I am turning 65 years old.
It’s just a freaking big, ugly number.

Some of my friends never came close to being this number.
Their ailments caught up with them when they weren’t paying attention, not to mention caught unawares.
I find that I sit and stare more and I’m sure that my eyes deceive me,
But believe me, it’s really just that my processor is slowing down a bit.

I’ve thinned out in some regard, hairline notwithstanding,
Still carry a slight pudge. (I nudge my belly to watch it jiggle)
And I laugh more than giggle at the motion.
I have a notion that when life finally catches up with me,
I’ll see things I’ve never imagined just before I expire.
It’s not my desire to hallucinate, but that’s debatable.

My sense of humor makes less sense lately, even I don’t get me sometimes.
My rhymes get more outrageous and if read in stages gets to the point.

I relate to my granddaughter.
I’m convinced she’s smarter than me at almost two
and sees things through her innocence

That I’ve never looked hard enough to discover.
She my best pal. We laugh and dance and sing and sing and sing…
Okay, so we like to sing!!

Being invisible as an adult is no different that it was in high school
Except for the fact that I’m older and I hurt in places I didn’t know
I had places. I can still recognize faces if I squint hard enough.

I’ll never play Carnegie Hall no matter how hard I practice.
I’ll never really be a true laureate, no matter how much I mess with words.
I’d change if I knew what I’d wanted to be when I grew up. Still undecided.

I remember my belligerence at turning 30.
I wasn’t to be trusted any longer, and that bothered me.
I felt old at 30.
And 31.

I never traveled well. I didn’t travel much at all!
The only trip I remember was a trip and fall.
I don’t recall much after that!
It wasn’t that memorable.

I never won a million dollar lottery.
Or a few thou!
Maybe six bucks on a scratch off.
I dropped the quarter through a sewer grate, so I lost on that one!

I loved to have fun when it would find me.
It would remind me what I was like at nine.
I was fine until I started noticing things.

I was scared of spiders and girls.
I got over the arachnids. Girls haunted me for some time.
My shyness was the slings and arrows of my youth.
To tell the truth, I don’t miss it.
Kissed it goodbye long ago.

Loved a few, married the one,
Have some regrets (doesn’t everyone?)
I have a survivor’s spirit and I hear it call me
In times of tumult. (A Walt in tumult is not pretty!)

Had a few shitty jobs, worked with slobs and geniuses
And so have they. I wished they would have paid more money.
I became a poet because I couldn’t sing and dance.
Except with my granddaughter! My purpose.

I’ve touched some hearts, but never touched my soul,
At least not in the way a true wordsmith could.
At least I don’t think I have!
But poetry is my kryptonite, and so I write.
Right or wrong, I write!
In it I can express, and love, and vent,
Get all bent out of shape and breathe!

Every bit of my life has gotten me here.
I just wanted to make myself clear as I turn 65.
It’s just a number.
A freaking ugly, enormous number,
An expressive bit writ on the eve of my 65th birthday.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2021


“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try!”
~ Jedi Master Yoda

Futile attempts are
when success comes not!
Become we do, what wish we,
but loss, arise it does, when
achievement flat on its face falls!
Satisfied be not, when accomplished
nothing is. Try not! Do
or do not. There is no try!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


Looking down on the little people from the penthouse high above them, I love them but they are so small, a blip really. The hustle and bustle makes a din, a noise that festers within, and I can barely hear it over the construction cacophony. I’d bet money the traffic is as thick as petroleum jelly (it ties my belly in knots with rage). At this stage, country living would surely entice, it would be nice to walk across the road without dodging Dodges and Audis like I’m playing Frogger. I’m no jogger, I don’t own a bike and it’s a hike to Midtown. I wish I could lose this frown,  for urbanessence has gotten to me. Set me free, or call me a friggin’ cab!
a stroll takes its toll
so walk as brisk as you’d like
go on, take a hike
© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2020
dVerse Haibun Monday – Hike


In the evening, when day is through,
the sun retreats to a place where
slumber awaits her brilliant hue.
Night is her time to seek repose.

And so, in her tired escape,
in the evening when day is through,
star-crossed lovers beneath the moon
hold each other ever so close

and share their dreams. It always seems
that it draws out a kiss or two
in the evening, when day is through.
Seductive sounds surround them so.

Yet sounds, like sunsets, seek repose
as morning approaches once more.
But to be sure, romance returns
in the evening, when day is through.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


Always in lost thought,
I oughta be dog-eat-dog, not
some bum on a log poet wrangling words.
No combatant in whatever war of wits
I would find myself.
my wile with words
seemed impressive. I found it excessive;
obsessive. Ogden and John Nash conjoined.
(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2020

dVerse Quadrille Monday: Bum



The jolly joker, baggy pants and scant
patches of outrageous hair ; smiles and gags
abound. But nobody knows! Nobody knows.

And still, he’ll strap on his suspenders,
Seltzer water at the ready and a steady
Stream of laughs and guffaws, canned

And recorded for such times.
For his mind is a million miles away,
And all the pain does is slash at his heart.

His plaid jacket held together by one large button
It does not hold him tightly as he wished
He could hold his young daughter.

His tragedy feeds his comedy,
His funny side is the mask that hides
the tears of the clown. Only one wish –

that he could take his helium balloons
and allow them to float him to his little girl.
Separation takes its toll on all concerned.

The clown cajoles and entertains,
But no one ever sees his pain.
And their laughter does not heal him.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik -2020

dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics: Clowning Around


I use my words to express my heart.
Words that live deep within me,
and I hope that you can clearly see
by the way my love songs always start.
So, with all the feelings I impart,
with all the thoughts there’ll ever be,
I use my words.

For love invades like Cupid’s dart,
quite sent straight to you, straight from me.
And as I proposed on bended knee
with feelings that came from deep in my heart,
I use my words.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2020

POETIC BLOOMINGS – Inform Poet: Rondine


Unfurled, my canvas tightens,
taut and rigid in the strength
of a gale force wind. Beginning
and ending with the gusts
prevailing, sailing into the waters,
uncharted and unsure. It is purely
the epitome of self-sufficiency;
this proficiency so star-guided
provides me with the direction I crave.
In it, I am saved, a navigator of
life’s currents. Wave after wave,
I am coaxed toward shore, for sure
more open waters await me.
My sole journey continues undeterred.
(c) Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


She has spread her cheer every year
for twenty-seven. Pure heaven with
her heavily dimpled smile.
One of the sunshines of my life
and she, the sunflower of same.
Her name is Andrea, and her bloom
brightens every garden
she sees fit to visit.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2020

dVerse Poets Pub – Quadrille: Garden


Quiet. Serene. Soft and gentle
calling to the soul seeking refuge,
solace in the silent sanctuary.
It’s a feeling that rises up, touching
every fiber of your being.

As the sun rises, you are seeing
things in the light of a new day, 
a front window to capture the beauty of a world
left to your own devices, It is nice
that the vision of that first sun, shines through.

You fill your lungs with as much fresh air
as you can inhale and without fail, the scent
of the pines brings a tear for it is here
that the world began. Your heart beats
more true as you stand and listen

to the awakening that began
with the rays of the sun as it raises its hands
to glorify all that it touches. A symphony
of avian arias and woodland creatures
alerting the world they have arisen.

There is a sweetness that exists in nature,
a honeyed palette that quenches your thirst
and satisfies your hunger for each new day.
You savor the flavor of what your window reveals.
You believe this is the most alive that you will feel!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2020

dVerse – Poetics: Looking Out the Window