PAT-A-CAKE

Elfin folk play pat-a-cake,
a tradition passed down
from small hands to small hands.
Passing time with elfin rhyme
sing-a-song of sixpence
and used as a self-defense,
they play. They never stray
from their merriment,
these scary men of minuscule means.
Caught in a blur, an inky stain
where the stinky little buggers
fester. They are sequestered
in their hovel homes,
pat-a-caking til the cows come.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Quickly – Visual

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TMI

How’m I doing?
I’m glad you asked!
My lower back is killing me,
sciatica and something
internal, I think. And this
infernal pain in my right shoulder
feels like a boulder
landed on it ,
it’s giving me fits.
And my left is starting to ache,
doesn’t take much over-compensating
to relay that pain across to there.
This weight loss may not
be the result of good eating
after all. Not sure what to call it,
and hope I can stall it until
after December.
I don’t remember things like I used to,
and I could use two Aleve to relieve
what ails me. It never fails me.
Once I figure out how to relate
to my prostate’s insolence…
you know, I should cut the violins
and quit complaining.
I’m serving up too much information.
How’re you doing?
Oh, I’m glad you asked…

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – Prompt #411: Information

CHANGE OF HABIT

They had dinner on TV trays.
They have been doing that for days.
It sort of plays with their order
but they didn’t care. It just felt right.
Every night, place settings for two
on separate platforms flying in the face
of familial norms and old habits.
Their kitchen table had become
a fable of decorum; they had one.
But, it had become their biggest shelf
upon which fragments of their lives rested.
Who’d have guessed it would be so?
The Wormwoods come to Buffalo!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Red Wolf Journal – Prompt #330: Change

 

NOBODY GETS WHAT THEY DESERVE

“…you can’t always get what you want,
but, if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”
~ Rolling Stones

What is the worth of a well-turned phrase,
a line full of meter and rhyme?
How do you value a passage of prose,
a moment’s depiction in time?

What is the cost of a sentence or two
that rolls off the tongue so refined?
Is there a price to a word of advice
that sits in the back of your mind?

To live for today, there’s a price that we pay,
that is just “what the market will bear,”
we all set the value for our wants and needs
whether it’s fair or unfair.

We have some set notion of our own worth
commensurate to our dexterity,
and we sometimes feel slighted when the things that we write
get lost in our search for some clarity.

So, how is it as poets that we set the bar
to get the respect that we crave?
We beg and we plead for someone to just read
and accept in our minds that we’re “saved”.

But that phone seldom rings extolling the things
we offer the world, full of pride,
opportunity knocks rarely, we’re hanging on barely
and pent up our emotions inside.

So we just keep on writing while ideas are fighting
to be the next thought that inspires,
and use that spark to flame our muse,
to kindle our poetic fires.

We post our submissions with our kind permission
for those of our ilk to admire,
we bolster each other, poet sister and brother,
and encouragement is what stokes our pyre.

And so it is true this thing that we do
won’t always “pay” what we plead,
we will still plug away and pray for the day
and work hard to get just what we “need”. Continue reading “NOBODY GETS WHAT THEY DESERVE”

OF FREEDOM

Courage allows for our ethics to remain strong;
an idealism that is the antithesis
of what the common perception is.
A sense of decency and decorum.
A truth based in knowledge,
of good will, not bad faith.
Our punishment is the loss of freedom.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

dVerse Poets Pub – Quadrille #40: FREE

SEVENLING (OUR HEARTS GO OUT)

Our hearts go out to the victims of destruction
knowing reconstruction will be long and hard.
Our hearts are heavy for the losses they encounter.

We can offer our thoughts and prayers
We can give financial assistance.
but no amount of resistance will let us

ever forget, we are all in God’s hands

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poems of Garden Gnomes – Form Friday: Sevenling

JOBS WEAR NO COLLARS

Eager to Create Blue-Collar Jobs, a Small Business Struggles

I love to work.
But, it is always work.
Hard, demeaning,
satisfying, trying,
seemingly endless.
Cutting like a hot knife
through spoiled cheese;
stinking to high heaven.
I’m thinking about how my father
would come home from his clerk
position at the steel plant roll shop.
Yet, I can’t recall if his collar was
white, or blue or chartreuse,
(there’s no use thinking too deeply)
All I knew is we were never without,
food, or clothing or shelter
from his sometimes helter-skelter inebriation.
This was our life station. Children
of a once-steel town. Not down on our luck,
just lucky to be. We could see up from there
and that became our fervent goal,
to leave my heart and soul to the hometown
and expecting to escape with the rest of me intact!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Quickly 9/5/17 – Write Hard

Poems of Garden Gnomes – Getting to Work

RED SAILS AND SUNSETS

Broad brush strokes of Alizarin Crimson and amaranth, American Beauty Rose is a miss that lusters like a ruby in the noonday sun. Auburn tinted leaves leave little to imagine, but the grin that spreads from ear to ear is clear. Brick and mortar are not built for speed, indeed they are solid; a structured foundation upon which lives are constructed. We’ve tucked our collars up and the skies remain changeable. Unstable weather not withstanding, Fall is handing us a sneak peek at the peak of the season. There is no reason to stay sequestered, it has festered for as long as you’ve been marooned. Soon the Cardinal will perch on barren branches and the chances are slim that Winter will delay.

All fruited hints of a tint so rusty; ruddy and bloody replacing candy apple and cherry, (although grapes make great claret; burgundy) and we see the sun diminish at the finish of day. Unfurled, our canvas sways and stays billowed like a skyward pillow capturing the breath of Him. Scarlet spinnaker shadowed in silhouette, you have yet to pull anchor, thankful for this moment.

A descending sun
back-lighting the horizon,
transitions to fall.

© Walter J Wojtanik

dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday: Komorebi

DRAWN TO THE WATER

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky  ~John Masefield from “Sea Fever”

I am drawn to the water,
a sanctuary dank and deep,
where Neptune’s sleep is unsullied
and tranquil. I will go there

where a sailor’s son should roam,
a second home for a weary traveler,
a reveler in life’s safe harbour.
Looking towards horizons and distant

places, of  foreign faces that grace these places
and dreams of adventure of which there are many.
Anyone who is so drawn is a son of the sea,
a welcomed one who is asked but one thing,

“What will you bring to the sea?”
for treasures that abound are found deep within,
and in their discovery we find ourselves.
I am ever-drawn to the water

a sanctuary dank and deep,
where the son of a sailor finds eternal sleep.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – Prompt #408: Second Home

Sea Fever

 I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

SAPPHIC STANZA IN POLISH POETRY

Through my heritage I’ve come to find myself.
There is no book here that sits upon my shelf,
it was tradition through which I have been found.
It’s been handed down.

Many customs come from our Old Country home,
brought to bear here where my grandparents had come.
Assimilated and fated to be free
in their new country.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides – Prompt #408: Second Home

** I’ve been searching for a poetic form that could be considered “Polish” in nature. Apparently many classic Polish poets have adopted the Sapphic Stanza which contains four line with syllabic counts of 11(5+6), 11(5+6), 11(5+6), 5 and a rhyme scheme of a, a, b, b. Variations and further analysis can be found here.