LEARNING FORGIVENESS IN THE RECEIVING OF SAME

Let bygones be,
you’ve seen the error of your ways
and it’s been days since
your apple cart has been toppled.
The slight against you was just that,
slight. You might be wise to reprise
your failings amidst the wailing
and gnashing of teeth. Life is short,
but it can be sweet if you let it.
Swallow your pride and forget it.
Don’t let it ruin another day.
You had much to say yourself, leave it
on the shelf and accept your part
of the blame. It’s a doggone shame.
Much like love, the forgiveness your get
is equal to the forgiveness you give.
Live and let live, let bygones be.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #449 – Learning _____

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LEARNING THE HARD WAY

The school of hard knocks
will knock your sock off
if you’re not careful. Be aware,
full of suspicion and position
yourself to put credence in lessons
offered, proffered for your retention,
not to mention your well being.
That’s seeing the forest for the trees.
Life could be a breeze if we pay her heed,
and cede to her detail and instruction.
Our destruction is in the balance
in this valance of existence.
Get up to fight again. Failure?
Not an option. Take your lumps
and up the ante. Keep yourself in the game,
the school of hard knocks takes no blame.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #449 – Learning _____

LEARNING TO BREATHE AGAIN

He had lost his wind,
and his lungs had rescinded
their cooperation.
His respiration was fine,
as far as that went,
but this gent was losing his grip
on life, rife with pitfalls
and bear hugs, shrugs and squeezes
that cause him to wheeze and he sneezes
unprovoked, choked off from the precious
air he needed to succeed in this life.
“Remember to breathe!” she had said,
it’s the best way to prevent becoming dead.
So he pauses. Inhaling slowly, he holds
it in, exhales and does it again.
In and out,
in and out,
in and out without prodding,
not nodding into that Big Sleep.
Keeping on this side of the sod.
Thank God he was a quick study.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #449 – Learning _____

UNCLE FRANK HAD A LIMP

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

WHEN I CARRY YOU

When your burden is heavy,
place them in my hands and continue your journey.

When your mind is troubled,
hand them to me and be comforted by clarity.

When your challenges are oppressive,
give me the chance to handle them. Be at peace.

When your heart is breaking,
remember I hold the capacity for eternal love.

When your eyes are unseeing,
know that my hand is outstretched to guide you.

When your confidence wanes and doubt resides,
be grateful my hands will wash yours, strengthening them.

When life seems arduous,
rest in my hands, and I will carry you.

When I carry you,
you will be loved.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge – Day 23: WHEN_____

GRAVY

It couldn’t get any better
if I let her do it herself.
Life is swimming with my feet
just skimming the surface.
The smile on her face soothes
and her beauty exudes from inside
to out, that carries a lot of clout.
The daughters are grown, and with one
having flown the coop, the best
empty nest scenario seems less scary.
Oh I worry about the future, but I’m sure
things will work out fine. If I’m lyin’ I’m
going to lay down before I kick it.
I know I can lick it.
My health is slowly improving and
as long as I keep moving, everything
else is gravy. And that’s always a plus.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

Inspired by POETIC ASIDES Day 5 prompt – a “Plus” poem

UNITED

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

WORTH OVER BETRAYAL

All during the interview, she remained one of the cool customers,
keeping her thoughts private. Confidential.
The memories of that moment were a blur, but clarity
unmercifully came to lift her fog. Emotions washed over her
in waves; once again she felt violated, ransacked –
leaving her again to feel broken and isolated.
She sits weeping inconsolably, his hideous face revisits
her with all the charms of a tire iron to her purity.
Wishing she could trade that visage for a vision
of one more caring and compassionate, offering
a healing touch, a sensitive ear; a glue to mend her fractured self.
She felt the fool to think there was a man whose love could make her feel
whole and clean and mended. But there she was, cinched by his caring
arms wrapped around her heart like a belt holding up her psyche.
It made her feel brand new, like a sticker declaring her “Improved!”
Love heals all!

 

 

Written for The Sunday Whirl – Wordle #43

A SORTA SANTA SESTINA

November’s early chill does not sway this warm heart
from the task at hand. Kind of a dress rehearsal, sort of a role
reversal from the other ten months of the year.
Around here, hustle and bustle are the norm and true to form, I see red
and green. A controlled chaos, laced with love
and a true sense of the spirit that fills me. Christmas spirit.

That is not to say we are not thankful, because Thanksgiving Day is where that spirit
really shines. A gathering of family in celebration of that relation fills my heart
because it is the essence of the long holiday season born of love.
And let’s not kid ourselves. We are nothing without it. When I roll
out my list for the second time, I am reminded that within each heart, red
and full of life, lives a passion that lasts throughout the year.

And it shouldn’t be only one day a year.
It should be a daily diversion to pass on that spirit
in every word ever written or read
on the subject of our fellow men and women. It does my heart
good to know that the initiation of these feelings comes from the role
I play everyday. It’s not to say I take the credit, it just comes back to the love.

Many people ask, “What is love?”
It may be a forgotten art, but it is never lost if you yearn
to give of yourself. Of this gift, you have full control.
For keeping the smallest spark of this spirit
will go a long way in igniting your heart.
The first step is the start of a life’s journey; immortality in red.

It is not so much the color of the heart, but red
is the hue of the blood that courses within us all, a sign of life; a life of love.
So as I near the start of my work, I can feel my heart
expand in proportion to the sense of wonder this time of year
places in a young child’s heart, and the sense of spirit
that comes with the territory. I fill this role

the best I can. I am “The Man”. That’s how I roll!
So before I don the jingle bells and that suit, bright red,
I will bow my head and ask that I never lose this spirit.
As I hear, it gets harder to come by these days. But I love
the challenge. I’m sort of in my element this time of year.
As the big day draws near, it will fill my heart.

It warms me completely. It is the role I take on gladly.
For no matter how badly things go each year, I will be here dressed in red
full of love and holiday spirit. After all, I am Santa Claus…sort of.