“Burn not thy fingers to snuff another man’s candle.”

~ James Howell

What purpose does it serve to extinguish another man’s flame?
Why would you deny another woman’s light?
When the world needs the brilliance of many, how could any candle
be allowed to go silent? A dark mind will find nothing but violence
and a desire to burn uncontrolled to destroy all in its path.
No bold declaration of one’s own self
can provide the conflagration that many a candle
can offer. One candle will augment all other candles
when used to ignite their glow. A single match
can light a multitude of candles. Know there is truth in light.
Know that it is darkness that lies.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC BLOOMINGS Autumnal Poem-A-Day Exercise – Day 13: Candles



There are two ways of spreading light:
to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~Edith Wharton

We are surrounded by the brilliance of others
who shine their light unto the world.
They become the candle that illuminates our darkness,
the glow of humanity in the flicker of flame.
We warm our hands on their fire,
we warm our hearts on their glow.
We know that by adding our light, we allow theirs
to burn more bright in the cold, dark night.
We can choose to be a reflection of their light,
or we can be the beacon of the right light.
A bright light so shared.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018



You know you shouldn’t, so don’t.
Some things just aren’t right.
There are commands to guide you,
but they won’t hide you from
doing the wrong thing.
It rings of disobedience if your
expedience gets you in dutch.
It’s much to much to chance.
So thou shalt not dance on the edge.
And don’t hedge you bets.
Go the straight and narrow,
or it’s straight to hell you get!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

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


I couldn’t get it through my head
that Dad’s tools were his trade and it made him mad
when I had used his implements.
He’d get bent out of shape and went ape
sure as I tell you. But he knew…

As sure as I tell you, he knew
that I had an affinity for fixing things
just as he had all his life. So the new rule became this:
If you use it, put it where you found it!
A lesson ground into my head from the start.

A lesson ground into my head from the start.
It didn’t take me long to take it to heart.
Leaving a hammer out didn’t bring the wrath of Thor.
He was more disappointed than mad.
He had a way of teaching me his trade.

Dad had a way of teaching me his trade,
and it made me more well equipped to handle
any problem that came along.
Put your tools where they belong.
That message has always resonated loud and clear.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

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


Respect came in various lessons,
and messin’ with Ma was one learned early.
The old man went squirrelly when we dissed
his missus. He truly went nuts,
no ifs, ands or buts.

No ifs, ands or butts
would not be spared if we dared sass back.
A swift smack on the behind
would find you and remind you,
“Don’t talk back to your Mother!”

Don’t talk back to your Mother.
But, giving Dad the lip with a slip of the tongue
would have also “brung” the wrath of Dad.
He wasn’t bad, but he had a fuse you needed not light.
We had to fight the urge disobey.

We had to fight the urge to disobey.
We’d say what he wanted to hear,
and wait until we were clear of earshot
before we got our frustrations out.
It wasn’t about what we said.

It wasn’t about what we said.
Instead, it was how we said it.
I’d live to regret it that my last words to mom
came from a dark place. The hurt on her face.
stays with me to this day.
It was too late to watch what I say.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

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



“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


I sit listening to the wind,
that’s the way each day begins.
Some may think it is a crime
all because they know that I’m

here with my feet on the ground.
No thoughts become so profound,
that they mire my thinking,
and if my eyes are blinking,

it’s because I can see things
in all that poetry brings.
My words present like a song
and there is nothing that’s wrong

with these expressions of heart.
That’s the way these poems start,
devotion to emotion
without all the commotion.

In the quiet of the night,
everything I write feels right.
There is nothing I’ll rescind,
I sit listening to the wind.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018



     “Well, we all have a face
     That we hide away forever
     And we take them out
     And show ourselves when everyone has gone.”
          ~ Billy Joel from “The Stranger”

We all wear a mask.
To hide our fears, insecurities,
our anger and hate.
Identities obscured as if
voices unheard were really silenced.
Violence and the aftermath
are dispatched, plans hatched
in a tragic sense are forgone.
It’s almost funny in a sick sort of way.
We play it for comedic effect,
to protect our hearts and minds.
We come to find that Comedy and Tragedy
walk a fine line, separated by a breath
of laughter or tears of great sadness.
The madness never ends, my friends.
Unmask and be free.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #456: Tragic


Prolific comes to roost,
a boost to his ego that
words would flow with force,
of course he’s confused.
Has he abused his muse
and driven like minded souls
off? He scoffs at the notion
for surely their devotion to words
was equally as strong.
Did he pick the wrong day to
splay his poetry on the page
in lieu of others offerings?
The prompt is posted
and one who once boasted
of a muse so demanding
finds no one else is playing.
Are they delaying?
Is everyone asleep?
Or is he the last poet standing?

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #456: Tragic