I was born the third child on the third day, the third Walter in the line of familial redundancy. Not a junior, not a numeral, and after my father’s funeral, the last Walter standing. No three-star General commanding multitudes of minions. Just a man with a penchant for poetry, be they tercets or haiku, I am true to the test of three.

A third birthday was ushered in by the death of three, rocking my world at an early age. Holly, Valens and Richardson – mother’s sons all, taking the fall in a stormy Iowa sky. I don’t remember if I cried, but the music died all the same. Later the same year we saw the first of three Walter’s perish and a cherished name was diminished by one, survived by two “sons”. Three seems to be my number, lucky or not, but it’s gotten me this far in the line of three.

The trinity guides
and provides me a purpose,
three steps onward

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018




You’ve played the gambit
and the gamut of games
has your head stealing
a breath or two as you
prepare for the next round.

You’ve found that you are
less of a player than a heart slayer
as you lay your cards on the table.
You’re able to hide your poker
face, a grace you’ve been given.

You’ve got a hand that would stand
up to any, and many have bluffed
with less. It is best if you go
all in to try and win her heart,
for you know it is all a part of the game.

You’re down to your last few chips
and you’d be a monkey’s uncle
if your ante leaves you broken.
They’re only tokens anyway,
it just depends on how you play.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #452 – Game


Trees rustle and sway
and make a day of it.
Leaves, cut by the winds of change
rearrange, only to rediscover
home again. Nestled and rested,
the best place to recline.
But I find it annoying,
a noise toying with me.
It is there, somewhere
near the patch of saplings,
rapping an echo as of rabid canines.
It’s fine, but it hearkens to me,
this bark of the dogwood trees
unleashed. Their bite’s not so bad!

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Bloomings Prompt #213: You Come To My Senses


Salubrious salutations resonate
on this late summer day,
the golden orb reigns down
in waves of gilded images.
I hear your voice echo against
my skin, my pate, red from shouts
of your raucous oration.
I hold my station as you continue
the tirade of this sweltering afternoon.
And as night draws nigh I hear your soft
sigh and sweet farewell; your promise
of a fresh new tomorrow. Your whispers
ease my sorrow and caress my soul,
touching my heart with your lilting goodnight.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Bloomings Prompt #213: You Come To My Senses


I grew up a stooge.
I had Moe’s haircut
but I got into trouble
when I’d double-up my fingers
to poke my brother’s eyes.
I learned the trick watching
slapstick comedy. Aim for the brows
and hope he doesn’t flinch.
After the first time, he never did.
I hid my love for being a physical joker,
faux eye poker for years. But my greatest
fears were exposed when I chose to watch
“Dodgeball”. A madman throwing wrenches
as a training tool? The only fool
was the guy that didn’t duck.
“If you can dodge a wrench,
you can dodge a dodgeball!”
An involuntary belly laugh every time
I heard it chime off of the man’s head.
You’d think he’d learn after the first time.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #452: Game


I wasn’t a very fast lad, but I wasn’t too bad,
I had a gait that I would hate all my life.
I liked to run, but only to get places quickly.
I was built thickly as a boy and the joy I took
when I shook a leg was all I needed.
I had exceeded expectations.
There was elation.

But, reality came in this revelation. I got caught
up in aging, and staging a race to a finish line
took on a whole new view. And I would eschew
a harried pace, just in case I would fail.
No more high-tailing it. Now I mail it in.
My knees can’t take the beating. It bears repeating,
I will run no more forever.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Miz Quickly’s MuhwufSS: Goodbye To All That!


My muse was defenseless,
a senseless ramble that was
slower than half-fast, as I’ve discovered.
But it’s Friday and I’m tired, uninspired
and the desire to poem has been sold
down the river of dreams, so it seems.
I have uncovered my flaw.
It gnaws at my words.
Such challenges should be left unheard.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018



Miz Quickly’s MuhwufSS: Free Day of Sorts


Hauntingly flaunting their verity,
searching for clarity or at the least
their finished business. A chance
to other side unimpeded. They’ve
exceeded their life expectancy. They’ve
begged and pleaded for some relief
but your belief in the paranormal
has you talking. You are walking
through dark and abandoned places
seeing faces in the woodwork,
being a jerk to ambivalent apparitions
under the strangest conditions.
There are footsteps down the hall,
a distant call from beyond
the next room. There is no doom
in death that the living can’t provide.
There is a little voice inside your head.
Is it the voice of the dead instead?
Don’t talk back, or they’ll be return.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides Prompt #451 – Other Side


Boy, this dump smells like a sump,
aromas do not stink,
This place wafts like a drainage ditch,
excuse me as I rant and bitch.
I’d hold my nose to this disposal,
either way I cannot breath,
this stagnant water bears a stench,
there is no thirst that this would quench.
This boggy swamp I do not need,
let’s scat before mosquitoes breed!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Twiglet #90


My Dearest Edgar:

It has been hard to reach you.
I beseech you to hear me out,
you imp of the perverse!
The power of words is in your court.

Do I need to resort to retorts
and provocations? Is your station such
that you no longer care much
for the world as it has become?

Remember that night we had that fight
after polishing off that cask of Amontillado?
The vintage was weak, I must say,
yet the musty bouquet had a kick like opium!

I had seen Annabel Lee, and she
had no nice things to say of the way
your pipe dictated your muse. I refuse
to believe your descent into the maelstrom

of clear thought was wrought with whatever high
your pipe would provide. You can’t hide forever!
That fall at the House of Usher should have
weaned you from such addiction, but your dereliction

was surely remorse filled. Of course
your sadness over Lenore was understandable.
It was the premature burial they gave her
that troubles me to this day. We could have saved her.

The oval portrait that hangs in your study
is ruddy red from whatever substance
you rendered. But your love for her was well known;
your heart was tell-tale – you never failed to wail

and lament that what had sent her to the grave.
I read the narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.
It was him who should have cast
the proper verdict. The good doctor and professor

would surely have been tarred and feathered.
It was that purloined letter that convinced me.
Since we hardly speak now, how do I reach you?
Again, I beseech you. Is the city in the seas

the place where your haunted palace spreads?
Or do you consider me dead to you as well?
Do tell. Stop living this dream within a dream.
You seem lost to those who wish you none but well!

That is truly a predicament. I’ve sent
three score letters, all returned unopened.
I suspect the same fate from this hand.
I remember what you had said in the years

when our youth plagued us. “Trust your heart.
Never bet the devil your head. The oblong box
will wait for your fill!” Your words are still
in demand. You are the man!

These streets are in an upheaval, although I long
for a tamer lane than what exists now!
You remain an enigma, Edgar! I’ve been ravin’ of your wile
for a while. But left unanswered, I will write nevermore!

Sincerely yours.

M. Valdemar
Red Death Mask Company
Baltimore, Maryland