remember all doors are trap doors, and our fires
should be barely more than sticks. We must remember
remembering is always futuristic.

~from “Post-Apocalyptic” by Stacia M. Fleegal

All doors are trap doors.
Some lead to destinations,
others to other trap doors.
A mind’s cavernous hollow
lets you follow where knowledge
and memory lead. Knowing bears
a confidence to pursue. Memory
plays in a constant loop
revisiting that which we have left
behind or forgotten. Yet, ignoring
the past becomes a destiny to repeat it;
a step forward from where recollection
is buried. Step away from the past,
remembering is always futuristic.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik


He held her gently.
Willing to let her be
as free as she needed to be;
to make her feel wanted.

His caresses were gentle,
barely a touch.
It was more like a sensation
that gave her a sense of security
without any strings.
No fences could enclose her.
No heart could hold her.
She was a rare flower
with fragile petals.

She was a frightened bird
who rested in his trembling hands.
Barely a touch held her.
No enclosure surrounded her.
She was free to fly.
He loved her;
and he had to set her free.

He knew in her freedom she found security.
In his hands she felt so free. He loved her so!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

“Fable” Poem


“It is required of every man,” the ghost returned, “that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and, if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death.”

– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Marley’s ghost haunts me still.
It was His will to offer me absolution and contrition,
but Marley’s mission seems to go beyond that.
He has become somewhat of a practical joker.
Never mind the poorhouse, Marley had better
go to the nuthouse and reduce the surplus population
of whatever plane he is assigned to remain upon.

I praise high heavens for the transformation I was afforded.
Nephew Fred has embraced the opportunity
to take this old fool back into the familial fold.
Cratchett is a devoted partner and friend;
more friend than Marley ever was, I’d say
without a doubt. But if it was without young Tim,
I’d never had gotten him to branch out
and become the clark I expected.

Tim. He walks amongst us as if his deformity
was not at all normality. I assure him
it was we who were crippled in our minds
to find him less alive in his malady.
I work less; I walk more. More involved
as a human being than being a businessman.
And all the better for it, I might add.

The true spirits visit as well, but in celebration
of the man I have become. Even the Future Spirit
smiles more; at least he does not waggle
his boney finger in my direction as much.
For that I am most grateful.

My moral remains. A fool and his money are happily separated
when it is used to fete humanity. To Hades with vanity,
I, Scrooge will be as good a man as this world
has seen lo these many Christmases.
God bless us, I have tried. Everyone!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

“Fable” Poem


It was the greatest tribute.
He lived a honorable life;
a loving husband, a doting father.
He was the perfect son and brother,
a hard-working employee
and he did works of charity.
Christopher Blandings only did
what he had been put on this earth to do.

He often wondered if it was all worth the trouble.
Christopher was never one for accolades
and acknowledgements; most of his
meanderings were done in the strictest anonymity.
The world seemed so out of step
with the morals he was raised upon.
People never seemed to understand
or appreciate the way things were.

His wife sympathized with her mate,
but being almost a decade younger than he,
she straddled the fence between the generations.
Yet she believed in his good and kind heart.
She loved his honesty and his loyalty.
He surprised her on occasion with
breakfast in bed or a tender back rub.
And he had a fire burning deep within him

that made Jessica lose control.
There was nothing bland about Blandings.
She loved Christopher right up to the day he died.
Sadness and grief were not emotions
to which she prescribed. She knew life was a celebration.
And death was clearly an extension of that.
In his passing, Christopher did not go unnoticed.

As the funeral processed to the cemetery
she became aware of something.
The telephone wires were adorned with shoes.
Their laces bound together, they were tossed
aloft to wrap around the overhead lines.
There were well over a hundred pairs hanging;
she witnessed people removing their footwear
and adding to the milieu.

Puzzled, she questioned the undertaker.
His explanation brought a tear to her eye.
“When a person passes, tradition had the mourners
remove their shoes and by draping the secured pairs
over the wires, pay homage to the person so loved.
The more shoes that dangled, the more respected
was the deceased.” he informed. Again Jessica looked.
And the tears were more abundant now.

Hundreds and hundreds of pairs pointed to his life
as one well lived; having touched many hearts.
It was the greatest tribute he could have been given.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

“Fable” Poem


They gathered on a polar ice cap,
the largest mass where they annually
held their “Ice Cold Balls”.
Penguins dance, to be sure,
and they love the chance to “dress to the nines”
and have a popping penguin time.

On the night of the big day
(which was hard to determine since
they were in the third month of Thursday)
all the waddle-walkers came out to play.
All in their penguin finery for the formal affair.
The fellas in their black ties and tails.
The ladies in their Dolce & Penguana gowns.

But the group was divided. The females
fidgeted near the Polar Bear Bandstand.
The males were much distracted,
save for one solitary bird. Alan was new
on this ‘berg. He couldn’t understand that
with all the penguin pulchritude present,
the guys had wandering eyes.

“Where are you going?” Alan asked.
“Back to the Ice Bar. There’s a hockey game on!”
replied one of the like dressed brethren.
“But, what about the soiree?” Alan pursued.
“Pittsburgh is playing! Besides, those penguins
by the band, they… look different”
interjected a second penguin.

“We all look the same, but they are…
bright and colorful. Not very penguin-like at all”
chimed in the third. Alan turned toward the ladies
and they blushed at his interest.
For indeed, they DID look different.
Not restricted, as were the guys
in their black tie and tail tuxedos.

They were regaled in beautiful gowns
of every color of the spectrum.
Each as gorgeous as the next!
“They look pretty good to me” Alan remarked
turning back to the gents.
But, his brothers were absorbed in the game.
It was the mob mentality in full bloom.
Alan couldn’t hide his disappointment.

“Ah, go suck an icicle!” Alan reprimanded,
waving a large flipper in their direction.
And turning his back on his mates,
Alan headed toward the brightly dressed
throng of females. “Any of you lovely ladies
care to dance?” Alan called.
Every lady penguin to the last, waddled up to Alan.

They were flapping their flippers
and shifting from foot-to-foot.
Alan was surrounded and he loved it,
dancing with each remaining one.
They had an extraordinary time.
Pittsburgh lost the hockey game.
Alan took all the ladies back to his igloo
where they would party the rest of Thursday away.

There is a moral to our story: In this world of blatant sameness,
choose to be different and never pass up the chance to dance!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

“Fable” Poem


“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

We think we know who we are,
molded into this “someone”
we would like others to see.
But it is we who are duped
into thinking that hiding behind
the person we aspire to be,
will keep us from becoming
this parody of who we are.

“To thine own self” falls by the wayside
and we hide the flaws and imperfections
for the protection of our egos. Feelings
will be hurt no matter, be glad in who
you are at the moment. Embrace
the face in the mirror, and hear the cries
of non-deceiving eyes. In all fairness,
keep your awareness focused,

the joke is on you.
Acceptance comes from within,
it is a sin to think otherwise.
Remove the masquerade and parade
yourself in your finery. The Emperor
may be naked, but there is no mistaking
he hides nothing from the world.
Midnight strikes and the ruse is over. Unmask!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

“Object” Poem


“Breathe” she’d say.
“Don’t forget to breathe.
It’s the surest way to know you’re alive!”


Not so famous last words,
but I heard them clearly though
she was nearly gone. “Breathe.”

Just breathe!

We were connected on a cosmic level,
come the devil or high water, the order was clear.
A force of nature, a spirited touch. Breathe.

Now, reach out!

I have visions still, though she is nil,
I see beyond what is gone. The fight goes on.
The sights, the sounds; this vision…

What do you see?

Her beacon continues to shine in this heart
as it had from the start. Bright, searing
nearing solar heat. I am complete in her…


And yet, she has gone. Extinguished,
like an exhausted flame. I call her name but
silence fills me… fills this void with…

The Darkness!

But I remember how we met in between,
we saw the good that came out of all this.
I would be remiss if this were to fade.
We had it made. The Light. The Darkness.

The Balance!

Don’t forget to breathe!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

**After hearing the teaser for “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”, it sparked a memory. The italicized words are from the film clip. It brought my recollection to the fore!


Offered at dVerse Poets Pub – OLN #194


Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you

Simon And Garfunkel – Bookends Theme

A picture.
A photograph kept
beneath the drawer liner
for lack of a finer resting place.
Traces of tears dropped in perpetuity,
pocking the still portrait of you when life
bloomed in your brilliance. A static image left
in constant memory, a reminder that the remainder
of my days will be without your smile, your loving wile.
It lays still as you lay still. It is buried as you have been buried.
Well preserved save for this random pattern of droplets left in your
wake. I take your memory within my heart. And I do miss you. Still.

© Walter J. Wojtanik


I mourn the death of words,
last gasps of a once hearty muse.
Of late it refuses to feel inspired
having been mired in grief and despair.

It is there that she lays,
splayed in her former glory,
a story retold more times than it should.
But, I cannot dismiss it as good.

I do not find comfort there where
she once played, things said linger
and reverberate and as of late
leaves me with these stingers where my heart bleeds.

It needs release, but please, let these sessions
end with my true expression, and not the depression
that has laced her loss. The cost keeps mounting
as I am left counting the corpses and divorcing

myself from all former numbers. My mind staggers.
It lumbers, a drunkard inebriate and confused
feeling used and abused and choosing to dispatch
each night until well past mourning slumbers. My words

have hung themselves out to dry, and try
as I might they just don’t feel right.
Words, last gasps of a once hearty muse
remain mired in grief and despair.
She’s no longer there!

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April PAD – Day 18: Life / Death Poem


She danced!
Oh, how she loved to dance!
Grace was the pulse of her heart,
and beauty leaped from the depths of her soul.
Many a time I had stepped haltingly
holding her closely and landing on her toes.
Laughter was her robust and hearty attribute.
It visited her with regularity. But the vulgarity
of my fate leaves me with memories of tripping
lightly on the hardwood of life’s dance floor.
It is all that remains. Disdain invades my thoughts.
She believes war has claimed me. It is for the better that she does.
My legs are ravaged; leaving me lame and uselessly dancing
only in my dreams. Oh, how she loved to dance!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Dance Poem