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC ASIDES with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #457: Disobedience



“What did I tell you?” my father said.
Swimming in the creek was dangerous.
He made a fuss about how the steel mill
would dump slag and waste (you could taste it
in the water.) “I ought let you suffer.”
He continued his tirade as he swabbed
my left eye. I’d cry if it didn’t hurt so much
to his gentle, but angry touch. I swam
in the creek with some friends.
It is all fun and games until someone
throws a handful of creek bed silt
in someone’s eye. My eye. Disobedience
is a teachable moment. It sent me to bed
early, eye patched and irritated.
I was elated that I hadn’t lost sight in it.
It had more fight in it than I’d have thought.
I ought not swim in the creek again.
I didn’t. A great decision!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC ASIDES with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #457: Disobedience


I sit listening to the wind,
that’s the way each day begins.
Some may think it is a crime
all because they know that I’m

here with my feet on the ground.
No thoughts become so profound,
that they mire my thinking,
and if my eyes are blinking,

it’s because I can see things
in all that poetry brings.
My words present like a song
and there is nothing that’s wrong

with these expressions of heart.
That’s the way these poems start,
devotion to emotion
without all the commotion.

In the quiet of the night,
everything I write feels right.
There is nothing I’ll rescind,
I sit listening to the wind.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018



     “Well, we all have a face
     That we hide away forever
     And we take them out
     And show ourselves when everyone has gone.”
          ~ Billy Joel from “The Stranger”

We all wear a mask.
To hide our fears, insecurities,
our anger and hate.
Identities obscured as if
voices unheard were really silenced.
Violence and the aftermath
are dispatched, plans hatched
in a tragic sense are forgone.
It’s almost funny in a sick sort of way.
We play it for comedic effect,
to protect our hearts and minds.
We come to find that Comedy and Tragedy
walk a fine line, separated by a breath
of laughter or tears of great sadness.
The madness never ends, my friends.
Unmask and be free.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #456: Tragic


Prolific comes to roost,
a boost to his ego that
words would flow with force,
of course he’s confused.
Has he abused his muse
and driven like minded souls
off? He scoffs at the notion
for surely their devotion to words
was equally as strong.
Did he pick the wrong day to
splay his poetry on the page
in lieu of others offerings?
The prompt is posted
and one who once boasted
of a muse so demanding
finds no one else is playing.
Are they delaying?
Is everyone asleep?
Or is he the last poet standing?

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #456: Tragic


There he sits with pen in hand
scratching ink marks as if thoughts
coming to rise up to embrace his page.
No words can describe how no words
come to the fore. And what’s more,
he feels his best work is behind him.
It reminds him that he had come
from nothing to be something more
than a fool with a rhythmic muse.
He refuses to let it stop him from being.
He is seeing things through the eyes
of a poet’s heart and that’s where he starts.
He had struggled greatly with his stately art
lately. Life had handed him a grand detour
but he was sure his words would regale again
and send a signal that he had never left,
he was just bereft of inspiration.
But from his lowly station a phoenix ascends.
It never ends for the tragic poet.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #456: Tragic


I started writing at thirteen,
lyrics for a song I hacked out
on the old organ we had at home.

Melody first, a little loop
of sound full blown into a
song, my first attempt.

Looking at the words
scratched onto a page
of spiral notebook paper

tattered and lined
random thoughts
of a future love long gone.

It had form and meter,
it had rhyme, my reason,
a poem of sorts on my page.

A poem never to see
the light of day for years,
dead ended in a rusted file cabinet,

along with every other lame attempt
of poem and prose that
had me believing I had talent.

Maybe talent, but nary a whiff
of confidence to show the
work that was even at this early

date, very personal, a glimpse
of my inner self, the now me
in miniature, immature,

but with a dream.
To see my words light up
the pages of this book of life.

The flesh was willing,
but the spirit was weak,
my ambition was a wishful thought.

I wanted to write in the worst way,
and that was what I did,
in the worst way.

As the years passed,
I still tried to convince myself
that I was a writer, a poet

a composer, an untapped
resource in a disconnected
reality, a dreamer

working for his hearts desire.
Hard work, hard words
mired in the muse of my mind.

But determined to live
according to the dictates
of my nightly mystic visions.

I dusted off my file cabinet,
shooing the dusty webs from the
hidden treasures long buried.

I sent my words into the world
unsure of their worth,
afraid of their power.

Given to the eyes of
others of a write minded bent,
sharing similar uncertainties

of their own. They labeled me,
tattooed me with an identity.
They called me poet.

The name I wanted;
the name they offered.
Nothing is impossible.


by Walter J Wojtanik

I grew up very near the border with Canada,
and at times I feel Canadian by osmosis.
The influences of their media
had a profound affect on my upbringing.

I remember singing “O Canada” at hockey games
(I grew up very near the border with Canada.)
Or when the games were televised on Saturday night.
At the end of day, I sang both anthems when they’d play.

Many shows would entertain and remain to,
long after I had grown. You would have known
I grew up very near the border with Canada,
by the True North knowledge I would amass.

Now, my attraction is due to my daughter.
She married a Canadian gent and went
to live in Ottawa in the Great True North.
She grew up very near the border with Canada.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018