FOREVER IMPERFECT AND UNCONDITIONAL

Traversing life, a path long and twisting.
Pitfalls and elevations filled with elation
and sorrow; each tomorrow unfulfilled
has not yet been given to bear.

It is there that the seed is planted. Sometimes
greed and selfishness become the power
that drives hearts and imparts the anguish
that becomes inevitable. A banquet table gone to waste

with nary a taste of life’s finest treasures.
Pleasures come with their share of pain
that burrows deeply, furrowing brows
and disavowing all promises once declared.

Forever becomes ‘right now’ and futures
are only nurtured in the last breath that is drawn.
Love is imperfection, a static direction
that does not follow dictates. It exasperates

and deflates, infiltrates this lighter-than-air existence.
It offers resistance to the natural order
of how it is thought to be. Never manipulated;
it can not be stipulated by demand

nor by expectation. Love is as love was meant to be.
Not possessed; only it can embrace.
It will not be molded; for it will just be…
forever imperfect and unconditional.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides – Prompt #392: Forever

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BEGINNING ANEW

Starting from here;
going on from now.
A fresh start is at the heart
of all that is to come.
A brand new year
came to call, and all
that transpires grows
from the seeds planted
in those twelve month prior.
That fire in your belly
spurs you on, a prodding
giving the nod to better things.
A fresh start is at the heart
of perfecting your art.
It all up to you
to begin anew.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides PAD 2017 Day 4: Beginning/Ending

NINE MINUTES

You come and stay for hours,
amidst the psychedelic flowers
and impossible scenarios.
Running past streets and barrios
with Joses and Marios, looking
for solace in a nightful of frightful
turns and plot twists. You’ve wished you
can finish a complete thought,
but your REM cycle keeps running out of gas.
In the foggy distance, a wail. It never fails.
It seems just when you get
to the good part of your dreams you have to depart,
trying to restart every nine minutes for an hour
until your snooze alarm comes back to call.

SELF-IMPOSED EXILE

What’s the difference? Running to or running from, the shortest distance between two points is still an escape in any book. Separating oneself from the fray plays upon your angst and ire. This poetic fire in your belly leaves a smelly taste in your mouth and there’s no way out except up. Corsica has sent her eviction notice; malcontents are not welcomed! So remove your hand from your waist-coat and smoat the day you decided your muse was more important than the process. A beg of forgiveness and a sharp wrist slap, every mishap screams for release. Exile is as puerile as you may not have imagined. Standing on the periphery serves no purpose. Escape from your ego. Take off to your refuge. It is the textbook “No Lose” scenario written for a poetic Lothario!

why hide away words?
your actions speak just as well.
Tell the world you’re here!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #27: “Take off”

TIMEPIECE

“Tarnished and dented; a bauble from a bygone day”

Tarnished and dented; a bauble of a bygone day.
In a wooden cigar box; keepsakes both, with
little more function than that. The stem fused
to the casing, the workings have retired. But,

it has inspired me to find the link. The contents
of the box play like a road map; clues to unravel
the mystery that is my history. The key, worn and
encrusted with years of dirt and oils from feeble fingers.

It lingers in my hand for a moment, its uncertainty secured.
Papers, folded and bound with a frail rubber band
line the bottom of the box. A visa document,
possibly a first issue wrapped in a tissue to protect

what it meant to an old Polish immigrant determined
to become all that America had to offer. Naturalization
documents, meant to pronounce his acceptance
of a lifestyle long sought, and their acceptance of him

as one of the free and brave. The camera buried amongst
the treasures, bellows cracked and torn, a forlorn
instrument with which a part of his life had been preserved.
It all deserved a better fate, but it is too late to shed

a single tear from your eyes for its demise. The puzzle
is splayed before you, the detective of your past.
A torn swatch of a fabric, hues faded but shades
of blue and red and white pressed between pages.

Finally, one last piece remains. A photograph.
a dark and handsome young man; heavy jacket and
a fedora pulled down across the brow. Intermingled
with other similar folk unconcerned for their purpose.

But the subject stands tall. Proud. Posed to save
this moment in memory, and upon this daguerreotype
for long after. In the background, Lady Liberty stands strong.
In his hand an American flag clutched to his chest.

A chain from buttonhole to vest pockets and a key as a fob,
a cinch to keep his pride from bursting. It insinuates
the only part missing was the watch that sat tucked
close to his left hand. A trinket; a remembrance

of the father he had left behind in Igolomia, Poland
to claim his dream. It remains strong in your own heart
as the box that holds your Great-Grandfather’s declaration secure.
You are sure the timepiece marked his life as well as your own.

 

Presented at dVerse Poets Pub – OLN Week #104

UNITED

On the edge of reason, we watched and waited.
We hated being helpless, and I guess
we hated being the target of hate.
Many were functioning as they normally had,
but then every man, woman, mom and dad
had much to explain to minds that could not
comprehend. It had sent a strong message,
that we should be ever-vigilant and can’t
let down our guard. It is hard to preach trust
when the thrust of such extreme proportion
penetrates our collective spirit. They thought
they’d split it in two. It is true that we fight
amongst each other, like any “sister” and “brother”
but let another interfere and we’ll be here united
to fight it tooth and nail. We had stumbled, but did not fail.
May God continue to Bless America!

© – Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

TRAFFIC JAM

I come to a complete halt.
Fifteen mile back-up and hours
in arrears.

Raleigh to Buffalo in eleven and a half,
that was the plan; designated and approved.
A noon departure, destined to render us home
near its midnight counterpart. My heart
wasn’t in for the drive, but I strive to follow
an itinerary that felt hollow and vacant.
Down the on-ramp to the highway,
I stay five mph above the limit making up
minutes; false victory in an age old story.
No glory on a Sunday afternoon. I swoon
as I watch the traffic thicken, and it sickens me
to see red brake lights illuminated,
making me irritated and disgusted.
I trusted my GPS to bring us home,
but I come to a complete halt.
Fifteen mile back-up and hours
in arrears. My greatest of fears
is realized. A desperate maneuver
from the center lane to find an exit.
Closer to “come from” than “near home”
we return to the accommodations to wait
for the early morning “night” to restart our flight
to the promise land and a warm familiar bed.
Can’t wait to rest my head. If I can only keep
my eyes from making me fall asleep.
A change of plans; not in my hands.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

LAUREATE AT THE STAKE*

Sacrificed on the altar of reason,
pages ignite; an incendiary conflagration
of words and rhyme – metered and meted.

Ashes strewn, wind blown; sown upon
the fertility of a mind left wanting to be heard.
Every word burning like midnight oil to ravage

all this savage heart has toiled to achieve.
Like decayed leaves these poems smolder.
Line by line, they feed the fire; burning.

Learning that poetic purity is akin to obscurity,
remnants of thought filling the air
like sparks off to incite the masses and high grasses

in smoky simile; nothing is left unsaid.
Laureate at the stake burning, take the time to learn.
There is rhyme enough to burn.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

* Note:  On being selected the 2010 Poet Laureate for the April PAD at Writer’s Digest.com/Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer. I seemed in a hurry to get there, and humbly find I still have much to learn and accomplish.

NOT FADE AWAY

Incessant memories pervade
as I wade through this life
searching for an identity
I can claim as my own. Sown
and nurtured are my poetic seeds,
and yet I get no satisfaction from
their lack of flourishing;
not nourishing my heart like
I was used to having.
But all these thoughts must be written
I have been bitten by the bug,
a hearty shrug and a hope
that a smitten poet can regain his passion.
The heart is willing; the wile is weak.

OCTOBER SAVES

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.