HE FORGETS

When he loves, he begins to forget.
~ from “A Man In His Life” by Yehuda Amichai

All his life he tried to please her
and he sees her now in misted memory.
A lost love in the span of years.
He hears her tender voice;
it has been her choice to remain
as his brain languishes in lost thought.
From the moment he met her,
he swore he’d never forget her, but
his mind paid little heed to such promises.
He loves her with all his heart,
from the start of their first moments
together, until his disease let her
slip from his grasp. He no longer
expresses what she has known for years
and amidst her heartache and tears,
she fears he has bid her farewell
without a proper goodbye. No matter
how hard she’ll try, she will cry
until dawns early light; all through the night.
He has loved her for a long time,
but when he loves, he begins to forget.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2016

Offered at dVerse Poets Pub – Tuesday Poetics: “A goodbye you gave but didn’t mean to!”

FRONT PORCH

Swinging, gently undulating in the rhythm of a summer daze. Peace bleeds through the open fields of thought bringing a calm that envelops. Ice melts in cool rivulets, condensation from tumbler to side table. Flags in rapid flutter seem to whisper in patriotic tones; loyalty traverses every breath. Birds in audition, warble and twit, congruous and unpretentious. Butterflies pursued by wide-eyed children of wonder. On the front porch, wiling away the day in unintended thought.

a moment exists
where peace and tranquility
will overcome me

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Haibun presented at dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday #14: “Too Many Mind…”

 

STRETCHED THIN

Dad.
This man
standing guard.
Despite efforts
to be fair and firm,
sometimes I fold under
the pressure. Bright hazel eyes
flash their semaphore to signal
the next barrage on this Father’s heart.
Daughters play tug of war for Dad’s favor.

Dad savors every moment with his girls,
they are truly treasures to behold.
For in their tug-of-war they find
I pull them in every time!
Now that they’re all grown up,
the tugs are group hugs.
Me and my girls,
sharing time
and I’m
glad!

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Presented at dVerse Poets Pub –  Getting in Shape for Summer – MTB : Etheree

SWEET CHRISTINE, GOOD VOYAGER

Wan and frail,
her coughing begging
for every last nail
to seal her fate.
Loved ones wait for her
disposition; a condition
foisted upon a weakened heart.
She started her sad fade, being
made to feel helpless; hopeless –
a guest in her own body.
Oddly shaped arthritic hands
once her worst fear, steer
her fragile ship. Anchored in harbor
the open seas beckon. I reckon
The Captain will provide
safe journey, her voyage assured,
fully “cured” when she is full at rest!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016
dVerse Poets Pub – Tuesday Poetics: Character Study

THE MAGI TAKES THE METRO


He comes bearing gifts,
peace offerings and coffers
full of symbolism of little value.
His robes, are a tattered hoodie
and torn denim jeans,
coffee stained and remains of color
where splashes of bleach had landed.
A backpack slung, not well hung
and perched precariously carrying
various swatches of torn pages
and different stages of half chewed Wrigley’s
wrapped in the business end of a soiled tissue.
But it is you that he seeks, speaking your name
in mumbled tones. Written in unpublished
tomes and journals, kernals of truth
and little else. The rabble travel in packs
and stacks of wooden pallets stagger
through these darkened alleys of despair.
But what do they care? Weathered
and nailed to the crosswalk; talk of their
demise is greatly exaggerated. Following closely
as a car rises in the East; a feast for tired eyes.
His legs will carry him just so far, and it mars
any taint of reputation. Concerning his situation:
The stuff in the gold foil needed refrigeration.
It’s merely spoiled and exudes the foul smell.
And why the hell is Frank incensed anyway?
His hovel isn’t much, but it’s home
I suppose. Don’t mind his clothes.
I offer my spare change; He’ll take the bus.
Merry Christmas!

For dVerse poets Tuesday Poetics – Character Study

UNLIKE FATHER AND SON

He is dark and brooding, in no mood
for this good versus evil spiel.
He makes men kneel before him
and it’s a sin his grip is so strong.
He had gone wrong long ago
and far,  far away. He was forced to stray.

He, the dreamer. A farm boy annoyed
with his station at this vaporation plant.
He can’t remember much of his past
spending his time blasting wamp rats
and wanting to expand his horizons
beyond these binary suns.

Fate is a forceful friend with an end
where galaxies converge. The urge
to go darkly into that good flight
might entice, some but strength of
character and that inner voice
makes his choice right.

Men from the same name but from
opposing views makes them
choose variant paths. Adventures
never ask where you’d like to go,
they know what needs to be done
and take you along for the ride.

Deep inside you feel connected,
hokey religions keep you protected,
and darkness can be rejected
if the light is strong enough to cut it. It is still
a path you choose, lest you lose yourself.
Flying Solo can only get you so far.

In the end, a bad father and
a good and dutiful son unite,
an epic fight for the common good
found within. A battle for what is right.
Each giving a hand to bring them together.
Never force or underestimate the power!

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2016

dVerse Poets Pub – Tuesday Poetics: Character Study

 

I CAN HEAR HOME

My earliest recollection was a connection with my mother. Soft, nurturing sounds that calmed and soothed. What did I know from words? There was something there that made me think…I like this sound. Humming. Singing. A language I would come to know as Polish, spoken from my parents to her immigrant father to communicate. No translation came; all the same it seemed strange all those years ago.

The static hum of something… shrill and powerful sounding, surrounding that little room in the basement where Dad carried in wooden boards and removed the most beautiful wooden things. A carpenter by skill, I learned the thrill of his obsession by the sounds his tools emitted. I came equipped with siblings, and they came with secrets whispered and demands shouted. Tearful emissions and admissions of fear and longing, the same as I had!

There were calls of “Hey Walleee!” at the back door of the house. Neighborhood kids spending childhood running wild, every child a brother or sister. As every one was someone’s daughter or son. And every mother was mom! Each connected to the other. A father’s whistle piercing and urgent. We all went running when that alarm went off! Or when the street lamps came on! Met by the sound of an open hand cutting air when we didn’t.

Alcohol laden tirades invaded on payday. A shot –and-a-beer mentality with all the vitality of a rampant bull in the china shop that was my adolescence. We waged battles and rebellions to save my mother’s psyche and my sanity. The vanity of thinking I could save the world. And iron rails, tracks bringing from there and taking from here and clear across the country, encircled my world. The sound of some steam and much diesel was pleasing to my ear. That clackety-clack brings me back every time I hear it. It was clear I had a passion for trains.

We welcomed the clank of pots and pans when my mother began to prepare our evening fare. It was there that the issues of the day played out. We were never without that blessing until that one Christmas Eve when her self-fulfilling prophecy came true. “One of these Christmases I’m going on a long trip and I’m NOT coming back!” The house was much quieter after that.

The neighborhood was as well. I can tell you when we had all grown and gone and Dad was left behind, I find my saddest memory lingers. Swollen fingers and legs and a cancer that begged for finality came at another Christmas time. Dad would soon follow mom and from then on, silence prevailed. The sound of the tumbler the last time the door was locked is my final recollection. Home became just a noisy memory then.

we hear sounds of love
wafting through our hearts and minds,
memories of home.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day #18: “The Sounds of Home”

SIXTY YEARS DOWN THE TRAIL

There comes a moment in our lives that we start to measure time in distance. It is an odd stance we take when we make that distinction, a hinting at some sort of accomplishment. How many years have marked the walking a mile in someone’s shoes? How many hand held strolls in a lifetime? How much life has passed in commutes and moves and the groove to whatever lengths we need to traverse?

And what’s worse? The speed in which these miles flash by us! Zero to sixty written in the gap of years; from here to there in the blink of an eye. And try as we will to understand, where has time gone? Where have WE gone? The longer we’re here, the further away from there we’ll be. Our age correlates to the distance we’ve gone to get where we are. No boat, no plane, no automobile will steal us away to where we began. And here we’ll stand nowhere near where we began. And the journey continues.

Many sunsets pass
in the twilight of our years
we face our fears

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Presented at dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday #13: “Walking”

I WOULD LOVE YOU

I would love you forever if
you even loved me a little,
I would hold your heart by
holding you a little.
To complete me totally, you
would need to trust your heart and stop
pretending you have these loving
feelings and just love me.

There is no one who could care for you like I
care for you; I always shall
care. If I would ever stop
giving you all my loving
I would have dis-served you.
I would not deserve you, even a little.
I would love you much more by
loving you more than a little.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2016

From “If You Forget Me” by Pablo Neruda

dVerse Poets – Meeting the Bar: Golden Shovel

 

OLDEN SLUMBERS

No one will be more surprised than I
if life turns to give me just what I want.
I’ve given up on wishing to
become famous before I die.
Even in closer circles, I am in
absolutely no hurry to face my
Maker; I’ll continue to take my own
sweet time before eternal sleep offers a bed.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Taken from Yehuda Amichai’s “I Want to Die in My Own Bed”

dVerse Poets Meeting the Bar: Golden Shovel