“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.” ~Aldous Huxley

You live and learn
earning your respect
and stumbling your way
through this world. You hope to build
strength and character and
strength of character
to anchor you. Feet firmly planted,
convicted to depict a man
who makes his mistakes better
each next time he makes them.
Never curse the sins visited upon the son
for they were merely lessons the father
never got around to teaching.
Nothing wrong with reaching for the stars,
venturing far from home base,
yet keeping our heart close to the place
that bears your footprint.
Not all missteps are mistakes,
every deviation takes you to a new location.
For generations this had been your station.
But your errors are the foundation upon which
your life was built. Becoming sturdy
and strong, ending up where you belong.

© Walter J Wojtanik




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




Dear Walter,

I’ve noticed you’ve been gone too long.
So I decided to sit right down to write this.
I miss your smile. And it has been a while
since we truly shared some quality time.
I’m staying busy. It has truly been
a dizzying spring.
And here’s the thing,
it’s bummer that we disconnected.
I suspect you’ve been dejected,
but I promise we’ll find yourself in time,
and hopefully soon.
It’s just that I noticed that you are less
active than usual. Your casual attitude
perplexes me, really vexes me.
Was it something in your head?
I can understand that a man of words
can get this absurd frustration that
his conversation skills have faltered;
that such words would go unheard,
sometimes sour like bad curd.
They can be for the birds,
as you so clearly have demonstrated
time and time again!
You can’t please everyone
if you can’t please yourself.
Go back to basics;
you write what you like, like back in the day.
Find what it is you have to say. You’ll always
have a way with words. Use them judiciously.
Suspiciously view the words of others.
Those who love you, will feed on your muse
and choose to peruse you.
They will choose YOU. Let loose.
Write when time and life allows.
And always follow your heart. Start by writing
a letter to yourself. Give yourself  permission
to place your words of wit on notice.
Have a wonderful time. Wish you were here!

Signed, Walter


(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018


An unfamiliar place with no trace
of anything you can recall.
So many thoughts and ideas
given birth as your mind unearths
sorrow with little hope for a tomorrow.
Webs cobbled in fine silk
milking memories from misty midnight menageries.
Windows to the world, a soulless place
replacing what once was held dear,
here where love blossomed
and generations of sons
and daughters grew in tune.
Airy, left in decadent decay –
a shell of better days
ghosts of confiscated youth
ripped from the grip our longing hearts
by upstart degenerates and renegades
where as children we once played.
Zombied now and denigrated to
wait for a wrecking ball or an overhaul.
In dreams you find your mind returning,
yearning for what long ago was your domain.
In dreams you can certainly go home again,
but why would you want to?

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides


I had come to discover words.
And I never needed to define my words,
but always hoped my words would define me.

And words would come to fill my head,
and the more words I desired, the more
my words mired my thoughts. Those words sought release,

and my words came to spill onto my page.
Every thought, once thought as wise or sage played
upon each piece of pristine papyrus, a word plagued virus.

Each word stained page came assembled in hope
to resemble the poetic pondering of some word genius,
one of the genus Poeticus Delecticum who would come to be read

from far and wide in reading room and library.
But nary a word has reached those depths or breaths or lengths.
The strength of my poetic beauty traversed not the world nor universe.

My best poem has gone north to brighten the capital
of the Great Provincial North. She has become the last word that defines me.
She finds me close to her heart as we send her off to start her new life as a wife.

A wealth of words. A beautiful new song. Another poems for the world. Andrea.


(C) Walter J Wojtanik




“Did you know my father?” the farm boy inquired.
He was tired of searching faces for traces of familiarity.
No fear or temerity, only a gut full of anger; a blackness
that defined what “dark” was. An uncle and aunt
can’t keep him safe forever, he was strong.
Was it wrong to be so driven? He was living
for one purpose, to bring balance to the universe.
There’s a price on every head, and instead
of idealistic pursuits, your suit and dented helmet
covering your demented mind are all he could offer.
Your coffers will grow as long as you go out
and bring in the ones most wanted.
“Wretched scum and villain” fits him, and yet
you can’t escape the eyes of Fett!
“I AM your father” came the decree.
You would think it would free you of the burden,
but you know your inner strength is all you ask of it,
and no one forced you to this undertaking.
I have been the darkness, and you were right.
A father left to fight chooses a cause worth it.
Join me and we will rule the Empire on your terms.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik


I’ve spent a lot of time getting lost in words.
My words; the words of others. The sisters
and brothers of poetic thought who ought to be
feted. I am elated to have known you all.
Words find a way to fall onto the page,
sometimes on deaf ears and it is here
I have come to know them. I consider it
verbal violence when words are silenced.

Andrea Heiberg, your voice was a choice
I made an effort to hear, for it was here
I came to know you. Our paths crossed,
once in vile vitriol, but I had come to know
the soul that you had nurtured, a cultured
reach to beseech me to listen to every
glistening word, some of the best I had heard.
I think of you often, and I miss your words.

Vivienne Blake, you found a way to make
poetry seem like a beautiful waltz, a dance
that would entrance and soothe, with each
glorious word you’d use as a testimony of life
lived well & to the fullest. You were the best
at encouraging words to flow and allow us
to know the courage of your own words.
I think of you often, and I miss your words.

Dyson McIllwain, you verbose Scot,
you were not a flash in the pan.
Your words still stand as a testament,
meant to grace our hearts and souls.
Poetic thoughts united us, it invited us
to share the beauty of words with the
world and this world of words with others.
I think of you often, and I miss your words.

Today, I find Salvatore Buttaci has joined
his Father and Mother all in the embrace
of the Father who loved him, as Salvatore
loved his Blessed Father. His words expressed
in complete reverence, words of love
for his beloved Sharon, his cherished family,
his students of life who held to his wisdom.
I think of him now, and I miss his words.

I am at a loss. A loss of kindred hearts,
a loss of conjoined souls. You have all left
many holes that can never fully be filled.
I have been thrilled to have held you dear.
My words fail of late and the fate of them
hangs in the balance. This valance of life
hangs as well. My eyes swell with tears.
I miss you all. I am at a loss for words.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018



You stand out in the crowd,
a turnip waiting for your turn
to earn the largess of life.
You start out with a good wife,
extraordinary daughters,
and a position you’d love the chance
to trade for what’s behind
door number two.
It’s you and the wheeler dealer.

You have one shot at this,
so make your choices wisely.
Things sail along smoothly,
but then one morning
you are rudely interrupted
with an abrupt life alteration.
Your station is untenable,
it renders you a lesser version
in this life’s excursion.

So here’s the offer.
You can have money in your pocket
and keep your current life
with all your issues
or you can exchange it for more
than what you’re able to bargain.
It’s selling your soul for
a Cuisinart and a new car.
You realized you’re better off by far.

Life is no game show,
and not a reality show.
There is no show at all,
just reality. And with all its banality,
it is the best prize
one can strive to acquire.
Just keep what you have and be glad.
This is the best you will feel.
Let’s not make a deal.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides April P.A.D. Challenge – Day 10 – Deal/No Deal


My rocket propels me;
speed of light excursions
into the darkness of deep space.
It is silent, serene and no one
can hear me scream.
My days blur into each other
and it effects my equilibrium.
A floating trash compactor
in the expanse of endless nothingness.
Major Tom has found his way home,
and ground control has shut down
leaving me to be the clown staying
weightless in a prolonged environment!
In spite of my woes: Case Closed!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 4: CASE _____



Distant hearts do not grow fond of distance,
and our ability to embrace that joy
seems to slip from your hands as if those charms
become like road markers in your distorted side view
mirrors. Trying to milk human kindness
from the swollen teat of reality gets harder
as the lactate begins to dry up.
Joy seems so overrated in that moment
of ill-decision. Removing yourself
does not render a solution, yet
you walk away anyway. Maybe someday
you will come to know joy and rejoice,
even if it doesn’t smack you upside the head.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 4: CASE______