“…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”



That’s right, Clarence!
Try living in the moment
instead of imagining what your life
would be like if it never happened.

Think of:
The people we’ve influenced.
The people we’ve saved.
The people we’ve loved.

Imagine them:
Being failures for lack of us.
Being lost for lack of us.
Being alone for lack of us.

For in the darkest of times,
there is a light that perpetually shines;
a beacon that brightens your world
and illuminates your life.

That is the light of  friendship,
the beacon of possibility.
A chance to “lasso the moon”
with the love and support of friends.

Friends who believe in you and
gather around you in your moment of doubt.
It’s that realization that makes you
know you’re alive. Makes you shout

“I want to live!” It is
your revelation. It is your epiphany.
Your “George Bailey” moment.
For nobody is worthless who has friends.

And you come to find
it’s a wonderful life!
That’s right, Clarence!
That’s right!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides 2016 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 4: An Imagined Life


Incessant memories pervade
as I wade through this life
searching for an identity
I can claim as my own. Sown
and nurtured are my poetic seeds,
and yet I get no satisfaction from
their lack of flourishing;
not nourishing my heart like
I was used to having.
But all these thoughts must be written
I have been bitten by the bug,
a hearty shrug and a hope
that a smitten poet can regain his passion.
The heart is willing; the wile is weak.


1.)Phase One – Losing Myself
Rev up the Delorean, I’m going back. We all have that defining moment, pointed and prescient that had set our course. The forces of nature were strong and one wrong turn could have sent me reeling. I have a feeling it did.
My temerity was the social end of me, for as far as I can see, High School defined that moment in time, where I had let the ball drop.Not regret per se, but sadness now for those would have, should have, and could have moments so fleeting. Those errors of omission were well hidden in my condition from which I’ve been extricated. Celebrated now for my abilities to see things, and write things and expose things about me that without, would not be me. Debilitating was this fear to connect, rejection not something I handled well, or handled at all. So my fall from grace saved me from the disgrace of “embarrassing” myself by letting loose and living my life.
The perpetual lost boy languished in Neverland.
2.) Phase Two – Righting the Ship

Looky, looky, there goes Hooky!
The ribald Captain has been dispatched with a swift kick in his steering mechanism. A discovery, a long time in the making has taken a stand as well as command of my journey; a life’s worth of yearning for solid footing and a direction much easier to navigate than blindly following burned out novas in the cosmos of my mind. For in the stars, paths that crossed each other unnoticed have found a circuitous path to intersect once again.
Older now, more aware of selves and of this moment and what lead each to move to embrace it. In the kindling of a reborn kinship, acquaintances long removed and left unseen, find a connection that closes unsure circles, and opens the world to new adventures. Both stand, with eyes open like the wide-eyes kids we were when we began. A familiarity which neither knew, comes through to ground us as the friends we never realized we were.
The gathering of spirits once left to roam those hallowed halls has stepped back to touch base and begin anew, assuring us of the fact that yes, you can go home again.


She stood in the shadows
and watched life go by,
her clothes all disheveled,
thread worn and dirty,
Left to her defenses
to struggle; survive,
abandoned by a world that
deemed her unworthy.
Who did she think she was anyway?
She was a child of God in her mind,
but that thought had escaped
her in down trodden times.
How could He have left
her here all alone? How could she
find her way back to her home?
She by no means was worthless,
this kid knew her stuff, but ability
alone was in fact not enough,
she hadn’t the drive to
be all that she could.
She hadn’t the faith to
believe that she would,
she just saw herself
as an extension of him,
he just kept her down, and
for some reason she let him,
only to find herself here in this place.
What to do, what to do,
how to vacate this space?
And as she sat there and
questioned her worth,
The clouds slowly parted and a light
filled her berth showing
the realm of true possibility,
a perfect venue for her ability,
and all she need do is
truly believe, that she had it all,
she had what she’d need
to rise from these shadows
and walk where life’s trod,
realizing that this gift from God,
this epiphany that her value
was priceless and her strength
was her faith and by that
she’d suffice. Yes, she IS
that child of God so assumed,
an un-nurtured blossom
that by Love’s light did bloom.
She found her life’s calling,
she knew what she’d need,
it was not based on her wanting;
her greed, it was based on the love
she had found for herself,
a worth more than gold,
a personal wealth and a vow
that she’d never be swept
from her berth, for she was a person
Of principle, value and worth.


Go to bed, you maniac,
you over-tired insomniac,

your bloodshot eyes are really red,
get off the couch and go to bed.

The sleep disorders you’ve acquired
mess with you when you get tired.

Nearly nodding as you sit
in your narcoleptic fit,

anytime and anywhere
you can sleep, you just don’t care,

but indeed, you start to nod.
For about five minutes, but it’s odd

when your disruptive sleep apnea,
takes the breath right out of ya.

In company, you are a bore,
then you nod to nap, and snore,

loud enough to wake the dead
and blast the pillows from your bed,

causing you to lie awake
as your RLS makes your legs quake.

Sleep is an elusive prize
when gravity affects your eyes

from wide awake, to fast asleep
you lay in an exhausted heap,

Praying for a solid night
to sleep until dawns early light.

But alas, you know the scene,
you won’t fall asleep to dream,

you’ll just start to toss and turn
and stay awake ‘til your eyes burn,

So go to bed, insomniac,
You over-tired maniac.

You don’t believe in taking pills,
to subjugate your slumber ills.

No one’s worth you losing sleep,
close your eyes, try counting sheep.


They say that each of us has a price,
of that we can be sure,
quick to offer some advice
as if it were the cure.
And when we’re feeling not ourselves
and mired in self-doubt,
think about the things you have,
and you’ll have it figured out.
We truly have a value,
Every gal and guy,
which pays our way to live each day,
the best life cash can buy.
We’re all somebody’s someone,
we have so much to give,
we pay our “bill”, and give our thrill,
we nurture and forgive.
In the scheme of God’s grand puzzle
we are that “missing piece”,
we fill the void up with our gift,
which gives us a new lease.
If you are a wiz with wood,
some baker breaking bread,
an alchemist with a heart of gold,
(which yesterday was lead)
A parent with an open ear
and a heart that matches that,
A friend indeed to a friend in need,
or the clean up guy at bat,
a writer with a way with words,
or Amish butter churner,
a teacher who devotes their time
to a struggling young learner,
we, all of us carry so much weight,
our value surely something,
and give it back to all humankind,
for no body is worth nothing.


Not a used to was,
more of an ain’t been yet.
The promise of potential
in a mysterious package.
You’ve given your heart and soul;
taken your lumps for the team.
All you wanted was a shot,
and this is how they repay you.
You’ve just been traded
for THAT guy.
What’s his name?
What’s his face?
Is he any good?
Who knows?
But he’ll be getting your spot
in a year or two.
You don’t deserve this.
There ain’t nobody worth
that player to be named later.
You’re more valuable than that.