They’ve started already, A steady stream
of sweet visions. My mission is easier
when these dreams begin. We are in
full swing bringing these dreams to fruition.
Rubber balls and baby dolls; games and toys
galore. And the little folk dig in, no joke
to please the girls and boys. Me and the Missus
are filled with bliss for this is what makes us shine.
I fly all night and she’s all right and fine because
I return to her every time. All year I’ve waited
my breath is bated and the work takes on
new meaning. All the planning and scheming
boils down to that one night. What a flight
that will be. Those that could be better than good
are giving a final push. Making my job
a work in flux as lists of names are finalized.
The reminder to be good for goodness sake
Is one that should not be taken lightly,
For this sprightly elf has gotten himself
into groove. It’s time to move to fulfill
the sweetest dreams. It seems we go through this
every year, but that’s why I’m here. I work
to the sound of reindeer pause. That’s my job,
I am Santa Claus!


Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge – Day 10 – Something Sweet


In shadows, hearts harken
a call to arms to have and hold
closerthanthisclose, breaths
and sighs and the beauty of eyes
that look past my failings and
sends me sailing into the comfort
of Calming seas. I am her oarsman,
stirring emotions in an ocean of doubt,
Out on a limb to begin the journey
again. Trust and caring, the sharing
of hearts like the first time, every time.


Find a secluded spot
near the lake,
under the tree,
and I’ll see you
there soon. There is
a full moon, for night
has fallen deep and I
am asleep dreaming
of your face
and that place,
and our race through
the long, cold night.
Right there, spread
your comfort and count
the seconds until my
arrival. It is for
survival that I seek.
I speak from the heart.
We’ve started this flame
and if it’s all the same to you,
I will fan your fire,
stoke your desire
and we will burn unbridled.
I have sidled up to you
and I see you leaning towards me.
Full and fine and fated,
you have waited for me
and this night to begin.
And it is indeed what I need.
Paradise and a nice night
right where your light shines
brightest. Who’d have guessed
that we’d be so blessed in Utopia?

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013


“Tarnished and dented; a bauble from a bygone day”

Tarnished and dented; a bauble of a bygone day.
In a wooden cigar box; keepsakes both, with
little more function than that. The stem fused
to the casing, the workings have retired. But,

it has inspired me to find the link. The contents
of the box play like a road map; clues to unravel
the mystery that is my history. The key, worn and
encrusted with years of dirt and oils from feeble fingers.

It lingers in my hand for a moment, its uncertainty secured.
Papers, folded and bound with a frail rubber band
line the bottom of the box. A visa document,
possibly a first issue wrapped in a tissue to protect

what it meant to an old Polish immigrant determined
to become all that America had to offer. Naturalization
documents, meant to pronounce his acceptance
of a lifestyle long sought, and their acceptance of him

as one of the free and brave. The camera buried amongst
the treasures, bellows cracked and torn, a forlorn
instrument with which a part of his life had been preserved.
It all deserved a better fate, but it is too late to shed

a single tear from your eyes for its demise. The puzzle
is splayed before you, the detective of your past.
A torn swatch of a fabric, hues faded but shades
of blue and red and white pressed between pages.

Finally, one last piece remains. A photograph.
a dark and handsome young man; heavy jacket and
a fedora pulled down across the brow. Intermingled
with other similar folk unconcerned for their purpose.

But the subject stands tall. Proud. Posed to save
this moment in memory, and upon this daguerreotype
for long after. In the background, Lady Liberty stands strong.
In his hand an American flag clutched to his chest.

A chain from buttonhole to vest pockets and a key as a fob,
a cinch to keep his pride from bursting. It insinuates
the only part missing was the watch that sat tucked
close to his left hand. A trinket; a remembrance

of the father he had left behind in Igolomia, Poland
to claim his dream. It remains strong in your own heart
as the box that holds your Great-Grandfather’s declaration secure.
You are sure the timepiece marked his life as well as your own.


Presented at dVerse Poets Pub – OLN Week #104


Without his dreams, a man will die,
falling short of his desires.
Some will not notice; some might cry
as he’s laid beneath the briars.

Having goals and aims gives one direction;
the focus for your life to provide
all that your life needs to succeed.
Without his dreams, a man will die,

and surely, it’s a struggle,
for life is not a piece of cake.
A man who would forsake his dreams will be
falling short of his desires.

The process becomes a slow dance to success.
Try and fail only to rise and try again.
People will see you for who you are:
some will not notice; some might cry

to know they had given up on the same dream.
It seems he wishes to rise above like rich cream,
and surely, once committed, will reach higher
as he’s laid beneath the briars.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

For MIZ QUICKLY’S IMPROMPTU POETRY Day 23 – Repeating After Me (Cascade)


Without his dreams, a man will die,
falling short of his desires.
Some will not notice; some might cry
as he’s laid beneath the briars.

We make our mark by how we live,
without his dreams, a man will die,
and we get more from what we give
but there are some that just don’t try

to make an effort; be that guy.
Compassion lives within each heart,
without his dreams, a man will die.
Love is the proper place to start,

a seed once planted, blooms and grows.
So give your dreams a chance to fly,
the wisest man will learn and know
without his dreams a man will die!

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

For MIZ QUICKLY’S IMPROMPTU POETRY Day 23 – Repeating After Me (Quatern)


A beauty, in her heart and mind,
fully grown, soon to be married.
A loving daughter, smart and kind
living out the dreams she’s carried.

Down the aisle I will take her,
Daddy’s love will not forsake her,
on that day will I give her hand,
and be the second lucky man!

© Copyright – Walter J Wojtanik


Sacrificed on the altar of reason,
pages ignite; an incendiary conflagration
of words and rhyme – metered and meted.

Ashes strewn, wind blown; sown upon
the fertility of a mind left wanting to be heard.
Every word burning like midnight oil to ravage

all this savage heart has toiled to achieve.
Like decayed leaves these poems smolder.
Line by line, they feed the fire; burning.

Learning that poetic purity is akin to obscurity,
remnants of thought filling the air
like sparks off to incite the masses and high grasses

in smoky simile; nothing is left unsaid.
Laureate at the stake burning, take the time to learn.
There is rhyme enough to burn.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

* Note:  On being selected the 2010 Poet Laureate for the April PAD at Writer’s Asides with Robert Lee Brewer. I seemed in a hurry to get there, and humbly find I still have much to learn and accomplish.


Hillside shadows stretch
into the valley of content,
embraced and drawn
close to the breast; close
to the heart. Waiting for one
to complete the scenario.
The breeze blesses everything
that blesses its path. Birds in flight
rushing to tomorrow’s offering.
And she enters your arms;
her charms entice you. It is nice
to know that in chaos and tumult,
the result of these interludes
gives the soul rest. The best place to be.


November’s early chill does not sway this warm heart
from the task at hand. Kind of a dress rehearsal, sort of a role
reversal from the other ten months of the year.
Around here, hustle and bustle are the norm and true to form, I see red
and green. A controlled chaos, laced with love
and a true sense of the spirit that fills me. Christmas spirit.

That is not to say we are not thankful, because Thanksgiving Day is where that spirit
really shines. A gathering of family in celebration of that relation fills my heart
because it is the essence of the long holiday season born of love.
And let’s not kid ourselves. We are nothing without it. When I roll
out my list for the second time, I am reminded that within each heart, red
and full of life, lives a passion that lasts throughout the year.

And it shouldn’t be only one day a year.
It should be a daily diversion to pass on that spirit
in every word ever written or read
on the subject of our fellow men and women. It does my heart
good to know that the initiation of these feelings comes from the role
I play everyday. It’s not to say I take the credit, it just comes back to the love.

Many people ask, “What is love?”
It may be a forgotten art, but it is never lost if you yearn
to give of yourself. Of this gift, you have full control.
For keeping the smallest spark of this spirit
will go a long way in igniting your heart.
The first step is the start of a life’s journey; immortality in red.

It is not so much the color of the heart, but red
is the hue of the blood that courses within us all, a sign of life; a life of love.
So as I near the start of my work, I can feel my heart
expand in proportion to the sense of wonder this time of year
places in a young child’s heart, and the sense of spirit
that comes with the territory. I fill this role

the best I can. I am “The Man”. That’s how I roll!
So before I don the jingle bells and that suit, bright red,
I will bow my head and ask that I never lose this spirit.
As I hear, it gets harder to come by these days. But I love
the challenge. I’m sort of in my element this time of year.
As the big day draws near, it will fill my heart.

It warms me completely. It is the role I take on gladly.
For no matter how badly things go each year, I will be here dressed in red
full of love and holiday spirit. After all, I am Santa Claus…sort of.