HOW IT BEGAN

A51A556C-4545-485C-94B5-FBF80C434058They were young.
Correction: She was young,
he was her senior by eight years.
But amid the fear and trepidation,
she found her station by his side.

His pride was showing
and she was knowing he loved her.
They dated and waited and “hated”
the nay Sayers who indeed said “nay”.
Yet, they remain together ‘til this day.

But early on, they did struggle.
And holidays and celebrations
were feted with a kiss and embrace
and a promise of better things
when things got better.

The first Valentine’s Day
he put pen to page and this sage
with his wonderful words
wrote her a “card”. It wasn’t that hard.
He rendered a heart to start,

and within its borders, this hoarder
of secret poetic ponderings
had her wondering where this beauty
resided. For he had hidden it deeply,
keeping his embarrassment in check.

But what the heck, he folded the paper,
his caper awaiting completion.
His fear of exposing his heart
even to one so true, would have you think
he was unsure of his words and of her.

But, he watched as she read the verse,
and counted the steams that flowed
down her cheeks to collect on her chin.
That’s how it would begin.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and cried.

As much as he had tried to deny his muse,
She was at last glad he would choose
to reveal his heart. That’s where is would start.
The following year he erred greatly,
for things had gotten better lately.

For Valentine’s Day he bought her a card.
It wasn’t that hard to plunk down money
all for his Honey’s pleasure; a treasure she’d love.
She didn’t. It upset her; he had let her down.
He could tell by her frown he had mistaken.

It had taken a turn and he would yearn
to know the reason she thought he had committed treason.
His hand-made card was rather crude and plain,
it had ink stains and smudges that he fudged
to try to fix. But as it was, it endeared him to her.

There was more heart and soul in its simplicity,
it brought electricity to her being, and seeing
the perfectly embossed placard that was
the hallmark of all such things, did not
bring her joy. Her boy made a promise.

For their lifetime, he would draw and rhyme
in his one-of-a-kind way. And I still do to this day.
Every Valentine, Anniversary, Mother’s Day
and Birthday, (even an occasional Earth Day card)
came in my hand from my heart. That’s where it would start.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #427 – Valentine’s Day

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INFARCTION

It’s been a rough road;
I’m told that’s how the ball bounces.
Life is a strange frenzy,
and in the end we settle

our wayward hearts

to fall in love all over again.
The results are sublime;
to channel life;

a dedicated heart “attack”.

Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

dVerse Poets Pub – Quadrille #48 – Bounce (Whimsygizmo)

 

DOWN THE AISLE ON CLOUD NINE

It was cold, darn cold.
And the Snows of Kilimanjaro
found Buffalo at home.
Everyone dressed to the nines
and tens and then it hit me,
today the training wheels
come off for real. Here’s the deal –
my daughter was getting married.
I had carried her when she was small,
but all down the long aisle I couldn’t help
but smile (and shed a tear or a hundred)
and we “carried” each other in our walk
that I wished lasted longer. A last kiss
and this Miss became a wife.
I’ve awaited/dreaded this moment
all my life and now this boy sheds tears
of joy. My beauty and her handsome man
stand astride and cannot hide their love.
Blessed from above in a married swoon,
we will not soon touch ground for a while.
And we continue to smile.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides – Prompt #420: Elevated poem

I ONCE DREAMED ABOUT ANDREA MEETING HER GRANDMOTHER

A DREAM MEETING
A DREAM MEETING

My daughters are my pride and joy. I got just what I wanted; I never “wished” for boys. As different as night and day, they both have a way of working Daddy around their finger. The feeling lingers. Melissa holds a seven-year advantage, in time spent and shared. There were many a glad moment when she “met” her grandmother, my mother, spending her last nine months together. But as short lived, they were moments I cherish in my heart. The part that staggers me and saddens this old Dad’s demeanor was that my youngest daughter Andrea had never known her grandmother. I have no doubt that Andrea would have had Mom’s special favor. She has Mom’s smile.

I recently dreamed about Andrea meeting her grandmother. Any other dream would have faded quickly in the early morning light. But this dream had the feeling so real that I could feel Mom’s gentle hand leading me through the mystic midnight vision playing in my sleep filled mind. For thirty-one years she’s been gone, but ever-hopeful, this “one more day” played like it was video taped for posterity. The sincerity of Mom’s smile while she embraced our baby – fully grown and who has only “known” grandma by photos and oft-told memories which she had come to cherish as much as we had in making them. But, there they were a generation removed and settled into the groove that should have had the chance to flourish. It would have nourished both hearts in the lifetimes they would have known. Cuddled close conversing about futures planned and wisdom handed down; secrets shared between two of my favorite “girls”. But all nights do end and dreams do sometimes find conclusion. One final photo, a keepsake to take to my waking moments and beyond. In my dream, my daughter found her missing peace!

It warms my heart, but saddens me that on Andrea’s fast approaching big day Mom an only be there in spirit. But I am assure by the memories of that dream that will be beaming my with such love and pride. Another of her “babies” makes that step fully into adulthood. That shared smile will rule the day!

Daughters find their way
even in dreams they can feel
moments in their heart.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2017

THE ONE THAT STARTED IT ALL – I AM SANTA CLAUS

IN THE BOTTOM OF MY BAG

The wind blows cold
and whips the frosted breath
across my frozen cheeks.
I stand abreast my steel railed chariot

beneath the Northern Lights,
I listen to the sound of the
antlered behemoths pounding
a rhythm that drives my determination.

Midnight.
My trek begins,
rising to heights that until now were
unreachable. Unfathomable.

The wind no longer burns my face.
It soothes and comforts and fills my heart
with this love I have known my entire life.
With each bound I leave the desire

of all below. Rapid as night
my chore is ventured.
From village to town to city.
Each stop is a step closer

to my final destination.
For deep in the bottom of my bag
is a wisp of a frozen sigh.
It bears the name of you.

I slide down with my treasure in hand,
tip-toeing across the floor
to the side of your bed.
I warm the wisp with

the hotness of my breath.
I place it on your lips.
The warmth of a breath,
a wisp of a sigh.

A kiss from a love so true
brought to you on this Christmas.
I am filled with the joy of the season.
My bag is empty, my journey is done.

I am Santa Claus.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik

– Written on 29 May 2009 for the love of my life, my forever wife, Janice. (Although she’s not fully convinced that I Am Santa Claus.)

SEPIA: THE COLOR OF MEMORY

Left behind.
After all that have gone before.
A box.
No one left to claim the contents,
so it becomes mine.

Scraps and relics of foregone places,
tug on my mind for the slightest traces
of remembrance.
Remnants of vaguely familiar people
who caused me to be.
Reminders of the way
things came about in my history.

The past revisited
in fond recollection.
I study the faces
and strain for a mention
of a name. Many are unknown
and will remain so.
But, in the myriad of this photographic
patchwork I find a common thread,
which binds this present
to those long agos.

Sepia.
This sepia tone
is the trigger that fires these synaptic
glimpses at who I have become
and of the people who “brought” me to this place.

Sepia is the color of memory.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 30: Back in the Day

FATHER OF THE BRIDE

The days dwindle down,
and this half smile/half frown
has been lacing my face of late.
It is great that I get to escort my girl
down the aisle to change her world
and that of her chosen mister.
Her sister stands as matron of honor,
and on her sleeve she wears the heart
of her mother where no other can reside.
Me and the bride, side by side for a brief while
longer. The emotions get stronger and the frown
is internal, this infernal feeling that she is stealing away
to play wife to the joy of her life. But that smile
takes over as I hand her over knowing her young man
made the right choice and the voice in my head
says what I need it to say. “She’s on her way!”
Way to go, Dad!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 27: _____ OF _____

DEAR JOHN (YOU’RE NO LONGER WANTED)

You’ve been dispatched,
snatched from the jaws of romantic victory.
But you could see the writing on the wall,
you’ve taken a fall most precarious,
and she was serious with her missive.
You’ve been dismissed,
given the big kiss-off. You scoff
but know your indignation was born
of your stagnation. You floundered,
rounded third and were thrown out at home.
You saw it coming, it had been drumming
on your nerves and that curve ball blew past you.
You’re finished. You’re through. She’s moved on,
so should you! Send packing, lacking any reason.
Her love’s been recanted, dear John.
You’re no longer wanted.
Hit the road, Jack!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Quickly – Make it easy on yourself

Based on:

POEM STARTING WITH A LINE BY ROD McKUEN

thank you
for kissing me in the elevator last night.

two strangers passing as ships
      different floors…
           different mores…

over your shoulder
reaching to press

         your scent: fragrant

lips vagrantly brushing
      eyes searching
           cheeks flushing/blushing

lips meeting fully
     no greeting exchanged.

i didn’t even catch your name!

© Walter J Wojtanik

– The first line was taken from Rod McKuen’s poem, “Another Thank You”
from his collection “Twelve Years of Christmas”

Poetic Asides – Prompt #414: Connection

SHE INTOXICATES

“Take your baby by the wrist
And in her mouth, an amethyst
And in her eyes, two sapphires blue
And you need her and she needs you
And you need her and she needs you.”

~‘Dance Hall Days’ Lyric – Wang Chung

She stirs your longing,
an incantation, your libation
sipped and savored
flavored by the grape
and sharing its purple hue.
You become inebriate
as you wait for her effect to fade
and you’ve made your vow
as to how to even sober up
from your love filled stupor.
Or if you even wish to.
So you await her last call, all you know
is that she has become your addiction;
your heart’s true affliction.
Your dereliction is complete,
And your heart repeats, you need her
and she needs you.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics: This One’s For You

The lyric contains amethyst which is my birthstone. The Greeks believed amethyst kept you from becoming inebriated.