(or “What Makes a Life So Far?”)

My life can be encapsulated in eight words, each a breach of my confidence and vision. As I look at every tidbit, I’m hit with a bit of melancholy. It is rather akin to folly to think we escape this life unscathed becoming one of my own memories in the process. This body is not a temple, not a vessel of peace or righteousness. My best guess is that I am just a monkey in this three-ring circus called life.

As a boy I had flat feet and although I did not choose to wear orthopedic shoes, I had to anyway. I cracked a front tooth when I was 12 and before I turned thirteen, I cracked the other. My sense of fashion was retarded by my father’s lack of it. He looked bad in the gaudy plaids he’d wear, and I did equally due too his hideous hand-me-overs! I delivered papers for a while, serving to 200 addresses (or two dumpsters). How does a kid get blacklisted by the fourth estate? And yet I persevered and became enamored with words in this lavish rouse of poetic prowess. I guess I’ve done okay by it!

Every walk of life,
presents us with a vision.
We see where we‘ve been

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day #15: Use four or more of these words: FLAT, RING, LAVISH, VESSEL, PAPER, BLACKLIST, GAUDY, TOOTH.


I was a clumsy kid and I always hid in out of the way places. I could be found atop of the refrigerator… in the pigeon coop… under the front porch… I carried a “torch” for the girl next door (she was much older) all of four. We’d have walks in the pram holding hands and sleeping together (under the trees in the park.) I recall being afraid of the dark. I loved my mom and dad. I had a sister and two brothers (with others in my future.) I got skinned knees and sutures. Certainly a silent sort, never resorting to words then when a good hand gesture would suffice. It was a very nice life for me when I remember me at three.

My youth seems to play
in the rafters of my mind,
finding comfort there.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016


A ramshackle cabin stuck in the sweeping hills, a hideaway of sorts. Not a resort by any stretch of any imagination. A destination for a few summers in the late sixties. “Cactus”, an old codger, the last bar stool at the local tavern; his place. His son, a friend of Dad’s invited. Bring the boys to fish and swim and hike in the hills.

The lake water was murky, the catfish were ugly and the incline was so steep it hurt your feet to think of venturing upward. Yet, we had a ball. The men folk drank and “stank” to high heaven. The boys pitched our tents and had adventures. The stars and moon illuminated and we were satiated on marshmallows and “Dogs”. Campfire and stories with all the gory details left in. Long gone, absorbed by sprawl, now a part of the ski resort that claimed her. Fond in memory, we had named her “Camp Cactus.”

Adventure filled us
with stories to tell, learning
where our hearts could lead.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik- 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #9: “Hideaway”


Breath and heartbeat.
Every new day is an event.
Hell bent on staying the course
with this life-force surging,
and purging every last bit of
fear and confusion; these intrusions
on a battered mind.
The lessons finally learned:
What matters, matters –
all else pales in comparison
in this garrison of vitality.
The reality of seemingly endless days
finds ways to enliven; given
to make these gifts a cause
to rejoice; a loud voice
in the wilderness, thankful
for all that has transpired.
As tired as it feels,
a good deal of these days now
are spent in praise of Being.
Seeing the forest AND the trees,
with knees to ground to pray.
This magnificence in relation.
Every new day – an elation;
a life spent in celebration.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

*Note: After fifty-six years in fermentation, the wine is finally reaching its peak!