Adrift upon life’s choppy sea,
we have failed this day to score a haul.
And there walking along the shore, He calls,
“Leave your nets and follow me!”
“Follow Me!”

A vagabond? Perhaps some wayward soul
who casts his gaze across the sky?
He points to the right and takes control.
“Lower your nets there” He cries,
“Follow me!”

Our nets are over-flowing, as if He was knowing
where the fish would surely be!
Full, nearly breaking, there was no mistaking His vision.
He offers me this one decision, “Be a fisher of men!”
“Follow Me!”

“Leave your nets and follow Me,
Abandon your purse and come and see
what My Father has in store
and what’s more, live your life as He wants it to be!”
“Follow Me!”

© Walter J Wojtanik - 2021

** This is the first in a 12-part series leading up to and including Easter


I find myself sitting, wondering
how my lifelong blundering
got me to where I stand,
to blow my horn
free to wax in these poetic terms
until the worms feast (that is
as harsh a vision I could muster).
So, I rant and bluster as if
winter lived within me. I have come
prepared, to concentrate, to vanish,
to smell the varnish,
to raise a glass to the light of a new day.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2021


Were it not for you, I’d probably squeak by in this life,
Without your guiding light, I’d lose my way,
Not every day, but enough for us to notice.

Were it not for you, I’d probably be okay,
But only just okay and not the man who is made better
When your loving light shines upon him.

Were it not for you, I might find myself
alone, in a quiet home with nothing
but these four walls to talk to.

Were it not for you, I would never have known
How to truly love, and never know what it is
To be truly loved by one so true, were it not for you!

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2021


Here, the light exposes me,
as black as the pit is my soul.
And no matter how odd it may be
I am an inconsolable Pole.

If I fell clutching my circumstance
or should yell “For crying out loud!”,
These blues are showing my last chance
my head is ruddy now and bowed.

There is no place for wrath filled tears
or for fears of shady horrors,
It seems my penance is quite clear,
my judge and jury feed my sorrows.

And so, I stand behind this gate,
charged with believing in truths untold.
Here, where convicted is my fate:
Things are out of my control.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

**A reworking of “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley


I am turning 65 years old.
It’s just a freaking big, ugly number.

Some of my friends never came close to being this number.
Their ailments caught up with them when they weren’t paying attention, not to mention caught unawares.
I find that I sit and stare more and I’m sure that my eyes deceive me,
But believe me, it’s really just that my processor is slowing down a bit.

I’ve thinned out in some regard, hairline notwithstanding,
Still carry a slight pudge. (I nudge my belly to watch it jiggle)
And I laugh more than giggle at the motion.
I have a notion that when life finally catches up with me,
I’ll see things I’ve never imagined just before I expire.
It’s not my desire to hallucinate, but that’s debatable.

My sense of humor makes less sense lately, even I don’t get me sometimes.
My rhymes get more outrageous and if read in stages gets to the point.

I relate to my granddaughter.
I’m convinced she’s smarter than me at almost two
and sees things through her innocence

That I’ve never looked hard enough to discover.
She my best pal. We laugh and dance and sing and sing and sing…
Okay, so we like to sing!!

Being invisible as an adult is no different that it was in high school
Except for the fact that I’m older and I hurt in places I didn’t know
I had places. I can still recognize faces if I squint hard enough.

I’ll never play Carnegie Hall no matter how hard I practice.
I’ll never really be a true laureate, no matter how much I mess with words.
I’d change if I knew what I’d wanted to be when I grew up. Still undecided.

I remember my belligerence at turning 30.
I wasn’t to be trusted any longer, and that bothered me.
I felt old at 30.
And 31.

I never traveled well. I didn’t travel much at all!
The only trip I remember was a trip and fall.
I don’t recall much after that!
It wasn’t that memorable.

I never won a million dollar lottery.
Or a few thou!
Maybe six bucks on a scratch off.
I dropped the quarter through a sewer grate, so I lost on that one!

I loved to have fun when it would find me.
It would remind me what I was like at nine.
I was fine until I started noticing things.

I was scared of spiders and girls.
I got over the arachnids. Girls haunted me for some time.
My shyness was the slings and arrows of my youth.
To tell the truth, I don’t miss it.
Kissed it goodbye long ago.

Loved a few, married the one,
Have some regrets (doesn’t everyone?)
I have a survivor’s spirit and I hear it call me
In times of tumult. (A Walt in tumult is not pretty!)

Had a few shitty jobs, worked with slobs and geniuses
And so have they. I wished they would have paid more money.
I became a poet because I couldn’t sing and dance.
Except with my granddaughter! My purpose.

I’ve touched some hearts, but never touched my soul,
At least not in the way a true wordsmith could.
At least I don’t think I have!
But poetry is my kryptonite, and so I write.
Right or wrong, I write!
In it I can express, and love, and vent,
Get all bent out of shape and breathe!

Every bit of my life has gotten me here.
I just wanted to make myself clear as I turn 65.
It’s just a number.
A freaking ugly, enormous number,
An expressive bit writ on the eve of my 65th birthday.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2021


“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try!”
~ Jedi Master Yoda

Futile attempts are
when success comes not!
Become we do, what wish we,
but loss, arise it does, when
achievement flat on its face falls!
Satisfied be not, when accomplished
nothing is. Try not! Do
or do not. There is no try!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


Looking down on the little people from the penthouse high above them, I love them but they are so small, a blip really. The hustle and bustle makes a din, a noise that festers within, and I can barely hear it over the construction cacophony. I’d bet money the traffic is as thick as petroleum jelly (it ties my belly in knots with rage). At this stage, country living would surely entice, it would be nice to walk across the road without dodging Dodges and Audis like I’m playing Frogger. I’m no jogger, I don’t own a bike and it’s a hike to Midtown. I wish I could lose this frown,  for urbanessence has gotten to me. Set me free, or call me a friggin’ cab!
a stroll takes its toll
so walk as brisk as you’d like
go on, take a hike
© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2020
dVerse Haibun Monday – Hike


In the evening, when day is through,
the sun retreats to a place where
slumber awaits her brilliant hue.
Night is her time to seek repose.

And so, in her tired escape,
in the evening when day is through,
star-crossed lovers beneath the moon
hold each other ever so close

and share their dreams. It always seems
that it draws out a kiss or two
in the evening, when day is through.
Seductive sounds surround them so.

Yet sounds, like sunsets, seek repose
as morning approaches once more.
But to be sure, romance returns
in the evening, when day is through.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


Always in lost thought,
I oughta be dog-eat-dog, not
some bum on a log poet wrangling words.
No combatant in whatever war of wits
I would find myself.
my wile with words
seemed impressive. I found it excessive;
obsessive. Ogden and John Nash conjoined.
(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2020

dVerse Quadrille Monday: Bum