For years he’s waited, half sedated
by the memory of her face.
There is an empty space
where she once sat. It is that
place that he preserves.
Lost in the promise of a return,
it’s been a while since
her smile had blessed him.
It tests him and his resolve.
She has been gone for years
and his tears force him to sit
and wait, to contemplate his loss.
The personal cross he bears.
He sits on their bench and stares
into the night hoping
to catch sight of her smile.
He waits. He knows he will join her soon.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

For Red Wolf Prompts #424: Ekphrastic Poetry – Night



He bakes from early dawn,
the promise of “bread” from his bread.
He needs to get a rise,
for it’s no surprise he gets up
for bread. His kitchen is clean,
and so he kneads to get a rise.
Through the open door of his shop
among the myriad of stairs,
one cannot help but stare
at him folding his ware.
It is there where his
money is made. And his bread.
It is said if you enjoy what you do
you never work a day in your life.
But, he knows the side upon which
his bread is buttered.
It is utterly ridiculous to think
what he kneads is not a means
to a delicious end. He will defend
what he does because he bakes.
From early dawn – the promise of bread.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

Written for Red Wolf Prompts – Prompt 425: Ekphrastic Poetry–Kitchen


Elfin folk play pat-a-cake,
a tradition passed down
from small hands to small hands.
Passing time with elfin rhyme
sing-a-song of sixpence
and used as a self-defense,
they play. They never stray
from their merriment,
these scary men of minuscule means.
Caught in a blur, an inky stain
where the stinky little buggers
fester. They are sequestered
in their hovel homes,
pat-a-caking til the cows come.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Quickly – Visual



Raucous light brings the city to life,
although rife with unseemly characters,
who awaken with the street lamps.
Campy stereotype of urban sprawl,
balls to the wall-to-wall shouts
in fluorescent neon and tarnished chromium.
Some folks are at home in this scene.
“Girls on stage!”
“Girls. Girls, Girls!”
“Live Girls on stage!”
Cocktails and schemes,
dreams of deals by self-proclaimed
Big Deals back on their heels
when the cop cars careen the corner.
Jaywalkers talking to themselves,
important discussions of repercussions
within their vacuous heads. Businessmen
out of their element; “business women”
ensconced in theirs! “Ho” trolling at HoJo’s
getting their mojo where they can.
All it takes is a good man with a plan
and twenty bucks in his pocket!
Rathskellers with fellas finding elixirs
to provide a fix. Guys and chicks,
kings and queens in a scene from
a bad “B” movie. Feeling groovy
and high! Beautiful showgirls
with no frills! Illuminated runway,
They say the neon lights are bright,
on Broadway no one can hear you
scream above the cacophoNY!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Originally offered for QKJ #11 – Ekphrastic: City Street Corner


world_war_i-300x168He rides with the cavalry,
a rider astride his steed.
Much in need at times such as these.
He wishes to please his regiment,
for God and for country. No one
sees what goes on inside
his heart and head. Instead
they see a horseman
out for a jaunt on his mount
his lance in tow. They cannot know.
They do not account for
the battle fatigue and the league
of fellow combatants. They do not
know the fear that is inherent here.
No one feels the internal conflict,
they just inflict their jabs
and criticisms. Aimed at him for doing
what others would not dare.
He does not scare easily, but the queasy
knot in his belly turns his knees to jelly.
A war monger he is not, but he’s got a duty.
His horse is as brave as he,
an extension of his resolve, a weapon.
He reckons if lucky, he’ll retire to the peace
of mind he anticipates. His loved one waits
for his return. Both hope that mission
is accomplished. His horse and he.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides Prompt #385: Ekphrastic Poem – “World War I”


"Old Rural Bridge"
“Old Rural Bridge”

The temple has been defaced.
There is no trace of life to be seen.
True, the hills are green and you’ve seen
holograms in the archives.
But you can feel it! It surrounds you.
It confounds you that something
so strong within you can run
so hot and cold, so light and dark!
The stark reality is you are the last
man standing. Commanding your force
of one. No one would have blamed you
for eschewing your ancient weapon
and hokey religion and flying Solo
with a blaster at your side.
But now you hide among the ruins,
stewing over every bad turn you take.
Make no mistake, you are the balance.
Under the valance of doubt and darkness
you hearken back to the farm
where you were just a naïve and charming boy.
Your father should have warned you,
but you would have resisted anyway.
You’ve climbed the stairs to your new station,
to bring order to this planet nation. And the galaxy.
Your new adventure awaits!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides Prompt #385: Ekphrastic Poem – “Old Rural Bridge”  


“Old Car Race”

Take the 90 to the 33,
Ralph it to the 198.
Pray to God you’re not late
because the traffic sucks.
You’re stuck under
the overpass and your gas
gauge is nearing “E”.
You see an accident up ahead
and you dread that you will
be stuck here until Erie thaws.
Your hands are white knuckled claws,
pawing your steering wheel.
You feel the angst and frustration.
There is no elation, this is how
your daily commute goes.
It gets even worse when it snows!
No love for rush hour in Buffalo!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides Prompt #385: Ekphrastic Poem – “Old Car Race”


booksaleStacks and stacks
of books without racks,
hard covered and paperbacks.

Their conditions are fine
all titled on their spines,
(But none of them are mine.)

Grand adventures to set sail,
grand words without fail,
it looks like they’re all for sale.

There’s romance novels and reference tomes,
historical tales of where the buffalo roam,
some hysterical farce, try taking one home.

Get a book, by hook or by crook,
Get a great deal, come take a look!
It’s a steal, come buy a book!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Quickly – Quickly, Simply



“Drink this!” she said with a smile,
“while I try and squeeze out another quart.”
Her sad cohorts had lost their sight
in a bar fight; it was not their night!

“This is rather sour” one blind man said with a dour look.
“It appears this milk was a ba-a-a-a-ad choice!”
“You are so right!” she said sheepishly.
“Your cow must be sick. And why is its hide as thick

as lambs wool?” asked he. “I guess you’re no fool” she quipped.
From that point on she was tight lipped!
But the blind men could see through her scam,
as they heard her take it on the lamb!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

QKJ #23 – “The Blind Men and the Milkmaid”



They do not know who he might be,
but his work is damn impeccable!
He works each day along the way
from nine-to-five and then some.
Some consider him handsome
though his feature are quite pretty,
and still he toils, burns midnight oils
and lives somewhere in the city.
For it’s all Hans on deck as the
younger Holbein is seen at his desk
working at a rapid rip. No one knows
Hans comes each day to steal paper clips!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

QKJ #8 – Unknown Young Man at his Office Desk