I was born the third child on the third day, the third Walter in the line of familial redundancy. Not a junior, not a numeral, and after my father’s funeral, the last Walter standing. No three-star General commanding multitudes of minions. Just a man with a penchant for poetry, be they tercets or haiku, I am true to the test of three.

A third birthday was ushered in by the death of three, rocking my world at an early age. Holly, Valens and Richardson – mother’s sons all, taking the fall in a stormy Iowa sky. I don’t remember if I cried, but the music died all the same. Later the same year we saw the first of three Walter’s perish and a cherished name was diminished by one, survived by two “sons”. Three seems to be my number, lucky or not, but it’s gotten me this far in the line of three.

The trinity guides
and provides me a purpose,
three steps onward

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018




Trees rustle and sway
and make a day of it.
Leaves, cut by the winds of change
rearrange, only to rediscover
home again. Nestled and rested,
the best place to recline.
But I find it annoying,
a noise toying with me.
It is there, somewhere
near the patch of saplings,
rapping an echo as of rabid canines.
It’s fine, but it hearkens to me,
this bark of the dogwood trees
unleashed. Their bite’s not so bad!

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Bloomings Prompt #213: You Come To My Senses


Hauntingly flaunting their verity,
searching for clarity or at the least
their finished business. A chance
to other side unimpeded. They’ve
exceeded their life expectancy. They’ve
begged and pleaded for some relief
but your belief in the paranormal
has you talking. You are walking
through dark and abandoned places
seeing faces in the woodwork,
being a jerk to ambivalent apparitions
under the strangest conditions.
There are footsteps down the hall,
a distant call from beyond
the next room. There is no doom
in death that the living can’t provide.
There is a little voice inside your head.
Is it the voice of the dead instead?
Don’t talk back, or they’ll be return.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #451 – Other Side


Boy, this dump smells like a sump,
aromas do not stink,
This place wafts like a drainage ditch,
excuse me as I rant and bitch.
I’d hold my nose to this disposal,
either way I cannot breath,
this stagnant water bears a stench,
there is no thirst that this would quench.
This boggy swamp I do not need,
let’s scat before mosquitoes breed!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Twiglet #90


My Dearest Edgar:

It has been hard to reach you.
I beseech you to hear me out,
you imp of the perverse!
The power of words is in your court.

Do I need to resort to retorts
and provocations? Is your station such
that you no longer care much
for the world as it has become?

Remember that night we had that fight
after polishing off that cask of Amontillado?
The vintage was weak, I must say,
yet the musty bouquet had a kick like opium!

I had seen Annabel Lee, and she
had no nice things to say of the way
your pipe dictated your muse. I refuse
to believe your descent into the maelstrom

of clear thought was wrought with whatever high
your pipe would provide. You can’t hide forever!
That fall at the House of Usher should have
weaned you from such addiction, but your dereliction

was surely remorse filled. Of course
your sadness over Lenore was understandable.
It was the premature burial they gave her
that troubles me to this day. We could have saved her.

The oval portrait that hangs in your study
is ruddy red from whatever substance
you rendered. But your love for her was well known;
your heart was tell-tale – you never failed to wail

and lament that what had sent her to the grave.
I read the narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.
It was him who should have cast
the proper verdict. The good doctor and professor

would surely have been tarred and feathered.
It was that purloined letter that convinced me.
Since we hardly speak now, how do I reach you?
Again, I beseech you. Is the city in the seas

the place where your haunted palace spreads?
Or do you consider me dead to you as well?
Do tell. Stop living this dream within a dream.
You seem lost to those who wish you none but well!

That is truly a predicament. I’ve sent
three score letters, all returned unopened.
I suspect the same fate from this hand.
I remember what you had said in the years

when our youth plagued us. “Trust your heart.
Never bet the devil your head. The oblong box
will wait for your fill!” Your words are still
in demand. You are the man!

These streets are in an upheaval, although I long
for a tamer lane than what exists now!
You remain an enigma, Edgar! I’ve been ravin’ of your wile
for a while. But left unanswered, I will write nevermore!

Sincerely yours.

M. Valdemar
Red Death Mask Company
Baltimore, Maryland


He was a poet and hated the approximate.
Rainer Maria Rilke
from “The Journal of My Other Self”

This Walt, quite precise to a fault,
drifted away from his passion with words.
His darkness preceded him and he conceded
that his craft to him, felt combative.

Drifted away from his passion with words,
he found what he said had been said before.
That his craft to him, felt combative
is a testament to the utility of his poetic futility.

He found what he said had been said before,
he felt like a repetitive bore and what’s more,
his testament to the utility of his poetic futility
was an admission to his failing at maintaining his pace.

He felt like a repetitive bore and what’s more,
writing the glut of emotions he had felt and feels
was an admission to his failing at maintaining his pace.
Prolific was terrific for a while, but it wears on one’s soul.

Writing the glut of emotions he has felt and feels
dealt with his life of love and anger and despair and loss.
Prolific was terrific for a while, but it wears on one’s soul,
and losing control of your muse was like verbal abuse!

Having dealt with his life of love and anger and despair and loss,
exposed the truth about his other self; made words seem wrong!
And losing control of your muse was like verbal abuse!
Lately he tended to struggle with the words he’d use!

Exposed, the truth about his other self made words seem wrong!
His darkness preceded him and he conceded
that he tended to struggle with the words he’d use!
This Walt is quite precise to a fault!

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #450: Something goes wrong


He senses he knew her way back when,
but he is not quite sure. Quite forgetful is he,
she is a beauty he had once known. He loves
her, he thinks. But he’s not quite sure. He
seems to show a spark of familiarity. He begins
to connect and then rapidly fades. He hates to
let it show. He loves, then he begins to forget.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

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

Poetic Bloomings – “And I Quote” #1: Memory

Miz Quickly’s Imprompt Poetry – MuhwufSS: Golden Shovel


Off to find where the treasure of life is stored. We
travel along the pathways for they shall
lead us along in our sanguine walk.
We will talk to birds speaking in feathered tongues with
nary a misunderstanding nor demanding tone. A
communion with nature, hands held aloft as we walk
to any destination we please for surely that
is where the trail ends and all us friends will be glad. It is
all that we have treasured, doled and measured
to share with all hearts that conjoin, and
as we get older, although our pace may slow,
we will continue to stroll life’s walkway, and
take our pleasures from the bench where we will watch

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Miz Quickly’s Imprompt Poetry – MuhwufSS – “Golden Shovel” Poetry

We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch…

from “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein


Let bygones be,
you’ve seen the error of your ways
and it’s been days since
your apple cart has been toppled.
The slight against you was just that,
slight. You might be wise to reprise
your failings amidst the wailing
and gnashing of teeth. Life is short,
but it can be sweet if you let it.
Swallow your pride and forget it.
Don’t let it ruin another day.
You had much to say yourself, leave it
on the shelf and accept your part
of the blame. It’s a doggone shame.
Much like love, the forgiveness your get
is equal to the forgiveness you give.
Live and let live, let bygones be.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #449 – Learning _____


He had lost his wind,
and his lungs had rescinded
their cooperation.
His respiration was fine,
as far as that went,
but this gent was losing his grip
on life, rife with pitfalls
and bear hugs, shrugs and squeezes
that cause him to wheeze and he sneezes
unprovoked, choked off from the precious
air he needed to succeed in this life.
“Remember to breathe!” she had said,
it’s the best way to prevent becoming dead.
So he pauses. Inhaling slowly, he holds
it in, exhales and does it again.
In and out,
in and out,
in and out without prodding,
not nodding into that Big Sleep.
Keeping on this side of the sod.
Thank God he was a quick study.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #449 – Learning _____