The news hits like a punch to the jaw.
Pow! Wham! Zowie!
Another icon of my youth has gone.
Adam West was the Batman I knew,
I grew up with his campy depiction.
This benediction keeps him ensconced
in my heart and mind for all time.
Godspeed and rest, Adam West!
Pow! Wham! Zowie! R.I.P.!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides – Prompt #396:  Historic Persona




Prayers for the fallen soldiers,
men and women who had dared
and had dreamed
and bled,
and were left for dead.
(They) Faced the fire of hell
in every battle and storm.
(They) Carved their fingernails into stone
and opened the doors of  freedom,
each body returning in brown boxes.
(They) Sadly, rarely made the papers.
God rest the fallen heroes!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017wordle286

Wordle #285


Your stay has been completed,
you have competed with your muse
and used every word to your advantage.
You had managed to reach deep within,
within yourself and within all of us.
Your voice laced with gravel and I
would marvel at your wisdom, your heart.
Every poetic lyric spoke to me
poked my sensibilities with the ability
to express what truly lived within my chest.
Here are tears from Suzanne and I.
We cry for our loss, not for your prize.
You are the (wise) man, everybody knows.
It’s a cold and lonely Halleluja!
© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016


Leonard Cohen – 1934-2016


A stone
marks your presence,
yet the essence of you
lives within me.

Memories and heart felt emotions
fill the corners of my rapturous soul.
Amidst these rows and rows of monuments,
of marble and granite.

You are both remembered
long since you departed with pieces of my heart,
buried with you, as much as pieces of your lives
live within me.

I come to celebrate you,
feting each life as a part of me,
a solid foundation
upon which I was built.
The only guilt I bear
is not being there to tell you,
“I love you” often enough.

Of granite and stone your time has been marked,
a stark reality to the soft and caring souls you were
in this life of love and wonder. Under this marker you lie;
deep within my heart you remain, an eternal blessing.

Rest comes shrouded in stone,
shadows of death left to languish,
grounded in seclusion; isolation.
Marked in granite,
planet Earth receives all that remains.
Spoils for the soil.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

dVerse Poets Pub – MTB: As a Cubist Poet


James Griffn – Former Mayor of Buffalo, NY

I made the pitch,
I gave it a shot,
I was all for it,
some people were not.

A stadium build
in the heart of downtown,
they called me an ass,
they labeled me clown.

I stepped up to bat
for a game that I love,
I donned my cap,
I grabbed my glove,

I pulled some strings,
& called in favors,
all for a game,
a red hot to savor.

And in the end
we had a fine field,
a shining diamond
that would yield

community unity,
a place to be proud
for a couple of innings
raucous and loud.

And now I stand
poised to throw,
cast in bronze
here in Buffalo.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Offered for dVerse Poets Pub – Tuesday Poetics: Chisel Me A Conversation

***Mayor James D. “Jimmy” Griffin was a tireless public servant who dedicated his life to making Buffalo, N.Y. a better place. His passion for helping others, his love of this community and his unique, independent leadership has been celebrated in the many stories that have been shared all over Western New York since his death in 2008.

In 2009, the plaza outside the ballpark that Mayor Griffin championed, Coca-Cola Field , was named in his honor. A commemorative plaque was placed in the plaza at a dedication on June 30, 2009. In addition to the plaque, the above statue in Mayor Griffin’s honor was erected in James D. Griffin Plaza.


Leo Newton
Leo Newton

“Where you going, Champ?”
“What are you up to, Champ?”
“No street shoes on the court, Champ!”

He called us Champ,
and he made us feel like one,
and we were better off when he was done

teaching the finer points,
though his finger joints were mangled
and twisted, he insisted, you were a Champ!

Gray sweatshirt, rubber soled oxfords,
encouraging words for his athletes
and us Champs. Salted brush cut,

horn-rimmed specs and a heck of a set shot,
you got all you could get from the man
with the craggy chin and his whistle

clenched between his teeth. No disrespect,
but he came with the building, whether
he was building character or building

a winning team, it would always seem
he got the best from the best, and all the rest.
I guess that’s why he called us “Champs”!

~Walter J. Wojtanik

A tribute to one of the finest guys I would come to know in my life. A teacher, a mentor, a real leader. The original champ! Leo Newton, athletic director and coach at Our Lady of Victory School in Lackawanna, N.Y.


Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot

Dear Gordon,

I heard your voice years ago,
soft, haunting, tender and strong –
Was it wrong that I thought you were
the music man I’d most like to be?

You were Canadian after all!
I’m not supposed to care, but there
you sang of early morning rains
and a steel tied Canadian Railroad in Trilogy.

From morning’s first light
until sundown, it’s worth believin’
that all the lovely ladies would fawn
over you, the minstrel of the dawn.

Softly winding down carefree
highways, and me living vicariously
through the golden voice of my choice.
If you could read my mind, you would know.

If I could, I would have been Alberta Bound
and found the visions of which you sang,
tilting at windmills, the thrill of a modern day
Don Quixote, Sancho Panza at the flank.

I thank you for being a sage of my youth.
Your songs were beautiful and warming;
songs for a winter’s night, not so alarming.
And the day you would first herald the tragic wreck

of the Edmund Fitzgerald, I knew you
spoke to all within the sound of your voice.
You are what I am, or aspire to be. I’m not sayin
I could be you, just that through you, I saw the world.

This is my song. This strong connection has lasted
long into my adulthood. It is as good as Gord’s Gold.
Without you, I’d be less sure. It would be a black day
in July when I would shy away from your wisdom.

You’ve given the world much to ponder all the same.
By the way, did she mention my name?

One (of a number) of your fans,

Walter J. Wojtanik

© 2016

The words highlighted are titles of songs that truly are “Gord’s Gold”!

NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 3: “Fan Letter”


leonard-nimoy-obit-videoSixteenByNine1050-v2Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83. He had chronic COPD ( chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ).

~By Virginia Heffernan of The New York Times


The multi-talented Nimoy was an actor, director, photographer, and recoding artist. He was also an accomplished poet. Visit these sites to read some of Leonard’s works:

Rest In Peace, Mr. Spock! I have been – and always will be – your fan!





Veteran’s Day plays in my head like a song.
It won’t be long before voices strong
intone in one voice; one accord.
The sword of truth cuts deeply, it does not choose.
But today, I sing the blues for every brave soul
reared in courage and sacrifice that had paid the supreme price.


Trouble in mind will find a place to burrow,
a furrowed brow in concern for a mission
to which I surrender my support, resorting
to whatever backing is lacking. You will be strong.
The chain of fools can bluster, but their brass
lacks the luster of each combat ready warrior!


Think of what it means to a nation struggling
to rise above, steeped in life, love and liberty.
Free to be whatever we envision, sometimes
in division. But for you, we come to stand together and tall.
Call me to stand in your defense, as you
have stood in mine. You built this “house”, Jack!


Say it isn’t so! Some go through this life giving no
credence to the selflessness you offer. Clueless,
they are lost in daydreaming, seemingly uncaring.
Your daring and strength pave the road,
to this free way, with love. You make me feel proud.
Until you come back I’ll say it loud.



(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

A timely poem based on the songs of Aretha Franklin




Your journey has ended,
by your hand and much too soon.
You, the buffoon, the clown, the genius
bringing joy to the world.
But, for what it’s worth, who gave you mirth?
Your torment was an illness,
your illness was your privacy.
In the shadows of a mind so sharp,
that spark of madness run amok.
You had been stuck for a while
and the smile you wore tore your heart
to shreds. We laughed at your brand,
and demanded more of you
but, you had given enough.
It is tough that you didn’t save
some for yourself. We took you
seriously when your dramatics
gripped us. It ripped us as well,
your living hell of which you would tell,
of powders and pills and rivulets
of distilled potions, notions of answers
left un-questioned; too many to mention.
You’ve gone back to the egg.
You have been silenced like Ellen James.
Long did you stand as the grown-up Pan.
You have sucked the marrow out of this life.
There is no Doubt (the) fire has gone out.
It makes us want to shout,
Oh Captain, My Captain!
Thank you for your gift,
we’ve enjoyed it while it lasted.
And in our hearts you will live within a smile.
What dreams may come, you will greet us.
You will meet us with a joke in tow.
We know your journey has ended.
The Genie has been freed.
The Buffoon. The Clown.
The Genius indeed. Oh, Captain,
Bon Voyage!

© Walter J Wojtanik, 2014