(An American Trilogy)


From across the room, your beacon shone,
you stand alone, but are you lonesome tonight?
I believe in love at first sight and I might
settle for a little less conversation.
I gotta know your name,

your number. Your belief that love lasts
If I can dream, you can fulfill it.
I can’t help it. Falling in love is like
riding a mystery train. The destination’s
unknown. I should have known. I forgot to remember.
I forgot to forget and yet, that’s alright Mama.
The next step is love!


It was one night in the garden.
You had me all shook up,
igniting a burning love that you had left
smoldering. I had always been
hardheaded, woman. But you have
softened me. You’ve showed how a heart
can caress and cajole. Love is in control.
Love me. Love me tender.
You’ve rendered me complete in love,
all night; at first sight.


It hurts me, don’t be cruel.
I’ve been a fool being your
puppet on a string. So I sing
the blues. You’re a mean woman.
I trusted in love, suspicious minds
have minds of their own. But, you won’t see
me crying in the chapel or leaping
from any high steeple. I shall not
be moved to tears. My fears were founded
when all love was returned to sender.
Unopened, address unknown.
Stamped “insufficient emotion”.
You’ve left me in the ghetto of broken hearts and
baby, I don’t care. You’re not there.
I’m in hiding; residing in this room for one!


(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

Based on the songs of Elvis Presley




It’s a land of confusion, Mama,
that’s all! You can call me whatever you want,
but the path I follow is the life I lead.
It is indeed what I need; I can no longer
follow you.

“You’re throwing it all away” Mama yelled!
“Why, no son of mine will ever give up!
I won’t let you quit!” she said as much.
“You used to have that ‘invisible touch’,
follow me?”

“Turn it on again!” she resigned.
There’s no chance. I can’t dance, Mama.
“You’ve been blessed” she replied.
She tried, but I didn’t listen. No one will
follow you.

“I’ll pray for you two” Mama offered.
“Jesus, he knows me. He’ll help you!”
The Lamb lies, I said. Down on Broadway he just
turned and walked away. All he’d ever say was,
Follow me.”

Mama fell to her knees with the pleas
‘Hold on, my heart!’ I hated when she’d start that!
Another day in Paradise, I thought to myself.
I put some money on the shelf. She whispered, “I’ll
follow you”

I don’t care anymore. These were my true colors.
But there’s something in the air tonight.
Maybe if I gave it one more night,
I thought. Against all odds, I’ll give it another try,
follow me?

I walked. I thought. I landed on her stoop.
She opened the door slightly. “Are you all right?”
There was a sigh; she had been crying.
Look, I’m trying to say I’m sorry. My heart will
follow you.

Sadly, she replied. “Easy lover, you can’t hurry love,
and it seemed like it was all moving too fast”
At last, she said “but, you’ll be in my heart”.
I missed again. We’re better apart living separate lives.
Follow me? Follow you!


(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

Based on the songs of Genesis and Phil Collins



***Notes: I had to change the scheduled rotation of artists. I couldn’t let this prompt go by without Genesis’ “Follow You, Follow Me” which came immediately to mind. The artist delegated to this date, Tom Petty, would have yielded only eight good titles tops. Genesis / Phil Collins was like tapping the mother lode. Follow me?


He sits in silence
saddened by her absence. Taken
in the prime of life, shaken to his core.
They had plans for something more,
but no one asked. No one cared.
So he stares at the water upon their lake,
a break in the clouds allows a ray of sunlight
to light the space next to him where he sits.
It’s getting on near dusk and the autumnal musk
hangs heavy in the air. It is there he thinks
reunions are either planned or happenstance,
and any chance to join together again, died
when the angels came to get her.
His pain is internal, his pain is deep.
he keeps thoughts of her close to heart
for that is where the anxiety starts and ends.
Lovers, confidants, combatants, friends –
it sends him close to the edge, alone again.


(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014




You weren’t fixing on leaving,
you had other plans.
But God laughed
and you were gone. A memory
written ad nauseum,
causing hearts to ache
at each re-telling. Eyes
swelling with tears
laced with fears of folks forgetting.
It’s hitting home the more
distance passes and your face
flashes in my mind from time-to-time.
You are four Years in passing
and I keep amassing poems
long after you’re gone.
And life moves on.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

From POETIC ASIDES – Day 6 (“Post” Poem)



On the edge of reason, we watched and waited.
We hated being helpless, and I guess
we hated being the target of hate.
Many were functioning as they normally had,
but then every man, woman, mom and dad
had much to explain to minds that could not
comprehend. It had sent a strong message,
that we should be ever-vigilant and can’t
let down our guard. It is hard to preach trust
when the thrust of such extreme proportion
penetrates our collective spirit. They thought
they’d split it in two. It is true that we fight
amongst each other, like any “sister” and “brother”
but let another interfere and we’ll be here united
to fight it tooth and nail. We had stumbled, but did not fail.
May God continue to Bless America!

© – Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012



Heart-to-heart, they were warriors;
hand-to-hand combatants suffering
the slings and arrows of outrageous accusation.
Shaken to its core, the love once shared
is no more. She held firm, her tongue in silence
and all the fierce violence he had perpetrated
only exacerbated their animus. It was a blessing
that her rugged resolve would hold her; solid marble
with a tender touch. In the remote reaches
of her time-worn soul, she saw herself a vision
in splendor and grace. The memory of his face was filed
away like the other cows who attempted to graze
in her verdant pasture. The bastards
should have known, Love is a battlefield.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

Written for THE SUNDAY WHIRL – Wordle #73



She was a remnant from his past;
curvaceous, and petite. Adorned
in lace and a smile that would ricochet
through the alcoves of his heart.
Memories flooded his thoughts,
invisible intrusions to a time-worn heart.
His eyes narrow as he maps every step
they had taken in this life. Recollections
and emotions spin at warp speed.
As his days dwindle, she haunts him.

Written for THE SUNDAY WHIRL – Wordle #69


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.



“Dad’s got cancer.”
Words as lifeless as I felt at that moment.
My sister, Daddy’s baby girl, her voice
shaken from its confidence.
And I in exile deteriorating in my own
self-absorbtion, choking on words so harsh.
And words so healing; a feeling of redemption
in my reply. Wiping an eye or two,
and through with my vitriol; back in control
of the emotions so frayed. Four months
were all that were afforded me. It awarded
me a chance to reconcile for the while he had.
Two Walts contrasted; reunited while Dad lasted.



Step by step, the journey begins. Strangers at this writing, but I know
the struggles you encounter are many. If any woman or man
insists they are aware, when they’ve never been there, well, I’m sorry.
Your story well neglected, should be projected for the world
to see. There may be bleeding hearts, but that never solves your plight.
It would be right for them to learn…

You are the young widowed mother who just learned
her heroic husband killed in Afghanistan, will never know
the child you bears. You stare at a photograph; it lightens
your heart, but you start to cry, not knowing why the man
who meant everything to you, was taken. He had given much to the world
without so much as a “Thank you” to him, or to you, an “I’m Sorry!”

You are the seasoned Grandfather sitting near the window, your sorry
existence in the nursing home has left you alone and scared. It was learned
your Alzheimer’s Disease has advanced and your family and your world
are non-existent memories. Gazing blankly at things you once knew
makes no impression. And your depression grows. You’ve become that man
who dimly sits where once your presence provided great light.

You are the bullied young teen, sitting in a light-less
room. Your struggle with your life corrodes internally. You are sorry
to be a “burden”. You hate that you are such an easy mark. You are a young man
unsure of his sexuality and searching for an identity. You hope to learn
that people are forgiving and understanding, if they only knew
that you were a rash decision away from leaving this world.

You are the woman who sits huddled with her young children whose world
came crashing down around them. You have nowhere to stay. Your only light
shines from the street lamp outside the city mission. You know
your condition plays out nationwide, but you hide your pride, sorry
you cannot provide what your kids need. You wish you could learn
of a way to step out of your destitution. You are a battered, broken woman.

So, before fingers point or hushed whispers glare, be there. Be the kind of woman or man
who takes the plight of the world
to your heart. It is only when we start to learn
of their wants and needs that we will indeed be the beacon bright, the light
that will show them that they are not forgotten. They should not apologize; not be sorry
that life has handed them an unplayable hand. In remembering them, they’ll know.

Know your fellow man.
This world belongs to all who possess it, no one should be sorry his or her lives shine less bright.
Learn to love as you have been loved. Help change their plight. Walk that mile.