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 – 2020

dVerse Haibun Monday – Birthday 



“What did I tell you?” my father said.
Swimming in the creek was dangerous.
He made a fuss about how the steel mill
would dump slag and waste (you could taste it
in the water.) “I ought let you suffer.”
He continued his tirade as he swabbed
my left eye. I’d cry if it didn’t hurt so much
to his gentle, but angry touch. I swam
in the creek with some friends.
It is all fun and games until someone
throws a handful of creek bed silt
in someone’s eye. My eye. Disobedience
is a teachable moment. It sent me to bed
early, eye patched and irritated.
I was elated that I hadn’t lost sight in it.
It had more fight in it than I’d have thought.
I ought not swim in the creek again.
I didn’t. A great decision!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC ASIDES with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #457: Disobedience


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


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


I turn each page gleaning all I can
from the information at hand.
But, it has become a time clock
of late. Ticking down every minute
and second chance, a fated dance
with my mortality. The reality
becomes clearer the nearer the end
rears its head. Another birthday looms,
another Christmas passes.
Another daughter to send off with her
now and future lifetime friend
and husband. Another year at a job
that has served the family well
(but not well off by any stretch).
Here’s the catch. I look forward
to the golden years (if they are granted me).
I’ll make no demands or make
outrageous plans. Retirement may come
and hopefully before I’ve expired.
I’m starting to get tired. There’s a new
calendar in my future. I pray
there is a future in my new calendar!
I turn each page while I can.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides Prompt #403 – Useful item

** A Calendar


We’ve decided it’s time to seize the day
it could slip from our grasp so easily!
In spite of all the warnings they’ll say,
we’ve decided it’s time to seize the day.
Take life as it comes, come what may
and enjoy this moment ceaselessly.
We’ve decided it’s time to seize the day.
It could slip from our grasp so easily!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides – Prompt #392: Forever


It can’t be the way it was.
Everything changes.
Life rearranges and what once was
Is no more. It can’t be
that way you remember,
from January to December
things have taken a turn
and as much as you yearn
for familiarity, your clarity
has been skewed. When viewed
with discerning eyes, the whys
and wherefores matter no more.
You can see it can’t be
no matter how hard you wish,
your dish has a different flavor
and everything that was once savored
is left to decay in a way that says
your train has departed.
You have left the station hard hearted
and you have started to long
for the long ago with the so and sos
with whom you had grown accustomed.
But, it can’t be the way it was.
Everything changes!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides Prompt # 383 – “It Can’t Be”


So many places we could go
and it would go to show
that wherever we go,
there we are! We can go
by plane, go
by car, go near or far and never
tell a soul where we’ll go!
Or, we could just find a quiet place
where the only trace
of beauty would be your face
and a duty to each other.
We wouldn’t need to bother
leaving our seclusion.
The conclusion people will make
will take some doing of where
we we’re going. We could tell,
but let’s not and say we did!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides Prompt #381 – Let’s_______




There is a small window
where light and night converge.
We get this urge to ignore the transition
and take the position that day is day
and night is night; meeting twains
pass when darkness fades. In the shade
of a stone monolithic bridge there is a smidgen
of gray where the bright light is emitted.
You are committed to cross over into
the next tomorrow with joy! No sorrow
rests within its scope. You hope to bask
until dusk crossing over a bridge to daylight!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge – Day 15: Natural/Unnatural


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)