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


Strangers on the shores,
more than poetic piasans.
Thrown together by chance,
a serendipitous dance
across the Grand Hall.
The call for poetic writers,
fighters for the cause
for better or for verse.
Destined to become
best friends; partners
in rhyme and only time
will tell just how well we
will gel. But, we’ll continue
to support and nurture;
poetic futures looking bright,
right until we meet.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012


I had the extreme pleasure of being interviewed by Claudette Young on her webspace, CLAUDSY’S BLOG. In it we discuss life, poetry and other journeys into worded wonder. Thanks Claudette for this opportunity.


Mere days away,
a coronation is planned
for autumn’s shortened reign.

The temperatures decline
finding their descent hell-bent
on a rapid departure to parts unknown.

The trees have grown fragile;
the color barrage itching to begin
and within her palette the earth is apparent

an inherent nod to the warmth
sought, but not always embraced,
and faced with the scent of must and moth-balls.

And in the sky, standing tall
the harbinger of winter woes (so it goes
around Buffalo) dark and moody, looming

upon the horizon, rising skyward.
Storms  brewing, or memories
of days of storm-filled pasts recalled,

all seeded in the clouds for near future
reference. Your preference
is a temperate fall ending in spring.

But, here’s the thing:
the winds find their thrill in the chill
they provide. An equinox out of the box

stirring dreads of a White Christmas
long before the sleep of the solstice beckons.
Cumulonimbus is your reminder.

Better hasten to find your scarf and gloves
before the snows reign from above.
Ominous and threatening; keep your guard up.

...looming upon the horizon, rising skyward


First comes the thaw.
A heartless tease from a gentle breeze,
bringing showers and hours of warm.
No storm in site; just the right temperature
to make a nice White Christmas
a fond memory. Every sensory stimulus
is less provoking as I stand, choking back
my enthuiasm. A wide chasm between
reality and what I know to be an illusion.
It is this intrusion of this lake; unfrozen and
enabling, labeling these shores as
the snow capital of nowhere. Glancing to stare,
aware that the forecast calls for resurgent flurries.
You scurry to catch a quick glimpse of the skies
and there before your eyes you realize.
The snow machine is well in tune.
I hope it ends before we hit June!


How strangely still
the water is today.
Calm and tranquil, strangely still.

Clouds upon the horizon,
harbingers of things to come;
clouds obliterate the sun.

The air is cold; it chills,
winds stirring through the clearing.
Winds of change do not thrill.

How strangely still
the water is today.
Peaceful thoughts; I get my fill.

And then the clouds converge,
driven by gusts of icy breath;
a nasty dose of a late season surge.

Before the storm, it seemed quite warm.
How strangely still
the water was today. Such a rapid decay!

** Inspired by “Sea Calm”, by Langston Hughes


A lone sailor; stargazer
and navigator, set adrift
in a calm and tranquil waterway.
The day is overcast,
and above the mast his banner flies.
Gentle ripples coaxed by
the lake’s nautical breath.
The call of the gulls is garish,
nearly nightmarish in their persistence.
An insistence that they be taken
seriously. Deliriously, he tacks,
feeling the wind, aroused and rancorous,
a cantankerous caterwaul at the fall of day.
Waves awash; a wild wake churning,
a yearning to manipulate the canvas
that spurs his vessel on. He is tossed,
a lost soul in a sea of doubt. Shouts
for assistance go unheard; not a word.
He signals a frantic S.O.S.; a message
for salvation. For the duration of the torrent,
the Ol’ Salt is battered and splattered against
the ebony night. Despite the norm,
this perfect storm is destructive,
counter-productive to the life
of a cast-away stargazer; navigator.
A lone sailor, gone.


On life’s lake languid,
lost in contemplative moments
of nature’s whispers and the ripple
stirred by each minuscule motion.
No nibble besets his anticipation,
but visions of a soul dancing freely
upon every sun glinted wave,
show the change inherent in each
breath of a restless and longing heart.
Nothing else matters. A bad day fishing
Is the best good day life offers.
The line stretches taut as
serenity soars. A fisherman,
lost in the moment.


On Erie’s shore
just south of Buffalo;
in the shadow of Bethlehem Steel,
Woodlawn Beach languishes.
Sand strewn with drift wood,
seaweed interwoven between
seashells and toes; rocky layers
stubbing and protruding, eluding
them was a battle.
Passing years brought stench,
abandoned Steel Plant stands,
an ominous reminder of the decay.
Dead fish and gulls where children played,
now they stay off shore. No more
escaping or scraping memories out of
her unkempt shell. Just as well.
Woodlawn Beach is closed again.
This Year. Every year.


You lived down the street,
the brown house with the privet hedge.
The grass, manicured and perfect,
marigolds planted along the drive.
I used to cut through your yard.

Your father would yell for me
to stay off of the grass.
But I would chance a pass
to get to the next street.
In the upstairs window, a face

always appeared when your father
released his gentle tirade. You.
Dark eyes and a generous smile.
Dark flowing tresses and
happy sun dresses were your appeal.

And every time you would steal
a glance out your window, our eyes met.
Your smile drew mine out of the
shadowy thicket of inexperience,
and I welcomed your “intrusion”

into the realm of my consciousness.
A day came when I entered your yard,
clean jeans and hair combed,
sweaty palms rubbing against
the coarse denim of my youth.

“Excuse me, Sir” I called.
“Would it be alright if I
went through your yard?”
And your father looked up
from tending his garden, hoe in hand.

In that moment, I knew from where
your smile had come. Waving a gloved hand,
he relented. “Go right ahead”
I saw him glance upward and
again his smile beamed. I turned to look.

You. Dark eyes and a generous smile.
Dark flowing hair and a flair
for always appearing when I would
pass through. I searched your father’s eyes
for permission of a sort, and he simply nodded.

When I looked back to your window,
you were gone. You had come to stand
on the back porch of your nervousness.
“Good Morning” you demurely cooed.
“Hello” my voice cracked, as I turned

in my sudden shyness. “Hey!” you recovered,
“Can I walk with you?” Again to your father;
a broad smile and a wave of a gloved hand.
“Go right ahead” his smile beamed.
Many times I crossed through under the guise of

getting to the next street, but I knew your
smile would always be waiting, Cheshire Cat
at the ready; touched by your grace.
We’ve met many times in our imaginations.
I’ve known your smile in the beauty of your words.

Friends in the sharing of distance and
our known anonymity. And the wave of a gloved hand.