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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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

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 _____

BUILDING FAMILIAL BONDS

There’s a wedding soon and we’re excited,
all the required functions are in place.
A daughter bride, I find it hard to hide
the pride I have for her. For sure she will
grace the life of her fine young man.
A lad of a Canadian clan and his tartan
is true. We view him as a wonderful addition
to our crew. By year’s end we will have
made familial friends across the Provinces,
from Ontario to Alberta, the Great White North
and her glories, our stories will compliment
each other. New found sisters and brothers
joined for a cause to much applause.
We can’t wait. It’ll be great. And so it goes.
The family grows.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 21: Construction/Deconstruction

THROUGH THE WEEK WEAKLY

I.
Monday comes.
Wretched,
wicked
mess of morose,
a strong dose of reality.
A new week begins
draped in mundane banality.

II.
Tuesday’s child
is neither wild or mild,
she wears a slightly devious smile.
It supersedes her previous smile.

III.
Wednesday is a bump in the road,
a hump on a toad,
half the load of a full ride.
Tucked inside between
beginning and end.

IV.
Thursday.
Thor’s day.
Bring the hammer down.

V.
Friday Fish Fries
a Buffalo staple,
brought to the table
with slaw, and macaroni,
fries and a slice of rye.
Oh my!

VI.
Saturday’s a happy dance,
a chance to catch up
with things left hanging.
Banging away
in the workshop shed.
Peg board hooks and hangers,
Wallbanger is no stranger
than usual.

VII.
Sunday & I slip away,
no more work,
not much play.
Looking for just a quiet day,
not waiting for Godot,
no way!
A song of praise
for the past seven days.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 7: Week/Weak

DEEZ GUYS

Deez guys is putrid,
deez guys is bums,
deez guys ain’t got no brains, dey’s so dumb.

Deez guys got no class,
deez guys don’t know nuttin’,
deez guys ain’t got no lip dey should button.

Deez guy think dey’s funny,
deez guys don’t look tough,
deez guys jus’ don’t know when enuff is enuff.

Deez guys ain’t got no jobs,
deez guys jus’ hang in mobs,
deez guys is indubitably big fat slobs.

Deez guy don’t talk good,
dey’s got made up names.
Deez guys got the hots for dem lower east side dames.

Deez guys could dress up
but a woid to the wise.
If dey looks any better, it’s just a disguise.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 2: Disguise

I BELIEVE. YOU?

I believe that rain will fill the clouds
and will fall to make everything look new.
I believe that flowers will grow
because that rain came to nourish their thirst,
I believe in the promise of every new day
and the way my heart starts with the sunrise.
I believe in the darkest night and the brilliant
show of a candle’s warm glow,
I believe in everyone who becomes lost
will find their own right way someday.
I believe in the power of lighting,
it is not so frightening if you respect it.
and it is reflected in the power of love.
I believe in the strength of a baby’s laugh
and it is true I believe you and in you.
I believe in the magnitude of the smallest prayer
and that it is heard somewhere out there,
I believe that He who always was and will be
will see and hear it through a thought, or a sigh,
or a whisper of sheer hopelessness.
I guess I believe in everything
there is to believe in for that’s where I begin.
I believe. You?

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – Prompt #415 – I BelieveYou

Offered at dVerse Poets Pub – OLN #206

 

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

TMI

How’m I doing?
I’m glad you asked!
My lower back is killing me,
sciatica and something
internal, I think. And this
infernal pain in my right shoulder
feels like a boulder
landed on it ,
it’s giving me fits.
And my left is starting to ache,
doesn’t take much over-compensating
to relay that pain across to there.
This weight loss may not
be the result of good eating
after all. Not sure what to call it,
and hope I can stall it until
after December.
I don’t remember things like I used to,
and I could use two Aleve to relieve
what ails me. It never fails me.
Once I figure out how to relate
to my prostate’s insolence…
you know, I should cut the violins
and quit complaining.
I’m serving up too much information.
How’re you doing?
Oh, I’m glad you asked…

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – Prompt #411: Information