WHAT’S THE DEAL?

You’ve played the gambit
and the gamut of games
has your head stealing
a breath or two as you
prepare for the next round.

You’ve found that you are
less of a player than a heart slayer
as you lay your cards on the table.
You’re able to hide your poker
face, a grace you’ve been given.

You’ve got a hand that would stand
up to any, and many have bluffed
with less. It is best if you go
all in to try and win her heart,
for you know it is all a part of the game.

You’re down to your last few chips
and you’d be a monkey’s uncle
if your ante leaves you broken.
They’re only tokens anyway,
it just depends on how you play.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #452 – Game

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IF YOU CAN DODGE A WRENCH…

I grew up a stooge.
I had Moe’s haircut
but I got into trouble
when I’d double-up my fingers
to poke my brother’s eyes.
I learned the trick watching
slapstick comedy. Aim for the brows
and hope he doesn’t flinch.
After the first time, he never did.
I hid my love for being a physical joker,
faux eye poker for years. But my greatest
fears were exposed when I chose to watch
“Dodgeball”. A madman throwing wrenches
as a training tool? The only fool
was the guy that didn’t duck.
“If you can dodge a wrench,
you can dodge a dodgeball!”
An involuntary belly laugh every time
I heard it chime off of the man’s head.
You’d think he’d learn after the first time.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #452: Game

DO NOT SPEAK ILL OF THE DEAD

Hauntingly flaunting their verity,
searching for clarity or at the least
their finished business. A chance
to other side unimpeded. They’ve
exceeded their life expectancy. They’ve
begged and pleaded for some relief
but your belief in the paranormal
has you talking. You are walking
through dark and abandoned places
seeing faces in the woodwork,
being a jerk to ambivalent apparitions
under the strangest conditions.
There are footsteps down the hall,
a distant call from beyond
the next room. There is no doom
in death that the living can’t provide.
There is a little voice inside your head.
Is it the voice of the dead instead?
Don’t talk back, or they’ll be return.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #451 – Other Side

THE WRONG PART OF MY OTHER (WRITE) SELF

He was a poet and hated the approximate.
Rainer Maria Rilke
from “The Journal of My Other Self”

This Walt, quite precise to a fault,
drifted away from his passion with words.
His darkness preceded him and he conceded
that his craft to him, felt combative.

Drifted away from his passion with words,
he found what he said had been said before.
That his craft to him, felt combative
is a testament to the utility of his poetic futility.

He found what he said had been said before,
he felt like a repetitive bore and what’s more,
his testament to the utility of his poetic futility
was an admission to his failing at maintaining his pace.

He felt like a repetitive bore and what’s more,
writing the glut of emotions he had felt and feels
was an admission to his failing at maintaining his pace.
Prolific was terrific for a while, but it wears on one’s soul.

Writing the glut of emotions he has felt and feels
dealt with his life of love and anger and despair and loss.
Prolific was terrific for a while, but it wears on one’s soul,
and losing control of your muse was like verbal abuse!

Having dealt with his life of love and anger and despair and loss,
exposed the truth about his other self; made words seem wrong!
And losing control of your muse was like verbal abuse!
Lately he tended to struggle with the words he’d use!

Exposed, the truth about his other self made words seem wrong!
His darkness preceded him and he conceded
that he tended to struggle with the words he’d use!
This Walt is quite precise to a fault!

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #450: Something goes wrong

LEARNING FORGIVENESS IN THE RECEIVING OF SAME

Let bygones be,
you’ve seen the error of your ways
and it’s been days since
your apple cart has been toppled.
The slight against you was just that,
slight. You might be wise to reprise
your failings amidst the wailing
and gnashing of teeth. Life is short,
but it can be sweet if you let it.
Swallow your pride and forget it.
Don’t let it ruin another day.
You had much to say yourself, leave it
on the shelf and accept your part
of the blame. It’s a doggone shame.
Much like love, the forgiveness your get
is equal to the forgiveness you give.
Live and let live, let bygones be.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #449 – Learning _____

LEARNING THE HARD WAY

The school of hard knocks
will knock your sock off
if you’re not careful. Be aware,
full of suspicion and position
yourself to put credence in lessons
offered, proffered for your retention,
not to mention your well being.
That’s seeing the forest for the trees.
Life could be a breeze if we pay her heed,
and cede to her detail and instruction.
Our destruction is in the balance
in this valance of existence.
Get up to fight again. Failure?
Not an option. Take your lumps
and up the ante. Keep yourself in the game,
the school of hard knocks takes no blame.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #449 – Learning _____

LEARNING TO BREATHE AGAIN

He had lost his wind,
and his lungs had rescinded
their cooperation.
His respiration was fine,
as far as that went,
but this gent was losing his grip
on life, rife with pitfalls
and bear hugs, shrugs and squeezes
that cause him to wheeze and he sneezes
unprovoked, choked off from the precious
air he needed to succeed in this life.
“Remember to breathe!” she had said,
it’s the best way to prevent becoming dead.
So he pauses. Inhaling slowly, he holds
it in, exhales and does it again.
In and out,
in and out,
in and out without prodding,
not nodding into that Big Sleep.
Keeping on this side of the sod.
Thank God he was a quick study.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #449 – Learning _____

GET ‘ER DONE!

Things to do today,
the list is getting longer.
I wish I felt stronger
to finish in due course.

Of course, they need to get done,
and I’m all about tying loose ends.
Even if it sends me reeling,
I have this feeling if I don’t do it

no one else will.
Still, sometimes my day of rest
can’t wait until Sunday.
Just one day is not enough.

Why do I make things so tough?
I’m a great one at procrastination,
but I’m in no station to leave it.
Believe it when I say I’m on it.
Doggone it, “get ‘er done!”

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt#448 – Chore

EXPERIENCE

“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.” ~Aldous Huxley

You live and learn
earning your respect
and stumbling your way
through this world. You hope to build
strength and character and
strength of character
to anchor you. Feet firmly planted,
convicted to depict a man
who makes his mistakes better
each next time he makes them.
Never curse the sins visited upon the son
for they were merely lessons the father
never got around to teaching.
Nothing wrong with reaching for the stars,
venturing far from home base,
yet keeping our heart close to the place
that bears your footprint.
Not all missteps are mistakes,
every deviation takes you to a new location.
For generations this had been your station.
But your errors are the foundation upon which
your life was built. Becoming sturdy
and strong, ending up where you belong.

© Walter J Wojtanik

 

(UN)EXPLORED PLACE

Life is a wilderness, an unexplored place full of deeds and words.
And given the chance, I doubt if we would even change
it one iota. Until we reach our age quota, we cling; wrap
our arms around it like a drunkard to his bottle.
For the price we pay, it is indeed a bargain,
so go after life loaded for bear!

Wrestle life with your knurled hands, bare
and aching, breaking its will with the words
you choose. Use your whole being, seeing the bargain
on your showroom floor (you get more for your change).
Stuff despair’s genie back into its bottle
and slip both into the brown paper bag wrapping.

No matter how hard it comes rapping
on life’s door, there’s much more living to bear.
The elixir of youth is a myth; there is no bottle
to give you years of vigor, living is the trigger – a forward
step into that unexplored future to nurture change
and reap much more in the bargain.

No cost is too great to make your life a more fulfilling bargain.
Our time is short, and we waste it cavorting and snorting, trapping
our souls in a downward spiral gone viral. We need to change,
rearrange our ways and live our days with the bare
essentials. Faith in our purpose, hope in our future, love of the words
we offer to heal our wounds and soothe our souls. Do not bottle

everything inside, or hide your desires. The resulting bottle-
neck of emotion will sap your devotion, rendering life as no bargain.
In plain jargon, this place of deeds and words
will devour us if we do not see its worth; get wrapped
up in it. It lives in the depth of your soul: bare
it. It’s never too late to change.

Like many nickels and dimes, we line God’s pockets like loose change,
We wait to be poured out like fine wine from dusty bottles.
But, be aggressive in its pursuit. Bear
down and give your all, and if you fall, get back up again.
Be free to live unfettered, unwrapped.
Be willing to love fully in deed and word.

Words alone will not foster change.
Remove the wrap of deceit; pour from the bottle of truth.
It’s a safe bargain that living will be worth everything that you bear.

© Walter J. Wojtanik