He saw the error of his ways, a colossal
faux pas that left him broke and flat,
(but hardly fat) just a rather husky
guy with an eye for words, his absurd muse
would dream of any half-hatched scheme
to fill his verse, and desire to transfer

each expanded volume to shelf; to transfer
all bound tomes to a home of colossal
proportions. His thoughts held a static schem-
atic of his longings – his belongings, and fat-
tened coffers would always offer to amuse
long after they had turned rancid and musky.

Age had turned his eyes half blind and dusky,
riddled his rattled bones like a cancer,
the answer to which he could not choose.
Yet he stood straddling life and death, a Colossus
who could level Rhodes and the world flat
(if that was his verdant scheme.)

But he would lie awake and dream
in visions languid and lusty,
and heap faint flattery
in a rather obvious and obnoxious transfer
of sarcastic barbs. A slight of colossal
malfeasance, a pointed muse.

This was the route which he’d choose to amuse
himself. He couldn’t help but scheme
of new ways of throwing his poetic weight, his colossal
posterior, his inferior brand which was no longer trusted,
a man so disgusted of words and would transfer
all his angst against all odds to fall flat

and to find unrest on his laurels. So that was that.
He had made many mistakes, laced with verbal abuse
and chose to trade tirades, a torrid transfer
of distortions and schemes,
dreams of a self-effacing vision of one less husky
and dialed way back from colossal.

Yet his rented flat was colossal
and his muscled muse came across as husky.
He only wished he could transfer schemes for dreams.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

Poetic Asides – Prompt #473 – Six Words (colossal, flat, husky, muse, scheme, transfer)

ME AND POETRY (A Sestinacci)

A man
mired in poetry,
given to expressions of words;
a sharing of emotion and fits of rhyme.

and words.
A guy Walt,
a muse full of poetry
and too much time for just one man.

is poetry!
It moves me.
It takes this guy Walt,
and fills his expressive soul with melodic words.

like Walt
can make rhyme
sing, and totally move me
to slather my heart with the sweetest poetry.

within me.
Women and men
come to read my rhyme
and leave comments about the madness of Walt.

in rhyme;
painted with words;
offered to the gentle (wo)men;
and thrown down as a gauntlet by me.

I am Walt, this is me,
a verbose man of poetry.
Giving these words of rhyme my time.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

MuhwufSS – Repeat and Vary, part 3: The Sestina


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




Buddy, can you spare a rhyme?
I’m down on my luck and someone stuck
a slug in my hat. That and a hearty sestina
won’t buy me a cup of coffee.
But if you’re interested, might I show you
this string of haiku written just for you…
or maybe you could say thank you to a nice tanka
or pantoum. Would you swoon over this sonnet
if I put your name on it? A villanelle would go swell
with your shoes, or you can choose to have me
get satirically lyrical on you. I can let you have
a triolet for a song. You can’t go wrong!
Thanks anyway. You know, starving poets need love too!
I’m tols I’m sort of good! I will poem for food!
Hey! Hey Buddy, can you spare a rhyme?

(C) Walter J Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April P.A.D. – Day 11: Sonnet/Anti-form



In the present we stand, hand-in-hand for the cause of poetry.
Not quite sure what means to this end, but poets and friends
sharing in the hearth of majestic musings warm their hearts
with glowing expressions. Never at a loss for words
but sometimes a lot of effort goes unnoticed. The rhyme
stays within reason, for ’tis the season for all to write.

We would be well within our right
to seize the opportunity to delve into poetry,
giving proper respect to the relevant rhyme,
for what would sound more fitting between friends?
After all, we all craft with our own fine words
and hold the verse of others to our hearts.

For it is within the beating of said hearts
that we find the power in all that we write.
Poems flow from the manipulation of words,
and become the true essence of living poetry.
Inspiration expressed in the gathering of friends
all for the propagation of rapturous rhyme.

Not all find worth in the like sounding rhymes
preferring the freedom that liberates their hearts
in the form a verse that is as free. These, my friends,
are the choices that we as poets make. We are what we write.
It takes all kinds to write all forms of poetry,
but a true poet see the emotion woven into words.

Offer up your musings, for the communion of words
never ceases. Be they random or deliberate, rhymes
are the glue that holds together all our pieces. Poetry
is the literal music of our souls. It resides in every heartfelt
pang of passion and fashions itself into the right
moments of our lives as if they were comforting old friends.

What can we do to spread the scope of our beauty, friends?
Put the power of your opinion or your longing into words,
for it is within every woman and man’s right
to give the world exactly what we glean from our rhymes.
Poetry is a pulse. It is the syncopation of a loving heart.
And the living that we do, becomes our lifelong poetry.

Give poetry a chance, friends.
Leaving your heart in every word.
You have the time to rhyme; and all night to write it.


We think we’re in control,
and we’d sell our soul to do
the right things required.
We had desired a happily ever
after all this time, and now I’m
lamenting our sad predicament.

That was exactly what I meant
when the “I Do’s” took control.
But my mind tended to wander and I’m
sure I had squandered the time to do
what I should have. If I could ever
get a mulligan; I’ll know what was required!

If this were a job, I’d have probably been fired,
or worse yet, you’d have sent
me in exile to the Dubuque office to never
be heard from again. I had lost control
and now, consoling you is all I can do
while we cherish this time. I am

sorry. I truly am.
I’ve come to know all that I desired
in this span of life that I’ve shared with you.
I should have taken better care of you, spent
more time attending to your needs and extol
how much I too have needed you. I can never

get those moments back, yet I could never
be more than what I am.
I’m just a man, whose life had spun out of control
but is willing to do all that is required
to be that stand up gent
who was lucky enough to have married you!

So, now I vow to be the sidekick you need, who will do
the little things that mean so much to you now and never
again be the cad who had distanced himself from you. I repent,
and with this sad lament I’m
hoping you come to know that I am so inspired
by your strength, your courage, your love, your heart and soul.

Know now that it is in His hands; He has always been in control to do
all that is required. And in this brief forever we’ve shared
I should have cared for you better. This is the predicament I’m in.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge Day 3 – “If I Only…”


At some point we wonder. “Where did it all begin?”
Such a no-win scenario is life, in that we all end
up the same way. From the day of our birth,
until we draw our last breath at death,
it is clear that our origin
is a mystery, as will be the circumstance of our demise.

And is it any surprise
that what comes between should be savored? We begin
as slabs of clay: misshapen, raw, and undefined. Our origin
is uncertain. In the course of our living we befriend
those who will fill us precisely, quite nicely until death
escorts us away from our days on earth.

Those first moments after birth
give us a chance to figure things out; to surmise
what is expected if we elect to stay the course. Of course, death
awaits all who choose to play. But, each day is a new beginning,
a redirect to send us in the direction that will end
in our achieving all we desire. We become original.

Once we begin to be molded, we are folded like origami
seeing what is possible from our blank page. In the birth
of ideas, our pleas are heard in every word that we send
for those who will hear them. Left unheeded, it will indeed lead to their demise.
As it was in the beginning
it will be until our final breath.

But, there is no ending in death.
It is a release from earthly bonds, but our imprint will mark our origin,
And it is there that we begin
to understand. No demands to be reincarnated; no rebirth
would change the essence of each of us. We would be wise
to work hard until our natural end.

So consider this a commencement, friend.
And live the life you’ve chosen until death
takes your hand to stand before Him. Your demise
will not be in vain. Your legacy is your lasting origin.
Those who know will celebrate your birth
and subsequent days. All we need do is begin.

From beginning to end we strive to stay alive,
so we live from birth to death.
and every spent breath that originates from within will stave off our demise.


(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014




Step by step, the journey begins. Strangers at this writing, but I know
the struggles you encounter are many. If any woman or man
insists they are aware, when they’ve never been there, well, I’m sorry.
Your story well neglected, should be projected for the world
to see. There may be bleeding hearts, but that never solves your plight.
It would be right for them to learn…

You are the young widowed mother who just learned
her heroic husband killed in Afghanistan, will never know
the child you bears. You stare at a photograph; it lightens
your heart, but you start to cry, not knowing why the man
who meant everything to you, was taken. He had given much to the world
without so much as a “Thank you” to him, or to you, an “I’m Sorry!”

You are the seasoned Grandfather sitting near the window, your sorry
existence in the nursing home has left you alone and scared. It was learned
your Alzheimer’s Disease has advanced and your family and your world
are non-existent memories. Gazing blankly at things you once knew
makes no impression. And your depression grows. You’ve become that man
who dimly sits where once your presence provided great light.

You are the bullied young teen, sitting in a light-less
room. Your struggle with your life corrodes internally. You are sorry
to be a “burden”. You hate that you are such an easy mark. You are a young man
unsure of his sexuality and searching for an identity. You hope to learn
that people are forgiving and understanding, if they only knew
that you were a rash decision away from leaving this world.

You are the woman who sits huddled with her young children whose world
came crashing down around them. You have nowhere to stay. Your only light
shines from the street lamp outside the city mission. You know
your condition plays out nationwide, but you hide your pride, sorry
you cannot provide what your kids need. You wish you could learn
of a way to step out of your destitution. You are a battered, broken woman.

So, before fingers point or hushed whispers glare, be there. Be the kind of woman or man
who takes the plight of the world
to your heart. It is only when we start to learn
of their wants and needs that we will indeed be the beacon bright, the light
that will show them that they are not forgotten. They should not apologize; not be sorry
that life has handed them an unplayable hand. In remembering them, they’ll know.

Know your fellow man.
This world belongs to all who possess it, no one should be sorry his or her lives shine less bright.
Learn to love as you have been loved. Help change their plight. Walk that mile.


November’s early chill does not sway this warm heart
from the task at hand. Kind of a dress rehearsal, sort of a role
reversal from the other ten months of the year.
Around here, hustle and bustle are the norm and true to form, I see red
and green. A controlled chaos, laced with love
and a true sense of the spirit that fills me. Christmas spirit.

That is not to say we are not thankful, because Thanksgiving Day is where that spirit
really shines. A gathering of family in celebration of that relation fills my heart
because it is the essence of the long holiday season born of love.
And let’s not kid ourselves. We are nothing without it. When I roll
out my list for the second time, I am reminded that within each heart, red
and full of life, lives a passion that lasts throughout the year.

And it shouldn’t be only one day a year.
It should be a daily diversion to pass on that spirit
in every word ever written or read
on the subject of our fellow men and women. It does my heart
good to know that the initiation of these feelings comes from the role
I play everyday. It’s not to say I take the credit, it just comes back to the love.

Many people ask, “What is love?”
It may be a forgotten art, but it is never lost if you yearn
to give of yourself. Of this gift, you have full control.
For keeping the smallest spark of this spirit
will go a long way in igniting your heart.
The first step is the start of a life’s journey; immortality in red.

It is not so much the color of the heart, but red
is the hue of the blood that courses within us all, a sign of life; a life of love.
So as I near the start of my work, I can feel my heart
expand in proportion to the sense of wonder this time of year
places in a young child’s heart, and the sense of spirit
that comes with the territory. I fill this role

the best I can. I am “The Man”. That’s how I roll!
So before I don the jingle bells and that suit, bright red,
I will bow my head and ask that I never lose this spirit.
As I hear, it gets harder to come by these days. But I love
the challenge. I’m sort of in my element this time of year.
As the big day draws near, it will fill my heart.

It warms me completely. It is the role I take on gladly.
For no matter how badly things go each year, I will be here dressed in red
full of love and holiday spirit. After all, I am Santa Claus…sort of.


Why do you vex them so, Sestina Faire?
Lovely maiden with golden hair, a warming smile
and caring heart, I am startled by your beauty.
You carry your soul within your expression,
a gradual progression to the core of your being.
Seeing you amongst us gives me cause to cheer.

Soft and lilting, your voice is euphonic, a cheerful
blend of whisper and song. It is a fair
assessment of your strong sense of being
a part of the world that surrounds you. Your smile
is a wish for understanding, without remanding your expression
to the darkened pages of closed minds, hiding your beauty.

And it is such that something considered so beautiful
can scare her unsure suitor, her once cheerful
companion, to shy away from all for the expressed
purpose of rejecting her. It is not fair
that within her circles she is looked upon with as smile,
but when standing on her own, is denied her very being.

There is a great disservice brought about by being
callously ignored, oh wonderfully worded beauty.
Dearest Sestina, will you charm me with your smile?
Will you bring to this saddened heart, your cheer?
Loved and lovely, fairest of all the fair,
hear my song and all unconditional expression

that it conveys. It says much, although simply expressed.
You are the reason for my being
as poetic as my heart will allow; our love affair
is a thing of overwhelming beauty.
It becomes my life-long duty to warm you; to cheer
you and revere you. And blanketed by the shadow of your smile,

I offer you comfort in the knowing that your captivating and caressing smile
will live in my heart for as long as your name can be an expression
of truest love, Sestina Faire. I raise in toast a glass to cheer
your welcomed place in my world. You are a part of my being.
You are a lasting thing of extreme beauty,
You are the epitome of poetic love, Sestina Faire.

Bless me with your fair smile.
Make your beauty and expression of my heart.
Bring exuberant cheer to my very being, Dearest Sestina Faire.