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


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)


It took us forty years to come this far,
forty years past the bar.
Familiar faces,a place held in memory,
not lost on ones who desire
another chance to glance
at the years gone by so far,
forty years past the bar.
Friends solidified, the wide eyed
curious, furious that connections
took so long to close. Long ago indiscretions
leave no scars forty years past he bar.
Meeting like old times, greetings
that lingered sometimes longer than others,
sisters and brothers of long lost mothers
reunited to reignite the home fires.
The desire for that long last look that took
forty years. Past the bar, there we are
where youth had left us, bereft of fears
to face our years in order to return
to where we had learned of life and truth.
Someone left the door ajar to allow us
access to here where we are, forty years after the bar.
A celebration rediscovered, brushing past
crushes and friends who now somehow see through
to the you long hidden, given the chance to be
one of the many to return. Right on par
the Class of ’74 – forty years after the bar.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

The 40th reunion of Lackawanna High School Class of 1974 held at J’s White Elephant, rekindles the home fires of classmates and friends confirming the fact that we remain connected in heart spirit and mind. A good thing to find forty years after.


“Dad’s got cancer.”
Words as lifeless as I felt at that moment.
My sister, Daddy’s baby girl, her voice
shaken from its confidence.
And I in exile deteriorating in my own
self-absorbtion, choking on words so harsh.
And words so healing; a feeling of redemption
in my reply. Wiping an eye or two,
and through with my vitriol; back in control
of the emotions so frayed. Four months
were all that were afforded me. It awarded
me a chance to reconcile for the while he had.
Two Walts contrasted; reunited while Dad lasted.


Fighting a battle often lost in the darkness
of a weary mind. There is no rest there.
Cursing the single candle lit to offer
its illumination; to infiltrate this
mental stagnation. Accursed slumber
why do you wage against my will?
Will you release me like the leaves
of October’s colorful flurry, left
to scatter in the cool winds from place
to place; a migration to discover the peace
that I crave. You have found me, October.
You have extended your lifeline in fine fashion,
a saving assist for one clamoring for control
over heart and soul,
over heart and mind.
I clutch your hand as I am flung over
the edge of reason. Your season is here.
You want me near, October, where I belong.
Anything else would be just wrong.



Could it be you did not see me;
out of sight and out of your mind?
It wasn’t easy to be me,
let alone be drawn to your kind.

But years later, you’ve found my words
and think not one of them absurd,
they soothe your mind and warm your heart.
I guess that was the place to start.


Out of the darkness

where you’ve hidden your muse
in the shadowy thicket, bringing
it into the bright daylight.
No matter how you fight
to keep your ideas fresh and new,
your view had been used; your vantage point
has been abused. So, you slant
your rant in a slightly twisted way,
bringing forth a new version of the things you say.
Breathing a sigh of relieved contentment,
you discard resentment and go through the paces,
filling the empty spaces with bits of your wit
and finally getting “it”. One foot after the other,
Brother. You’re back in business.
You’re stepping out. Welcome home,
you’ve emerged a better man for it.

APPROACHING WINDS (A Sestinal Cascade)

The winds of change blow; they come and go,
everything in its wake is subject to an upheaval.
The retrieval of all usurped is best left for when the winds die;
unsuccessful tries will be your score until the winds are no more.
Ride out the storm, keep yourself warm, with visions of better times ahead,
there’s nothing with which to concern yourself.

Your one charge is you. Yourself.
From the day you were born, you were always on the go.
Not sure where you were headed, but it was full steam ahead,
causing your ruckus; an unspoken upheaval
that gave you a hunger for even more.
The retrieval of all usurped is best left for when the winds die.

On the day you will have died,
will people speak as highly of you, as you refused to do of yourself?
Or, will they shake their heads and lament your potential to do more?
Take your acclaim as you go,
and continue your poetic pyrotechnics despite the expected upheaval.
Ride out the storm, keep yourself warm, with visions of better times ahead.

Express yourself with more aplomb; show you are more than a heart and a head.
Carry through with worded wisdom, whether you stand and fight, or quietly die.
No one will blame you for the casualties of your upheaval,
for in the end, your passion will make them better poets, in spite of yourself.
Leave them to embrace you, or to scratch their heads as they go.
Unsuccessful tries will be your score until the winds are no more.

And if you just happen to leave them wanting more,
then get out of bed, because once again, it is full steam ahead.
The direction we all choose determines how we will go,
for life is to be savored, despite its labor, until we die.
Don’t live in delusion, you’ll find you need them as much as you deny yourself.
Everything in its wake is subject to an upheaval.

So, take up your armor daily, determined to up heave all
that tries to force your hand. Take a stand. Give them more!
You’ll find the confidence that has eluded. Treat yourself
to the accolades of which you are most deserving, and ahead
of all else, ride out the storm until the day you die.
The winds of change blow; they come and go.

As the prevailing winds go, the only obstacle to their upheaval
dies in the face of a strong will and words of a more direct nature.
Forget the nomenclature. Forge ahead. There’s nothing with which to concern yourself.


I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.
But, my mat remains
pristine and untried.
I strain to hear any noise
that I might construe as a voice.
Such familiarity would soothe
a soul time worn and exasperated,
but those I seek have left
only a residue silence that
assures to smother my thoughts.
I ought to shake the cobwebs
from the rafters of this mired mind.
Yet, I find that memory is nothing
but a smoldering ember
languishing to rekindle into a pyre
of poetic preponderance;
a reminiscence that placates
the love that lingers still.
A finger pressed to lips
that long for passion’s kiss,
secures the void on which
my thoughts have relied.
The silence inside deafens.

**Without straying anywhere near Middle Earth, “I Sit and Think” by JRR Tolkien, sparks my muse this day.