Unfurled, my canvas tightens,
taut and rigid in the strength
of a gale force wind. Beginning
and ending with the gusts
prevailing, sailing into the waters,
uncharted and unsure. It is purely
the epitome of self-sufficiency;
this proficiency so star-guided
provides me with the direction I crave.
In it, I am saved, a navigator of
life’s currents. Wave after wave,
I am coaxed toward shore, for sure
more open waters await me.
My sole journey continues undeterred.
(c) Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


“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


All that was left from the shipwreck
was a tin of caviar and the wine.
A bottle of the grape and a can of bait.
You hated the taste of the caviar,
but the fish it had lured to your
make-shift fishing pole were a treat.
All you could eat until the can was drained.
For an ungodly reason, you kept the cork
intact for a special occasion, and today
was that day. The day you lost all hope.
The bottle popped with a resonance that was
a perfect counter point to the waves lapping the shore.
A lovely bouquet. Earthy!
You take a sip.
A swig.
A guzzle.
The label read “Châteauneuf du Pape, 1951”
That’s probably French for “Water from 1,951 Sewers”.
Your inebriate binge lasted long enough
for you to scribble something on the back of a leaf.
You stuffed it into the bottle.
Your last will and testament.
All your worldly possessions.
An empty tin can and your father’s watch.
You heave the bottle into the surf and watch it bob,
praying for death to rescue you. It started to sink.
Your coconut just stares.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik



Peering out the window opening; leering
at the vastness of a vacuous void,
there are no life forms appearing
and I feel a bit annoyed.

Volunteering for a mission
is just another way of saying
I give you my permission
to be used as you see fit. Playing

hero (when martyr would suffice nicely)
and I know to get back from this place
I will need to get out of this space, precisely
what I did NOT want to do. In case

you aren’t listening, the sounds around
are vacant. In space no one can hear you
scream for Ice Cream (no matter how big the mound),
it would melt before the spoon got near you.

So, I don my suit, untried; untested,
and strap my boots to seal my feet,
If I wore this at home, I’d be arrested
but, on this planet, it can’t be beat.

I press the button to raise the panel
and nothing appears to transpire.
I press it again on this stupid panel
with no result but to fan my ire.

I need release, my mission is clear,
I need to step down to step on the soil,
I haven’t a clue how to get out of here
despite my training and years of toil.

I pound on the door with furied fists,
yelling at the intercom transmitter,
but this innocuous box, it surely resists,
frustrated am I, but I’m no quitter.

“Open the pod bay doors, Hal!” I scream,
but the response, it does not save me.
“I’m afraid that I can’t do that, Dave!” it seems
this spaceship has enslaved me.

I have no qualms about dying in space,
though this isolation is truly scary,
Besides, its memory is a disgrace,
I’m screwed. I’m not Dave, I’m Larry!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Written for dVerse Poets Pub – Tuesday Poetics: Fear


We don’t make eye contact anymore.
I ask you; you’re FINE!
All of your venom is reserved for me,
it’s all mine. Was it something I said?
Something I left unsaid?
If your demeanor was any meaner
I’d be pushing up the daisies instead.
Call me crazy (you always do), but you never
balk at talking until I enter the conversation,
the cause of my consternation!
A text on my cell phone emotes more elation
than you stealing these moments of silence
from my vacant stare. Are you still there?
What we have here…is a failure to…

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #20: “What’s Left Unsaid?”


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


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______


"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


The void is deep and expansive,
and I sit in a pensive mood.
No good can come out of
wild fantasy and schisms,
mystic midnight visions
that play with my psyche.
It might be that when I drift,
floating by my tin can, I am
Major Tom. Slightly clueless:
a mess with little control
of my faculties, or my course.
I cry out, but no one hears,
and my fears of irrelevance
though unfounded, are drowned out
by the silence of the heavens;
a cosmos that deafens.

Written to fit the POETIC ASIDES “vacuum” prompt and WE WRITE POEMS #104 – “Loneliness” prompt!