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

BE – AN EPIPHANY

The lesson becomes this. You learn by living. And you hope you’re allowed to apply all of these lessons before your living ends. The nest is vacated as of late, not quite empty but that’s just semantics. The girls have ostensibly evacuated, leaving my wife and me to “fend for ourselves”. We do OK. I cook. She cleans. I repair and remodel. She washes and gardens. I nocturnally smash my head into furniture; she resumes a battle against her dreadful afflictions. But, we do OK. The battles used to be shared. We were mutual combatants in a strained union, dancing precariously on the precipice of a bottomless free-fall. Somehow, the feet always seemed to avoid that finality. You come to be a student of your own mistakes, taking what you can salvage and leaving the unnecessary flotsam for the plankton. The fate has been tickled and in the thick of it, remains our sanity. So we chose to dance; to cling to a life for the prescribed better or worse and try to nurse this wounded beast back to health (or some semblance thereof!) We had gotten into the habit of letting life slip by. But, our new discoveries dictate that if you do that long enough, you die without living (learning the lessons). That needed to be remedied. After all, I repair and remodel, so fixing covers it.

The truth lies in this lesson: love, deserved respect, and forgiveness all seem to be equally important. These make a life well lived. I had lost sight of the importance of the life I had been given. I tried to strive for “poetic perfection”, bucking the system; thinking myself above the “flock”. I went on this journey to find a “higher plane”, without realizing “I had already arrived”. The time wasted trying to honor and glorify my abilities, skewed my sense of priority; it almost destroyed me. I became what I had always been, a small grain of sand on a vast lake shore, a speck in the early evening sky.

My wife and I had come to find something we had lost or forgotten a while back: love, respect and forgiveness. And in the tenderness and embrace of this moment, I fell in love with my wife all over again! And the lesson becomes this. You learn by living. And you hope you’re allowed to apply all of these lessons before your living ends. Whatever happens in this life, that moment belongs to us.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Offered at dVerse Poets Pub – MTB: Prose Poetry

IF I ONLY THOUGHT LOVE WAS ENOUGH

If I only thought love was the answer,
If I only thought words were enough,
If I only thought “I’m Sorry” would ease all your pain
I’d say it again, and again, and again.

If I only thought hearts wouldn’t crumble,
If I only thought those tears were the balm.
If I only thought my heart could absorb all your pain
I’d do it again, and again, and again.

If I only thought a mind could find solace,
If I only thought a soul could find peace.
If I only thought a reason could truly explain
I’d tell you again, and again, and again.

If I only thought you knew how I love you,
If I only thought love was enough.
If only I’d tell you again and again,
these moments wouldn’t be so tough.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

dVerse Poets Pub – MTB: Critique and Craft

 

ANGEL VOICES AT DAWNING

I hear it gently,
and I mentally
take note of the lilting song.
Angel voices sing
the soundtrack of Spring.
Their chorus is loud and strong.

Morning brings their sound,
and it is around
dawn’s first light that I hear it.
A poet’s heart sees
the living beauty
within euphonic spirit.

I begin each day
the exact same way.
I am thankful for this gift.
My whispered prayer
rises through the air;
as their harmonies uplift.

 

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Presented at dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting The Bar: Alouette

PREAMBLE TO AFTERMATH

The rebellion continues.
The Warrior” stands petulant, defiant;
reliant to emerge from his self-imposed exile.
Rising from the ruins;
billows of smoke amidst the staccato drone of distant sirens.
He has the dubious distinction of surviving the conflagration
with nothing more than a minor scar from a metallic dart.
It all starts with the turn of a latch and an igniting of fuses.
All hell breaks loose in blooms of fire; the resound of incendiary explosions.
You march into the breech and beseech the gods for mercy.
But, it will only come when the end is near,
and you’ve only just begun!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting the Bar: Futuristic Revolution

BOB DYLAN THOMAS

Do not think twice because it’s alright,
Sad eyed lady standing in the rain;
Lay lady, lay in your blue gown at night.

I’ve been gone far too long from your sight,
Here with the Memphis blues again
Do not think twice because it’s alright,

I miss home, a hurricane still full of fight,
Knock, knocking on heavens door, my friend,
Lay lady, lay in your blue gown at night.

Stuck inside of Mobile, far from sight,
A hard rain’s gonna fall, Zimmerman!
Do not think twice because it’s alright.

Brave men, lovesick and blue, too uptight,
find the right to love just like a woman,
Lay lady, lay in your blue gown at night.

Along the watchtower the question is right
The answer is blowing in the wind
Do not think twice because it’s alright,
Lay lady, lay in your blue gown at night.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

dVerse Poets Pub – MTB: Bob Dylan

The words of Bob Dylan written as Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

 

HOMESICK BLUES

A hard rain’s gonna fall, and all I can think of
is my sad eyed lady of the lowlands.
A rainy day woman, she stands
down in the flood watching
the river flow. The current is strong
and I’ve been gone far too long;
bound with cold irons. I miss home.
And if I gotta serve somebody, it may as well
be her. I’d been stuck inside of Mobile
with the Memphis blues again.
I shall be released and I’ll be knocking
on heaven’s door; her blue nightgown
tangled at our feet. No longer love sick.
Memories thick and windblown, she’s shown
she can love just like a woman. Lay lady.
Lay with the pent up passion of the
hurricane within. Don’t have second thoughts.
It’s alright. It’s a changing world
I have resurfaced; have a purpose.
Your rolling stone has come home.
(C) Walter J Wojtanik- 2016
Based on the songs of Bob Dylan
dVerse Poets Pub – MTB: Bob Dylan

SHE LIKES MANY CLOCKS (THE MANY FACES OF CLOCKS)

1.

She makes time
for the time she has,
should she run out
she’ll wind herself up,
minute by minute!

2.

How many faces can she see?
How much time will she need?
It isn’t continuum greed!
The lady loves clocks.
They knock her socks off!

3.

Digital is all I command.
I can’t stand analog any longer.
The time is stronger in the dark.

4.

Three in the bedroom,
five in the kitchen,
three in the living room,
and my daughter’s room,
and the computer room.
The bathroom has one
in the shape of a toilet seat.
A shower gift from an aunt.
She doesn’t have the heart
to part with it!

5.

Her internal clock
keeps me awake at night.
Right when I think
I’m on the brink of slumber,
she wakes up alarmed.
I sleep with one eye open.
I know it’s coming!

6.

Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?
~ Chicago

She cares about time.
Rarely ever late.
Great at punctuality.
Even with the fragility of life,
my wife is rarely late.
But, one day we will all be!

7.

Every hour on the hour,
our hours are ours.
Every waking minute
I’m taking stock in our
continuous clock.
Tick-Tock,
tick-tock,
tick

8.

Time is fleeting,
it is eating away our days.
If it stays in sync
I think we’ll be okay!

9.

Passing the time
in her company,
I’m finding my peace
in every numbered face I see.
Is it me or is number seventeen
running a bit slow?

10.

I make time
for the time she has,
should she run out
I’ll fall apart,
minute by minute!
There’s no disgrace
in losing face!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

dVerse Poets Pub – MTB: As a Cubist Poet

MARBLE, GRANITE AND STONE

I.
A stone
marks your presence,
yet the essence of you
lives within me.

II.
Memories and heart felt emotions
fill the corners of my rapturous soul.
Amidst these rows and rows of monuments,
of marble and granite.

III.
You are both remembered
long since you departed with pieces of my heart,
buried with you, as much as pieces of your lives
live within me.

IV.
I come to celebrate you,
feting each life as a part of me,
a solid foundation
upon which I was built.
The only guilt I bear
is not being there to tell you,
“I love you” often enough.

V.
Of granite and stone your time has been marked,
a stark reality to the soft and caring souls you were
in this life of love and wonder. Under this marker you lie;
deep within my heart you remain, an eternal blessing.

VI.
Rest comes shrouded in stone,
shadows of death left to languish,
grounded in seclusion; isolation.
Marked in granite,
planet Earth receives all that remains.
Spoils for the soil.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

dVerse Poets Pub – MTB: As a Cubist Poet

BRADYKINESIA

We know it’s killing you.
The mind is willing but you
aren’t getting the message.
Or you’re getting the message
but your legs can’t comprehend
as your brain frantically sends
you signals to move. But you’ve
lost some agility and the ability
to find your groove. Your frustration
has you shaken that it’s taking you
so long to do what used to come
without thinking. It seems you’re sinking
into a state of despair. You wouldn’t care,
but for someone who used to be
a mover and shaker, you just seem
to shake more than you did. You’ve hidden
it well, but we can now tell
you’ve been having problems. Your gait
is now a shuffle and you muffle a curse
under your breath. Life has you reeling
when you’re dealing with Parkinson’s!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

dVerse Poets Pub – MTB: The Reason For Rhyme