“His mind’s not right” my mother would say,
and my father was apt to agree.
“He keeps to himself too much in a way“,
a strange little man there, you see.

And my father was apt to agree,
that something inside his boy festered,
a strange little man there, you see,
who loves to keep darkly sequestered.

That something inside their boy festered,
certainly was not the issue,
“Who loves to keep darkly sequestered?”
mother asked as she reached for a tissue.

Certainly, was not the issue
that my mind worked in mysterious ways?
Mother asked as she reached for a tissue,
“Where does that boy go to these days?”

Yes, my mind worked in mysterious ways
but, deep in my thoughts there was action.
Where does that boy go to these days,
was a quest for some self-satisfaction.

Deep in my thoughts there was action,
my pen at a feverish pitch,
this quest for some self satisfaction
would placate my poetic itch.

My pen at a feverish pitch
to pen pantoum and other such poems,
would placate my poetic itch,
“If they read what I write, they would know them”

To pen pantoum and other poetry?
“His mind’s not right” they would say.
If they read what I write, they would know me.
I kept to myself too much in a way.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

Offered at dVerse Poets Pub – A Piece of Written Art


He comes bearing gifts,
peace offerings and coffers
full of symbolism of little value.
His robes, are a tattered hoodie
and torn denim jeans,
coffee stained and remains of color
where splashes of bleach had landed.
A backpack slung, not well hung
and perched precariously carrying
various swatches of torn pages
and different stages of half chewed Wrigley’s
wrapped in the business end of a soiled tissue.
But it is you that he seeks, speaking your name
in mumbled tones. Written in unpublished
tomes and journals, kernals of truth
and little else. The rabble travel in packs
and stacks of wooden pallets stagger
through these darkened alleys of despair.
But what do they care? Weathered
and nailed to the crosswalk; talk of their
demise is greatly exaggerated. Following closely
as a car rises in the East; a feast for tired eyes.
His legs will carry him just so far, and it mars
any taint of reputation. Concerning his situation:
The stuff in the gold foil needed refrigeration.
It’s merely spoiled and exudes the foul smell.
And why the hell is Frank incensed anyway?
His hovel isn’t much, but it’s home
I suppose. Don’t mind his clothes.
I offer my spare change; He’ll take the bus.
Merry Christmas!

For dVerse poets Tuesday Poetics – Character Study


What’s the difference? Running to or running from, the shortest distance between two points is still an escape in any book. Separating oneself from the fray plays upon your angst and ire. This poetic fire in your belly leaves a smelly taste in your mouth and there’s no way out except up. Corsica has sent her eviction notice; malcontents are not welcomed! So remove your hand from your waist-coat and smoat the day you decided your muse was more important than the process. A beg of forgiveness and a sharp wrist slap, every mishap screams for release. Exile is as puerile as you may not have imagined. Standing on the periphery serves no purpose. Escape from your ego. Take off to your refuge. It is the textbook “No Lose” scenario written for a poetic Lothario!

why hide away words?
your actions speak just as well.
Tell the world you’re here!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #27: “Take off”


I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I could teach my feet to fly

~”I Wish I Had a River” – Joni Mitchell

Escape becomes the journey,
minds ever-yearning to be free.
It’s easy to see solutions

when far and away they lay,
and the day we get our way will stay
in memory, burnt and charred.

It’s in the cards offering a chance to take off,
a chance to handle any dance
that moves your feet nearer to where

thoughts are clearer and hearts
are strong enough to stay grounded.
You’d wish rivers could carry your feet

to places where faces and races
hold no sway, you could surely skate all day;
but mercury shoes never take flight,

and light strides hide your tracks.
You’ll be back when the river flows.
You’ll wish it would bring you home!

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #27: “Take Off”


Again I am left to my own devices,
it’s been nice (as nice can be), but I see
you fading in the distance. This chance
to be free and explore was more than an escape.
It has been a discovery of self and this passion.
I cannot fashion myself after just any blathering fool.
If I drool, it will be on me, my own doing; pursuing poetry
is where my heart always leads. It bleeds chapter and verse,
and I’m no worse for wear. But there in the thicket,
the shadow of solitude explodes across the landscape.
I am free to be me and write the words by which
I am known. Fully grown and sown upon fallow pages.
Your sage inspiration has been the station in which
I await the express train to take me home.
I love you, Alice B. Toklas.
But, It’s time for me to take off! Goodbye.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #27: “Take off”


Looking for the words – apropos, absurd;
unheard in the realm of what others say.
Trying to say things in a brand new way
that hasn’t been expressed as yet.
I get caught up in semantics, a frantic
search for a perplexing lexicon. I’m on
edge and hedge every bet where words are concerned.
I’ve yearned for moments like these, so please
forgive my manic meandering and my Houdini-esque
escape act. It is a fact, I am more random
than my fan-dom would like. Find me where you can.
I’ll be the poetic man with the out-turned pockets.
My words were once good. Will rhyme for food!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014


I’ve been given a wonderful gift,
I have been presented with an extraordinary
opportunity. And in the unity of a writing
community, I am bolstered to holster
all fears and trepidation and feed on the
elation of this moment. I am a poet.
A writer who’s gift had been left in it’s
plasticine covering for fear it gets ruined
like grandma’s divan in the room
only used for important company.
Or wakes. It takes the support of like
cohorts and believers to stave off deceivers,
purveyors of doubt and negativity of sort
as you cavort through blank pages to pen
that which, again and again haunts you.
Now the chance to flaunt your talent
and you word skills that will make or break you.
It’s taken you forty years to become
the overnight success you’ve dreamed of being
and now you’re seeing the forest AND the trees.
But she’s determined to break you, to take you
from what you love and shove it up your ass.
Her style and class were checked at the threshold.
She’s sold you on the idea that your worth
is worthless in your pursuit. But you refute it.
You know one fact to be true. A writer writes.
All the battles and fights waylaid and splayed
in spatters across your life has prepared you
for nothing but this: The only way to fix it, is fix it.
There are people who believe in you and won’t
leave you hanging to gain nothing. Friends love
your work and you. You’re through with
being kept down. That perpetual frown needs
an upturn; you live and learn. No more left
on dusty shelves. Writer, Heal Thyself!

Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge – Day 13 – Self-Help


A needed escape for two
planned and expected,
they had rejected conventional
getaways. Nowadays, castaways

play it smart. They play it by heart!
He and she on a spree, packing –
stacking the deck in their favor,
a chance to savor life as it was meant

to be. Free, unstressed and untested.
Dressed for a successful hiatus
for the two of us to reconnect
and reject any notion that this ocean

that surrounds us completely
finds us sweetly lost and “stranded”
hand and hand in the sand
on the other side of the island.

She smiles and the temperate nature
her inherent warmth bathes me
with the salubrious rays that emanate
from well within her heart. I start

to construct a hut, a hideaway to stay
well hidden from the elements
and native prying eyes, under azure skies
on our island for two. No “little buddies”,

no bloodstained volley balls. Not a single
luxury, just my lady and me free as the breeze
In tropical climes writing rhymes of love
while stars above illuminate and seal our fate.

It is great to know we are here solely
for the other to rescue lost treasures
and take our pleasures in the closeness
that is shared. Signal flares have been doused

no emergency exists when lips are kissed
and all the rescue needed was my each other.
She saves me time and again on this island.
A solitary place for two, we who have taken

this journey hand in hand on the sand of our
isle. Smiles and more on the shore on the bright
side; the other side of the island where living on
love and coconuts and all that we packed will suffice!

Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge Day 9 – The Other______


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


This is the place that reminds me
of your face and you, and it’s through
these thoughts that we are brought together.
The weather is all ways pleasant,
a present from He who made us;
gave us these moments to savor.
The scene is serene, pastoral and visual
with residual choral phrasing that plays
in our minds. It is not hard to find me,
I will be by the tree over the bench,
a private seat replete with shade for cover
where lovers can express the rest of the night
away. By the lake we ponder, wondering to
where these rendezvous lead. And you,
a beauty my eyes have beheld well on onto morning,
as the dawning commences and the alarm coaxes
every last grain of sleep from your sight,
I will meet you again tonight in our meadow by the lake.

© Walter J. Wojtanik 2013

WE WRITE POEMS – Meeting Places Prompt # 178