John has passed.
He has breathed his last labored breath
and he lies in death as he had in life.
Close to his wife, daughters at hand
and grandchildren held in loving embrace.
His face is gaunt, ashen and the fashion
of passing was a complete surrender,
white flag aloft in defiant splendor.
John has found his peace, a niche
in God’s little corner of heaven.
He had given all he could and would
give more if it was allowed him.
But now, we stand without him
holding him within and cherishing
each tender moment, every memory
that has us rapt in laughter, cringing
in pain, tearful in sadness that paints
our grief. The gruff old man can finally
stand once again, impatiently waiting
at Heaven’s gate tapping his watch.
“This joint should have opened
an hour ago!’ we can hear his lament.
John has been sent to ready our way;
our eventual reunion in splendor.
It has rendered us sorrowful, but
he has shown us that we have nothing
to fear in death. Live until your final breath!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2014


His suffering is almost over.
The pains are managed, and a body
ravaged by illness and disease lays
sedated; at rest. At best, we all say our good byes,
and grieve in our ways as he stays
on an even keel. Maybe he feels us near,
for we remain here. Maybe he remains
unaware and unresponsive. But he has
lived as he had loved and that transcends,
it mends the fences broken by the years
of stubborn indignation. Now under sedation
we sit with him, his spirit carried high within
each of us. We trust that he feels the love.
Rising above all else to where he can rest.
At his best, going out on a high note!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2014


John no longer speaks.
His noises are weak, guttural.
Not quite groans or moans;
incoherent exhalations
of breath held in waiting.
Debating whether this one
would be his last, or followed
by yet another exasperated swell.

John is unaware.
He does not care who fills his room.
The gloom is mocked by the trappings
of a Christmas in suspension.
The tension no longer affects him.
The soft stroke of a comforting hand
is an irritant allowed to be,
he no longer has the words to speak.

John does not see.
Eyes closed to the world around him,
darkness has found him and covers
him like a shroud. His expression
is grotesque. Mouth disfigured,
a gaping maw twisted,
hands tightly fisted and he no longer
has the fight in him to use them.

John is unresponsive.
Recognition is a condition long vacated,
we have waited in silent vigil, sentinels
to the oncoming barrage, his last stand.
John demands nothing, he knows nothing,
he feels nothing but an existence
that had abandoned him long ago.
He shows signs of distress.

John does not find comfort.
A silent wish to go home for Christmas,
not the four walls he once ruled
but a place where pain is eased,
where his eyes see the Wonder,
where under an azure sky he rests
in eternal vigil; the peace he seeks.
John no longer speaks.

© Walter J Wojtanik, 2014


Is your high-pitched squeal for real?
Does that note even register?
Your singing is bringing a ringing in my ears,
and dogs from over seven neighboring counties!
Even the Canadian Mounties have filed
a complaint! Use some constraint!
Your fingernails on a blackboard
would be less annoying. Stop toying
with my sanity. Isn’t it time
you became a mime?


(C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2014


No one wants to say goodbye.
We cry and forget any stiff upper lip.
Searching for a sliver of expectation
that a sad situation can be averted.
It has been asserted that eventuality
is on course, but some choose to divorce
themselves from that inherent reality.
Hope may spring eternal, but living forever
is not an offered option. You are cursed
if you expect the best and hope
the worst is a vicious lie, when the best is just
an extended suffering. The only buffering
between birth and death is life itself.
Our times will all come, some sooner
than the rest. The best thing to do
is face it with courage and love.
You can’t live on false hope.
It’s best to live by coping
with the inevitability without fear.


(C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2014


The women folk are distraught; they’re crying
for a man knocking on the door.
Their tears fall as John lays dying.

It seems that we’ve been here before,
another Christmas time in grief
for a man knocking on the door.

Death comes stealing like a thief,
taking what he wants from life,
another Christmas time in grief.

A hard man to figure; a husband, father to my wife,
a grandfather held in the embrace of love
taking what he wants from life.

A fervent prayer to Him above
wanting to ease his suffering, end his pain.
A grandfather held in the embrace of love

and I stand vigil at this time again!
The women folk are distraught; they’re crying,
wanting to ease his suffering, end his pain.
Our tears fall as John lays dying.


(C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2014


Another parent waiting
death takes its hurried time
and I’m too used to its deceit.
It waits to greet us when the holidays near,
as it has twice before. No more,
“Home for the holidays”, no more
“I’ll be home for Christmas”. Only
requiem in red and green. It has gotten
to be quite mean. I lied. I can wait for
Christmas. But it won’t wait for me!
(C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2014


I had so much “fun” compiling some of my work into my first full poetry collection, “DEAD POET… Once Removed”, I decided not to wait too long to let its counterpart out of the bag. The second book of poems in the DEAD POET series is subtitled “Still Not Quiet Yet!”, and it continues the journey through the different phases of a life lived to the best of my capabilities so far.

With a Foreword by friend and kindred poetic spirit Susan Schoeffield, “DEAD POET… Still Not Quiet Yet” is a work that keeps my voice out there until I learn well enough to shut the hell up! Like that will ever happen! If you have enjoyed my first full poetry collection, please find time to continue this poetic adventure with me. Available at, Amazon Europe, Create Space eStore and more outlets as they become listed.

A link to the book is provided below as it has just been posted to .

Look for “DEAD POET… Still Not Quiet Yet”


Walter J. Wojtanik's Second Poetry Collection
Walter J. Wojtanik’s Second Poetic Collection