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 – 2020

dVerse Haibun Monday – Birthday 


“Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself.”

~ Erich Fromm

A heartbeat strong and sure,
pure and unadulterated; slated for great things
if only he’d assume his gift and lift it heavenward.
Words become him, but he struggles,
his message is saturated; inundated with self-doubt.
Tucked away like a cocoon, a swoon
of outrageous proportions. He succumbs
to the demons in residence, brought about
by said doubt and deprivation; a degradation.
But, still within, a heart beats strong and sure.
Confidence in short supply, he relies on
what his soul regurgitates and spews onto paper and page.
Sage advice he had once read. Man’s purpose –
his only purpose is to re-invent who he was meant to be.
The darkness lurches as sporadic contractions push him,
his tunnel vision shrouded in a murky mire,
and as synapses start to fire he sees the light,
at the end of the tunnel he is blinded by brilliance.
A gentle slap to a lifeless muse brings a gasp,
and he grasps for pencil and pad; a poet reborn.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik

“Task” Poem



Twenty-five seconds apart they began,
to lives most anticipated,
baby girls as they were told
and less than nine months they had waited.
Baby Girl #1, her shoulders were wider
than her “kid” sister floating beside her,
she “paved” the way and with the next slightest push,
her twin sister quickly arrived with a “SWOOSH”!

© Copyright – Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

~Process notes – My niece gave birth to twins in short order. She couldn’t even catch her breath between them before they were both sucking air outside of mom’s constraints. Domino’s doesn’t even deliver that quickly! Rapid arrivals, both!

FEBRUARY 5, 1930

A daughter born; a daughter torn.
Life coming and going in an instant.
One daughter coming into the world;
my mother born into the “comfort”
of their hearth and home,
two doors down from where her grandmother
had passed away on the same day.
A sadness unparalleled, a living hell.
My mother, the infant cleaved to
my grandmother’s breast in the upper window,
watching my Great-grandmother’s funeral
process past them in silence to the church
up the street. Victory and defeat fleeting.
A daughter born; a daughter torn.
Life coming and going in an instant.

FEBRUARY 3, 1956 – 10:42 A.M.

I was in no position to be born,
in the breech; feet first, a fresh “face”
coming to the fore on that frozen February morn.
Until then, my days on earth up to the day of my birth
were a placid float, suspended in muted serenity.
But, the anguish of my poor mother would serve
to provide shocks to propel me into action,
gaining traction in this field of my amniotic shield;
a permeable hideaway of liquidity.
But damn the masked man in white, he startles me;
a sharp slap sets my ass to flame and a tearful wail to my lips.


Written for THE SUNDAY WHIRL – Wordle #41