I am a moody bastard. And my mood drives my every moment. It dictates my words. The poetry I choose to pen is as moody as I end up being. Let’s face it; I can be a hopeless romantic. Think two words. Hopeless. Romantic. I can park on a snarky moment and squeeze the life out of it. I love a good laugh, so any gaff in poetic parlance does a happy dance within me. I can be whatever I need to be. I am the why I write what I write. Drips of conceit, but not really. I have learned long ago that the right words will come at the right time. Any rhyme bears no resemblance to anyone but me. I try to emulate myself with every new waking day, seeing if I could surprise or shock myself.

The autumn of life
Paints with a vivid palette.
The growth of colors

© Walter J. Wojtanik

dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday: Why Do I Write What I Write?


INSPIRED (by Seuss, Nash, Silverstein and Prelutsky)


A pest is a pest
(as if you haven’t guessed)
A pest is a bothersome thing.
You try to avoid them
the more you’re annoyed.
But by some other name,
a pest’s still a pain!


The old children’s rhyme about stepping on a crack,
will just break your concentration.
Your mother’s back will survive such attacks,
she’ll avoid spinal cord devastation!


A gambler will ramble,
you can bet if you gamble,
but he’ll be no more humbler
were he a rumbler or tumbler.
(But, he might be a mumbler
if he does not play his cards right!)


If you pick up
a hiccup
you’l be stuck up
with the hiccups.
And a hiccup stick up is a crime!
But don’t get turned off
if you get a hiccough.
Except for the name
(one sounds like you’re sick)
they both sound the same.
(hic), (hic), (hic), (hic)…


From whence, dear prince,
did you get your wince?
Your expression looks rather painful.
I think ever since
I ate those bad mints
I had gone from quite plain to disdainful!


Who’s the buffoon
that hung the festoon?
It looks like a loon went and hung it.

Besides, it’s too soon
to drape the festoon,
so I tore it down and I flung it!

So under the moon,
laid our frazzled festoon,
if we had a sad tune, we’d have sung it!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Use these words: Pest, Crack, Ramble Hiccup, Wince, Festoon.


“Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself.”

~ Erich Fromm

A heartbeat strong and sure,
pure and unadulterated; slated for great things
if only he’d assume his gift and lift it heavenward.
Words become him, but he struggles,
his message is saturated; inundated with self-doubt.
Tucked away like a cocoon, a swoon
of outrageous proportions. He succumbs
to the demons in residence, brought about
by said doubt and deprivation; a degradation.
But, still within, a heart beats strong and sure.
Confidence in short supply, he relies on
what his soul regurgitates and spews onto paper and page.
Sage advice he had once read. Man’s purpose –
his only purpose is to re-invent who he was meant to be.
The darkness lurches as sporadic contractions push him,
his tunnel vision shrouded in a murky mire,
and as synapses start to fire he sees the light,
at the end of the tunnel he is blinded by brilliance.
A gentle slap to a lifeless muse brings a gasp,
and he grasps for pencil and pad; a poet reborn.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik

“Task” Poem



The poet was an astute observer;
“life under the microscope” he called it.
But he was burdened by his digression from morality,
the totality of his mindful meandering
stood to undermine his status.
Thoughts he held to renounce his position
began to become overbearing
leaving him despondent due to its gravity.
A brooding depravity would preclude
all decorum. It had rained down
to usurp all logic and decency.
Denial was the thread upon which
his partisan mind had been hung.
And there it swung, twisting in the wind.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April PAD – Day 14: Saying



The ink that flows is the milk of a million reminiscences,
released with every scratch across the page.
All sage words live within it, it is an extension
of my expression. All painful memories come
in torrents of her indigo flow. I can show you
my pain with each strain of her nib.
Give me a pen, and you’ve given me freedom!
For no soul can be sequestered when a writer
writes. Every sight they have seen is given in return
all in remittance for the gift of a fine pen!

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides PAD 2017 – Day 1: Reminiscence


I choose my words carefully
and I choose where I want to say them.
I say them in a way then, that will convey
everything I want, on any day I want them to.

This expressive fool
has chosen to drool over poetic verse
in the worst way, be they his words
or the things that others think to say.

I have found my authentic voice
in my choice of verbiage. No sage
with wise words can unschool me,
for my quirks and strange habits rule me

and I gaze with my poetic heart
at all that its eyes can see. To me,
that is what all poets might see in ways
that make sense to them. And then,

I will come to understand all that our craft
will demand of us. I will choose
the level of my commitment and be admittedly
as poetic as I want to be!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides Prompt #388 – As _____ as _____


In the present we stand, hand-in-hand for the cause of poetry.
Not quite sure what means to this end, but poets and friends
sharing in the hearth of majestic musings warm their hearts
with glowing expressions. Never at a loss for words
but sometimes a lot of effort goes unnoticed. The rhyme
stays within reason, for ’tis the season for all to write.

We would be well within our right
to seize the opportunity to delve into poetry,
giving proper respect to the relevant rhyme,
for what would sound more fitting between friends?
After all, we all craft with our own fine words
and hold the verse of others to our hearts.

For it is within the beating of said hearts
that we find the power in all that we write.
Poems flow from the manipulation of words,
and become the true essence of living poetry.
Inspiration expressed in the gathering of friends
all for the propagation of rapturous rhyme.

Not all find worth in the like sounding rhymes
preferring the freedom that liberates their hearts
in the form a verse that is as free. These, my friends,
are the choices that we as poets make. We are what we write.
It takes all kinds to write all forms of poetry,
but a true poet see the emotion woven into words.

Offer up your musings, for the communion of words
never ceases. Be they random or deliberate, rhymes
are the glue that holds together all our pieces. Poetry
is the literal music of our souls. It resides in every heartfelt
pang of passion and fashions itself into the right
moments of our lives as if they were comforting old friends.

What can we do to spread the scope of our beauty, friends?
Put the power of your opinion or your longing into words,
for it is within every woman and man’s right
to give the world exactly what we glean from our rhymes.
Poetry is a pulse. It is the syncopation of a loving heart.
And the living that we do, becomes our lifelong poetry.

Give poetry a chance, friends.
Leaving your heart in every word.
You have the time to rhyme; and all night to write it.


You gather words, amassing
a vocabulary surpassing
all the words you knew before.

Your nuance is pleasing
and your carpe is seizing,
before the diem gets off the floor.

You dally with forms,
in your poetic windstorm,
wondering what your words have in store.

For no matter the season,
your rhymes will have reason
and make you all warm to your core.

You’re a wordsmith and you know it,
and you love to [play] poet,
though your friends think that makes you a bore!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge Day 16 – Play __________


He reverts back to where he started,
now a ghost of his former self.
A crack had developed in his resolve,
and solving cryptic word puzzles
never allowed him to free his mind
in the ways he was used to.
His poetic hand was worn and tired
and he had retired from poemic pursuits.
But the new recruits didn’t know enough
to check his myriad of work.
A once “big deal” had gotten sick of lurking
in the shadows; he thought
he ought to get back to expressing
what his heart wrongly guessed was best left unsaid!
It was better to come back from the dead!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides Prompt #368: Six Little Words (ghost, crack, free,
hand, check, know)


There in stunted silence, the rube sits.
This solitary soul searching
the sites around him for a glimpse,
a fragmented fractal, upon which to
pose his imperfect pondering.
On the surface, a catatonic
cad, aloof and disinterested,
unaffected by life’s happenstance.
But below the layers of sinew
and fiber, there is a spark.
A speck of a spark in which
all the answers of life dwell.
It flits and dances in his soul,
it infects his longing heart,
it leaps boundlessly to his vacuous
cranium, this arena of thought,
where it has room to roam.
Bouncing from synapse to
neuron and back,
expanding disproportionately
to the importance it assumes
but oh, the wonder it beholds.
Inside this infantile ember
there exists an avalanche
of ideas that simmer for the moment,
and have smoldered for all
of his lifetime.
Romantic ruminations of a
love lost or a soul mate found,
ridiculous rhymes of a playful tone,
tactile meandering of a verbal nature,
all abiding in his treasure chest of intellect.
He shifts in his seat, our
spellbound simpleton, this
multi-syllabic snake charmer,
as a tendril of thought comes
a bit too close to that glowing
epicenter of expression. They merge,
taking on a life all its own
to flail unencumbered, this
cerebral conflagration
burning brightly.
Extracting a pen, he jots three words
on the back of his left hand,
an apparent reminder of whatever
bit of brilliance just entered his mind.
Gathering together his scraps of paper,
and his pieces of the puzzle he is crafting,
this omni-present observer strolls
three benches down to take a
new vantage point to view this vignette
called life. And glancing at his
left-handed, self-made tattoo
he reads the words he had written.
It states quite simply,
“I am poet”.
Rather satisfied with his station
in this complex world, he writes
with a singular hope to touch
yet another soul.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting the Bar – Let’s Kick it Up a Notch


The original poem:


He sits in silence,
alone, a soul searching
for a glimpse, just
a piece, upon which to
propose his pondering.
Cool on the surface,
a cad, aloof,
not interested,
not affected by life.
Beneath layers of sinew
and fiber, there is a spark
in which lies all the answers to life.
It dances in his soul,
it infects his longing heart,
it leaps to mind –
this arena of thought,
where it has room to run.
Connecting the dots,
expanding unevenly
in the wonder it holds.
In each dying ember
there lives an idea that simmers,
for the moment smoldering
and burning all his lifetime.
Thoughts of love
or a love lost,
a soul mate found,
playful rhymes touching every word,
all residing in his mind.
He is restless, this
simpleton snake charmer,
as thoughts like tinder comes
a bit too close to that glow.
They take on a life all its own
to dance freely, enflamed
and burning brightly.
Taking his pen, he scribbles
on the back of his left hand,
to remind him of inspirations
as they enter his mind.
Gathering together his pages,
these pieces of the puzzle he is crafting,
this ever-present observer moves
three benches down, taking a
new point of view of this scene
called life. And glancing at his
left-handed, self-made tattoo
he reads the words he had written.
It says simply, “I am poet”.
Satisfied with his station
in this complex world, he writes
with the sole purpose of touching
yet another soul.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – May 2010