No one knows.
And the best kept secret remains as such.
How much is it worth to know things
that your heart can confirm,
but you can not communicate,
this declaration of fact lies hidden.
Distance spanned and water
under the bridge between then and now.
How do you live a life with this burden?
They couldn’t know; you gave no indications,
your stagnation and debilitating fear
brought you here with nary a lead.
But indeed, you have known.
You will carry it until you’ll have grown
feeble and cold, just an infarction from
the chill’s permanence; it hides in residence.
Do you declare to the world and hope the rooftops
can handle your exuberance,
your happy dance long buried?
This fact prompts you to wonder
that if under this guise you can reprise
what your heart conceals; the real feel of its mystery,
your history until now untold and you let the story unfold.
Touching secrets with probing fingers,
the memory lingers. You held the best vantage point
in the room to see all before you,
a chance at a glance always revealed.
Though you were in close proximity,
you chose to let fear dictate and seal your fate.
Never a clue did you expose. You chose to fade,
finding comfort in your invisibility. Indignantly,
you held your nerve and your secret this long.
It can’t be wrong to release your burden and breathe again.
No one knows.
You wonder if your existence evaded detection then.
You are certain that it does now.
Unseen for all these years, no one could know.
Your memories melt flowing onto a page
as you engage your feelings.
Poems written of your smitten past,
and at last you come clean.
I mean, really, it’s not as if these poems will ever be seen.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018


Making a change for change sake,
is akin to spitting into the wind.
Intentions, mask your futility
of where your fire should be directed.
In retrospect, nothing really
does transform. It is only manipulated.
It is cajoled; a good front is placed
in front of the vile vision that sets you seething.
Thoughts become all- controlling; left to
simmer and boil over again in time.
Turning a jaundiced eye to the truth.
You hope for better, but don’t hold your breath!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge – Day 8: Change/Never Change



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


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.


Henri remembered his mother’s admission.
“You do not have my permission
to suck your thumb! If I come
in again, my son, I will
wield knife to lop off your thumb.

Henri really was non-plussed,
for no matter how she cursed
and cussed; throughout her rant
and ballyhoo his mother
never followed through.

Why, he could bet his whole right hand
his mother would not take a stand.
She did not know, she did not see
Henri’s thumb was delicacy.
So his thumb went back to get all wet.

“YOU LITTLE BASTARD” came Mother’s yell
“Did your ears not hear me tell
the consequence of doing that?”
“Let’s see that thumb, you little brat!”
Down came her cleaver, and that was that.

Henri stared incredulous,
his mother’s deed, ridiculous!
She took up the digit to put away,
to return to Henri on the day
that he agreed to cease his sucking.

Henri’s wound took time to heal,
and his nine fingers made him feel
very much the lesser man
who could not count as high as ten.
He cursed the day his mother maimed him.

He grew older, a handsome man
With dark moustache and his hand
encased in leather to hide the void
where once his thumb had perched there sweet,
his moist and tasty, handy treat.

His mother, a woman of her word,
did rue the day she got absurd
by cutting off her baby’s thumb.
She knew someday that day would come
and Henri dear would have his thumb.

The day arrived, but her surprise
was something that disturbed her eyes.
Henri’s thumb was mortified.
No sign of life, she sadly cried.
Her young man’s anger boiled within.

Henri ranted. Henri raved.
Henri cursed the day she saved
the purloined digit in a baggy,
for now the skin was black and saggy.
Henri grasped his mother’s hand

and reaching for the very cleaver,
brought down the chopper soon to leave her
quite left-handed; marked for life
and underhanded. What he did next was hideous
for in his hand, he held her hand.

and hand-in-hand this messed up man,
raised her paw triumphantly,
making sure that she would see
what her Henri had in store;
her bloody stump dripped on the floor.

He closed her fingers to a fist,
with thumb aloft, which was the gist
of all this time that he had waited.
Now this day was celebrated.
His mother knew this day would come,

and watched in horror as her thumb
was inching closer to his mouth.
She prayed to God he’d keep it out.
But Madman Henri had other plans
again ignoring her commands.

Henri sucked his mother’s thumb,
she cringed, disgusted by her son.
Henri soothed his hunger’s itch,
for payback was a mouthy bitch.
His mother knew this day would come.


                Late summer in                  NY. A day like
                any other;  New                  Yorkers   loved
                days such as th                    ese.  The   sky
                was clear; the air                was crisp  and
                life went on as it                 usually did.Taxi
                cabs jammed in                  traffic, and some
                commuters were                too. Pedestrians
                on the pavement                heading to  their
                nine-to-5 enslave               ment. A sense of
                urgency had gone              unnoticed but that
                was business  as                  it usually was. Men
                and Women head               ed to work, or to
                drop the children               off at daycare. Today
                is September 11th              2001 and all is right
                with the world. The            sun rises, casting
                the Statue of Liberty          in  seductive  and
                glorious silhouette;             a shadowed sentinel
                set in the harbor to              greet all travelers to
                the “Land of the Free”.       Like those folks on
                that inbound jet and         others like it. It holds
  the hopes and dreams of all aboard, as it does for all below. The airplane’s
 shadow is cast ominously across the expanse of concrete, metal and glass;
a close pass to the constructed mountains above. Most unusual on this usual
day. Nothing changes on usual days. Usually, but not today late summer in NY.


Everyone needs a goal to shoot for; a dream to achieve. Some dreams remain the elusive prize, and some outlive their usefulness. It’s YESTERDAY’S DREAM that keep us from moving forward. The lyrics are below. Click on the title for the audio link.


Melody and Lyrics by Walter J. Wojtanik – © 1982

Unconvincing lies of strangers,
hidden dangers, of the dreams we used to share.
They tell me, try to tell me that you never cared,
taking me far away, another day… alone.

Silence of the night, it finds me,
and reminds me, of the emptiness inside.
It chills me, slowly kills me to think love has died.
Now that you’re far away, I’ve got to say… it’s true…

I can’t live on YESTERDAY’S DREAMS.
Making plans on yesterday’s schemes.
I’m all over dreaming of yesterday and you!

I’ve heard it said that breaking up is hard to do,
but it’s not half as hard if you know what to do.
So go your seperate way, without the urge to say…I love you.
Leaving me even more, like before so  far away……

Yeah, so now you’re gone, and I’m dealing
with the feeling and the emptiness subsides.
I’m starting from our parting, and I feel alive.
The lies of yesterday, are truth today, because…

I can’t live on YESTERDAY’S DREAMS.
No more plans on yesterday’s schemes.
I’m all over dreaming of yesterday and you!

I’ve heard it said that breaking up is hard to do,
but it’s not half as hard if you know what to do.
So go your seperate way, without the urge to say…I love you.
Leaving me even more, like before so  far away……

Yeah, so now you’re gone, and I’m dealing
with the feeling and the emptiness is gone.
I’m starting from our parting, and I’m moving on.
The lies of yesterday, are truth today, because…

I can’t live on YESTERDAY’S DREAMS.
No more plans on yesterday’s schemes.
I’m all over dreaming of yesterday and you!

NO CRY FOR HELP ( A Trillonet)

A boy, the age of seventeen,
still standing on the cusp of dreams,
wandered lonely in his despair.

A handsome lad; athletic, lean,
not bound to someone else’s schemes.
Eyes, a bright blue; brown shaggy hair,

kept to himself, no one had seen,
Troy coming apart at the seams.
On the surface, without a care.

Who would have guessed that this bright teen,
would end his own life amidst screams,
his final breath with no one there.

A bullet blast, and now he’s gone,
A promising life had gone wrong.

“Troy”, a boy in my youngest daughter Andrea’s English class
ended his life yesterday afternoon. He sat in front of her in class
and although they weren’t good friends, had sided with her in a discussion yesterday morning; aside from a shy hello when they passed, verbal exchanges weren’t a part of their routine.
Now, my bright seventeen year old daughter doesn’t understand
why life is “so fucked up”. Me, a man of words, had few answers.


Seconds tick.
The tympany of lost moments
left to linger in the anteroom of thought.
In the expanse of eternal existance,
we offer resistance to the passing of days,
hoping to delay their demise; returning with
each new rise of the sun. But, when we are done,
will we be remembered for all we strived to be?
Or will we be forgotten in the unmarked grave
of obscurity? Our procrastination is telling.
Time’s a wasting. There’s no tasting success
until we kick up our heels and initiate.
Tick, tick, tick,…

**For micro poetry’s prompt, “AND I QUOTE…” – “If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” ~ Ivan Turgenev


Hearts split abruptly,
a degradation of emotion;
a commotion of fact and fantasy,
brought to bear, wrought with the fear
of a lonely life, or an amazing facsimile
of the same. Lost in the game
of who did what to whom,
finding out none too soon that the reasons
for your union were wrong
in the first place, finding yourself
in the worst place you can imagine,
bereft of passion and a mindless muse.
You have to choose between
what you really need, and what
your heart requires. A smoldering pyre
of indifference, spoken in a demeaning nature,
and her nomenclature tells you
that love’s labor was not lost,
it was blown to smithereens