NINE MINUTES

You come and stay for hours,
amidst the psychedelic flowers
and impossible scenarios.
Running past streets and barrios
with Joses and Marios, looking
for solace in a nightful of frightful
turns and plot twists. You’ve wished you
can finish a complete thought,
but your REM cycle keeps running out of gas.
In the foggy distance, a wail. It never fails.
It seems just when you get
to the good part of your dreams you have to depart,
trying to restart every nine minutes for an hour
until your snooze alarm comes back to call.

SAPPHIC STANZA W POEZJI POLSKIEJ

Przez moje dziedzictwo przyszedłem się znaleźć.
Nie ma tu książki, która siedzi na mojej półce,
To była tradycja, przez którą zostałem znaleziony.
Został przekazany.

Wiele zwyczajów pochodzi z naszego starego kraju,
Przynosiło to miejsce, gdzie przychodzili moi dziadkowie.
Oswojona i przeznaczona do wolności
W nowym kraju.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

An attempt at the Polish translation of my “Sapphic Stanza In Polish Poetry”

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

** 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.

TOYS IN THE ATTIC

In a melancholy mood…
The brood is dwindling
and what remains is kindling
for my mind. Among a myriad
of minutia I find memories,
things my daughters possessed
and left behind. Our nest will rest
on “E”, and come December,
I will be hard pressed to remember
whose toys were whose. I choose to recall
all the joy my children had,
and they seemed glad to have
what they did. No longer kids
but adults on the cusp of their own dreams.
It seems I get laced in nostalgia
as neuralgia settles in. It would be a sin
to let these things go to waste.
It’s time for other young ones
to taste the joy of each of these toys
my daughters left behind. I find
the memories take up less space
and yet fill my heart so much more.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

NEW AND IMPROVED

I’m doing great!
I’ve lost some weight
and of late I’m finding my mojo again.
It hasn’t been easy (but then)
nobody said it would be.
I’m still the same old me,
only better. I’m back
to not sweating the small stuff.
It’s enough that I sweat
at all. Everything is small stuff.
I’m far from buff, but don’t
slough me off for trying.
I’m relying on my health
to be the wealth of me.
I am firmly in the groove,
not so new, but improved!

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides Prompt #389 – Improvement

THE RIVER RUNS

And it goes on and on, oh, watching the river run,
Further and further from things that we’ve done,
Leaving them one by one.
And we have just begun watching the river run.
Listening and learning and yearning.
Run, river, run.

~ “Watching the River Run” –  Lyric by Kenny Loggins

Life is a river.
Cut into the world
swirled through valley
and dale; pastures
and disasters; ever-flowing.
Going along between the banks,
charted. Finding a fissure,
it branches and chances
to break free, new adventures
to explore. Going on and on.
Leaving our past on a fast
current; leaving memories
in our wake. Forsaking all else,
Watch how it goes.
Watch how it flows. Listening
and yearning to learn all we can.
Life goes on
Run, river, run!

© Walter J. Wojtanik

dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics: The River

 

OUT IN FRONT

Out in front
there’s a rickety porch,
rough hewn timbers with tree bark
still clinging to their fibrous skeletons.
Rocking chairs and a stump table;
shavings from a whittled branch
strewn about the weathered floor boards.

Out in front
there’s a tree; tall and stately,
a monument to the longevity apparent
since it was planted, a feeble sapling
much like himself – thin, gangly and weak.
It speaks of perseverance and dedication –
fulfilling its station to mark time and grow.

Out in front
near the tree, there’s a lake…
a pond, really. Reeds and lily pads
defining its edge. Sounds of crickets and croaks
of bullfrogs, cicada whines reverberate in the late
afternoon. Soon their sounds will be silenced
as the seasonal change lumbers into the valley.

Out in front
is a tire dangling, a rope looped over a branch
of the stately tree. Dirt dug out, a furrow where feet
dragging and kicking kept sticking the ground
with a new found ferocity. Gaining in height and velocity,
the children take turns launching, airborne to land
in a heap with a thud; sometimes blood appears, the poor dears.

Out in front
a wagon waits; flatbed secured, a hitch holding tightly.
On a brightly hued morning, and without much in the way
of a warning, grandfather had passed. The town folk amassed
in respect; paying forward what had come around on occasion.
Sadly in procession, he was carried from the house – a finality.
Placed upon the caisson, a solemn silence ensued.

Out in front
the porch remained; rockers swaying in the stiffness of a late breeze.
Birds nested in the tree and the pond continued with activity
and the sounds of life. No one sat on the pendulous tire as it
swung hypnotic. The front door was ajar, but it was in exit,
not as an invitation to enter. Out in back the fields had grown
unruly and left to sit fallow. But, out in front a good fellow has gone.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Offered at dVerse Poets Pub – MTB: Impressionism

AS LONG AS YOU REMAIN

As long as you remain in my heart,
you are never gone. You are
the one who has brightened my days
always and in all ways.

I can never miss you.
You are never gone. You are
what a smile is to a bad day
always and in all ways.

I hold you here where my heart resides
deep inside, you are never gone.
You are the one that had become
a habit I couldn’t break. It would take

as long to purge you from that place
as it would take to traverse space
and come back here safe and sound. I have found
the seed you had planted continues to blossom.

No gloom befalls me. You enthrall me
as you always have, all way and forever.
You are never gone, as long as I breathe.
I believe in the joy of you! It’s true.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides Prompt #388 – As _____ as _____

THE COMET

The Comet
Photo by M. Cusimano

For obvious reasons, it was called “The Comet”
since riding on her would cause you to vomit.
A high-rolling streak of yellow and green
would make you take notice when it was seen.
A wooden behemoth, one of the last of her kind,
this old roller coaster was my very “first time”.
On the Lake Erie shoreline of Crystal Beach Park
in Ontario, Canada. I rode on a lark.
A field trip from school had provided the occasion
that brought our young group to this Canadian station.
I eyed her from a distance, she held no allure,
she beckoned me softly, that son-of-a-cur.
But I just wasn’t biting, I don’t roller coast,
if I even got on her, I’d surely be toast.
I had that thing beat I was filled with elation,
I was proudly avoiding a bad situation.

Enter the girl. Her name was Terry.
She didn’t think coasters were the least bit scary.
She glanced to the top of this treacherous slide
then looking my way she asked, “Go for a ride?”
My plan had been thwarted, I started to panic,
I’d have much better luck going down on Titanic.
But, machismo kicked in and it said without shrinking
“Sure”, as my brain screamed “What the HELL are you thinking?”
So we stood in the line for the cars to come ’round,
(or we stood in the queue, if you’re true to the “Crown”)
And often she’d smile every time she would glance
while I stood there quietly crapping my pants.
We boarded the car, strapped the belt, crashed the bar,
as the pulley grabbed hold of the very first car.
Clack, Clack, Clack, Clack, the Comet did rattle,
we were just half way up, this was purely a battle.
Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, she came to a stop,
Perched ever proudly at the very tip-top.

And then it happened. The pulley released.
(This was the part that I liked in the least.)
With her arms in the air, Terry gave out a scream,
which was just louder than mine (if you know what I mean).
It looped and it turned as it made a few passes.
And at the top of the next drop, I lost my glasses.
My mother would kill me, and besides, I can’t see.
And she was having the best time there could be.
I almost lost lunch as I tightened the strap,
and by some crazy miracle, the specs dropped in my lap.
The ride came to an end and Screaming Terry turned meek,
and she leaned up and planted a kiss on my cheek.
But just as it seemed I had made a new friend,
she said, “That was fun, let’s go do it again”.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

dVerse Poets Pub – Amuse me! Take me for a ride!

SIXTY-ONE MILES YOUNG

Every year is a fork in the road.
You swear you don’t feel old,
but your feet are tread worn
and you’d have sworn
you had more gas in the tank.
You have gravity to thank,
or Karma,
or “Big Pharma”
for getting you this far.
Were you a car they’d have
traded you in for a sleek,
and speedy thing, but it would be
a greedy thing to make material
things your sole desire.
There’s still a fire in the hearth
and nowhere on earth you’d rather be
than the road you’re currently on.
Your GPS is gone and your drive
is just staying alive and avoiding
any more detours along your journey.
And you yearn for just one more
mile to make you smile (and go
in style) while on the way!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017