BURN NOT THY FINGERS

“Burn not thy fingers to snuff another man’s candle.”

~ James Howell

What purpose does it serve to extinguish another man’s flame?
Why would you deny another woman’s light?
When the world needs the brilliance of many, how could any candle
be allowed to go silent? A dark mind will find nothing but violence
and a desire to burn uncontrolled to destroy all in its path.
No bold declaration of one’s own self
can provide the conflagration that many a candle
can offer. One candle will augment all other candles
when used to ignite their glow. A single match
can light a multitude of candles. Know there is truth in light.
Know that it is darkness that lies.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC BLOOMINGS Autumnal Poem-A-Day Exercise – Day 13: Candles

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BE THE BEACON, BRIGHT

There are two ways of spreading light:
to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~Edith Wharton

We are surrounded by the brilliance of others
who shine their light unto the world.
They become the candle that illuminates our darkness,
the glow of humanity in the flicker of flame.
We warm our hands on their fire,
we warm our hearts on their glow.
We know that by adding our light, we allow theirs
to burn more bright in the cold, dark night.
We can choose to be a reflection of their light,
or we can be the beacon of the right light.
A bright light so shared.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC BLOOMINGS – AUTUMNAL P.A.D. Day 13: CANDLES

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO A WILLING HEART

I started writing at thirteen,
lyrics for a song I hacked out
on the old organ we had at home.

Melody first, a little loop
of sound full blown into a
song, my first attempt.

Looking at the words
scratched onto a page
of spiral notebook paper

tattered and lined
random thoughts
of a future love long gone.

It had form and meter,
it had rhyme, my reason,
a poem of sorts on my page.

A poem never to see
the light of day for years,
dead ended in a rusted file cabinet,

along with every other lame attempt
of poem and prose that
had me believing I had talent.

Maybe talent, but nary a whiff
of confidence to show the
work that was even at this early

date, very personal, a glimpse
of my inner self, the now me
in miniature, immature,

but with a dream.
To see my words light up
the pages of this book of life.

The flesh was willing,
but the spirit was weak,
my ambition was a wishful thought.

I wanted to write in the worst way,
and that was what I did,
in the worst way.

As the years passed,
I still tried to convince myself
that I was a writer, a poet

a composer, an untapped
resource in a disconnected
reality, a dreamer

working for his hearts desire.
Hard work, hard words
mired in the muse of my mind.

But determined to live
according to the dictates
of my nightly mystic visions.

I dusted off my file cabinet,
shooing the dusty webs from the
hidden treasures long buried.

I sent my words into the world
unsure of their worth,
afraid of their power.

Given to the eyes of
others of a write minded bent,
sharing similar uncertainties

of their own. They labeled me,
tattooed me with an identity.
They called me poet.

The name I wanted;
the name they offered.
Nothing is impossible.

THE TRUE NORTH

by Walter J Wojtanik

I grew up very near the border with Canada,
and at times I feel Canadian by osmosis.
The influences of their media
had a profound affect on my upbringing.

I remember singing “O Canada” at hockey games
(I grew up very near the border with Canada.)
Or when the games were televised on Saturday night.
At the end of day, I sang both anthems when they’d play.

Many shows would entertain and remain to,
long after I had grown. You would have known
I grew up very near the border with Canada,
by the True North knowledge I would amass.

Now, my attraction is due to my daughter.
She married a Canadian gent and went
to live in Ottawa in the Great True North.
She grew up very near the border with Canada.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

SECRETS KEPT AND HIDDEN

No one knows.
And the best kept secret remains as such.
How much is it worth to know things
that your heart can confirm,
but you can not communicate,
this declaration of fact lies hidden.
Distance spanned and water
under the bridge between then and now.
How do you live a life with this burden?
They couldn’t know; you gave no indications,
your stagnation and debilitating fear
brought you here with nary a lead.
But indeed, you have known.
You will carry it until you’ll have grown
feeble and cold, just an infarction from
the chill’s permanence; it hides in residence.
Do you declare to the world and hope the rooftops
can handle your exuberance,
your happy dance long buried?
This fact prompts you to wonder
that if under this guise you can reprise
what your heart conceals; the real feel of its mystery,
your history until now untold and you let the story unfold.
Touching secrets with probing fingers,
the memory lingers. You held the best vantage point
in the room to see all before you,
a chance at a glance always revealed.
Though you were in close proximity,
you chose to let fear dictate and seal your fate.
Never a clue did you expose. You chose to fade,
finding comfort in your invisibility. Indignantly,
you held your nerve and your secret this long.
It can’t be wrong to release your burden and breathe again.
No one knows.
You wonder if your existence evaded detection then.
You are certain that it does now.
Unseen for all these years, no one could know.
Your memories melt flowing onto a page
as you engage your feelings.
Poems written of your smitten past,
and at last you come clean.
I mean, really, it’s not as if these poems will ever be seen.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

IN THE LINE OF THREE

I was born the third child on the third day, the third Walter in the line of familial redundancy. Not a junior, not a numeral, and after my father’s funeral, the last Walter standing. No three-star General commanding multitudes of minions. Just a man with a penchant for poetry, be they tercets or haiku, I am true to the test of three.

A third birthday was ushered in by the death of three, rocking my world at an early age. Holly, Valens and Richardson – mother’s sons all, taking the fall in a stormy Iowa sky. I don’t remember if I cried, but the music died all the same. Later the same year we saw the first of three Walter’s perish and a cherished name was diminished by one, survived by two “sons”. Three seems to be my number, lucky or not, but it’s gotten me this far in the line of three.

The trinity guides
and provides me a purpose,
three steps onward

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018

 

DOGWOOD

Trees rustle and sway
and make a day of it.
Leaves, cut by the winds of change
rearrange, only to rediscover
home again. Nestled and rested,
the best place to recline.
But I find it annoying,
a noise toying with me.
It is there, somewhere
near the patch of saplings,
rapping an echo as of rabid canines.
It’s fine, but it hearkens to me,
this bark of the dogwood trees
unleashed. Their bite’s not so bad!

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Bloomings Prompt #213: You Come To My Senses

SUNSHINE WHISPERS

Salubrious salutations resonate
on this late summer day,
the golden orb reigns down
in waves of gilded images.
I hear your voice echo against
my skin, my pate, red from shouts
of your raucous oration.
I hold my station as you continue
the tirade of this sweltering afternoon.
And as night draws nigh I hear your soft
sigh and sweet farewell; your promise
of a fresh new tomorrow. Your whispers
ease my sorrow and caress my soul,
touching my heart with your lilting goodnight.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Bloomings Prompt #213: You Come To My Senses

MEMORY FADES, LOVE REMAINS

He senses he knew her way back when,
but he is not quite sure. Quite forgetful is he,
she is a beauty he had once known. He loves
her, he thinks. But he’s not quite sure. He
seems to show a spark of familiarity. He begins
to connect and then rapidly fades. He hates to
let it show. He loves, then he begins to forget.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

When he loves, he begins to forget.
~ from “A Man In His Life” by Yehuda Amichai

Poetic Bloomings – “And I Quote” #1: Memory

Miz Quickly’s Imprompt Poetry – MuhwufSS: Golden Shovel

POST MORTEM

You weren’t fixing on leaving,
you had other plans.
But, God laughed
and you were gone. A memory
written ad nauseum,
causing hearts to ache
at each re-telling. Eyes
swelling with tears
laced with fears of  folks forgetting.
It’s hitting home the more
distance passes and a trace of your face
flashes in my mind from time-to-time.
You are nine years in passing
and I keep amassing poems
well long after you’re gone.
And my life moves on.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Bloomings – Prompt #211: And I Quote #1