“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ~Audre Lord

Thunder, rumbling
stumbling over oppressive clouds
with loud crashes, smashes against
pavement and abode. It has turned cold.
Lightning flashes between crashes
interval intrusions, illusions
in the shadows cast. Playing hard
and fast with reality.
Children cower, as hour after hour
persists, insisting it rules the night.
Their fright steals their innocence.
Counting the seconds between
crash and flash, it is hunkered down.
The storm can do no harm
in the safety of arms that protect.
You reject the notion that bumps
in the night are frightening.
You know there is nothing in the dark
that isn’t there in the lightning.

© Walter J Wojtanik, 2019



I profess and confess I am not afflicted by:

Bathophobia- Fear of depth.
Philophobia- Fear of falling in love.

Chiraptophobia- Fear of being touched.
Chirophobia- Fear of hands.

Dishabiliophobia- Fear of undressing in front of someone.
Gymnophobia- Fear of nudity.

Gynephobia – Fear of women.
Venustraphobia- Fear of beautiful women.

Hedonophobia- Fear of feeling pleasure.
Clinophobia- Fear of going to bed.

Phagophobia- Fear of being eaten.
Philemaphobia – Fear of kissing.

Pteronophobia- Fear of being tickled by feathers.
Verbophobia- Fear of words.

But I do have an innate fear of making lists!
Who’s idea was this anyway?
© Walter J. Wojtanik

Offered at dVerse Poets Pub – List Poetry


I knew him in his later years,
amidst fears of this craggy old-man
with the pronounced limp.
I had no knock against the man,
even though he tried prodding me into it.
“Knock on my leg!” he’d harass me,
and it would embarrass me to shy away.
He’d rap his knuckles against his shin.
The sound stayed with me. Knock on wood!
Old photographs of my grandmother
and her siblings emerge and a surge of
a phantom spasm rose up my right leg.
Uncle Frank and his dog in frame,
five legs and a wooden pole.
Legends find their truth; even in family re-telling.
Frank always explored the railroad tracks
that ran behind the house. Against all warning,
one morning they found a delirious Frank pleading,
bleeding profusely from his severed appendage.
On the flatbed of the family truck he was carted,
as he started begging his father not to punish.
My great-grandfather asked one question:
“After disobeying me, will you do it again?”
A lesson learned at a great price.
The resounding of knuckles against
a wooden prosthetic was punishment enough.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April PAD – Day 13: Family


Tribulations await and the time
and place retain their mystery.
For in the history of this life we are
curious to the point of becoming furious
whether we will be heard; will our absurd
ramblings bring solace and peace
when the end approaches. It encroaches
on our sensibilities. And the abilities of
a learned man of words will be tested.
I will soon be bested and find my rest
in the passing of these numbered days.
And I will go the way of Heaven and Earth,
but for all that it will be worth,
I pray that my words too will stay.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik -2013


A packed bag and a broken tin can left circling space
turning toward the sun, a face;
mirrored shield covering a mouth agape,
a hidden cave devoid of screams
and chants that mimic the drone
of a broken capsule pitching.
Switching from the crooked course offers little hope.
Major Tom sever your binding and shake your fist.
Floating, you vow, “my circuit’s dead, I can’t hear you
Planet Earth is blue; nothing I can do”.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013


Written for THE SUNDAY WHIRL – Wordle #108


In the shadows I lurk,
who knows what evil lives
in these hearts. I cannot hide
my dismay at the mind
of a mankind that perpetrates
and preys on the lesser lights.
They are left in the darkness
of their souls; in the shadows.
My identity keeps me cloaked
and this shroud I carry coolly.
I can see from here that
I can strike fear in the wayward
and protect those who need protecting.
I Live by these simple truths:
“The weed of crime bears bitter fruit.
Crime does not pay” that’s what I always say!
“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts
of men? The Shadow knows!”

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

Written for NaPoWriMo 2013 – Day 14 – Superhero P.O.V.


Unfeeling, leaving hearts reeling,
stealing emotion on the notion
that you can’t miss what you never had.
Bad, bad, AWFUL bad, and it’s sad
that a love lost and a woman scorned
become the choice of the lesser
of the two evils proposed. You
are left exposed to her icy stare.
You wouldn’t dare question your fate.
You’d hate to find her frigid digits
around your nape; grasping, gasping
for air and a wooden stake. You fail
to see any humor or any laughing matter,
for that matter. An “Ice Queen” would be
a dream girl compared to her barren tundra.
But, you’re under her spell and your heart is hers,
at least until she’s done walking all over it.
Go to hell you witch! OK, I’ll show you the way.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

Written for NaPoWriMo 2013 – Day 10 – Un-love Poem


"Gas" by Edward Hopper
“Gas” by Edward Hopper

No one’s been by for years
and one of his biggest fears
was that he would die out here
alone, and no one would know.
The point of no return
sits a mile down the road
and the occasional lost traveler
would goad his excitement,
but leave him in a cloud of dust.
He must close down the station
and rejoin civilization.
His routine never changes.
He dusts off the pumps
encrusted with years of isolation
and failure. The readings are recorded
in a never ending string of naught.
A rumble in the distance arouses,
leaving him shaking in his trousers
only to be disappointed again.
The pumps stand sentinel,
grave markers for a dying breed.
He needs human contact
but all he attracts is dirt.
Lost in the outskirts.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

Response to MIZ QUICKLY’S IMPROMPTU POETRY – Day 10 (Alone, or at a Party) Ekphrastic Poem


Silence surrounds; the sounds of night pervade,
Shadows crawling, calling in the vacuous void.
You avoid the spot in the corner where darkness
is all consuming. You are assuming that all that lays
at rest is best left alone. The breathing you hear
is clear across the room; not your own.
A moan, a creak sneaks to slip beside you.
Disembodied shivers sends a quiver down
your spine. The whine in your ears disappears
as your thoughts perceive what you disbelieve.
Your recorder catches something that concerns you,
but you can’t discern what it could be.
A whisper? A cry? A scream nearby? You spy that shadow
again rising like an orb left to fend for itself.
The playback confirms these ghosts do not feed the worms.
They’ve come out to play, or so that’s what they say.

Creepy Prompt # 199 – Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer


The Sunday Whirl – Wordle # 68

It cuts to the bone, marrow dripping,
mixing with every drop of blood purged
from a heart so battered; worn. This
link of passion sets sail on our seas of love.

An uncharted course, not knowing
what was in store for young lovers
with dreams to raise anchor and navigate life,
leaving the past in their wake

and their future dreams on distant horizons.
The turbulent churn tosses and the vessel will pitch,
sending hearts to the rail to purge insecurity and fear
and setting feet firmly of the deck of heart’s desires.

From stem to stern, their pulses quicken,
a feeling that will sink, motionless and still
finding a harbor loving and longing;
a port most welcoming and wanting.

All seas crest with gentle waves to soothe
battered and time-worn hearts; homeward bound.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

For THE SUNDAY WHIRL – Wordle #68