BURN NOT THY FINGERS

“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

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BE THE BEACON, BRIGHT

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

POETIC BLOOMINGS – AUTUMNAL P.A.D. Day 13: CANDLES

THOU SHALT NOT

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

DON’T TOUCH MY TOOLS / PUT MY TOOLS AWAY

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

DON’T TALK BACK TO YOUR MOTHER

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

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO A WILLING HEART

I started writing at thirteen,
lyrics for a song I hacked out
on the old organ we had at home.

Melody first, a little loop
of sound full blown into a
song, my first attempt.

Looking at the words
scratched onto a page
of spiral notebook paper

tattered and lined
random thoughts
of a future love long gone.

It had form and meter,
it had rhyme, my reason,
a poem of sorts on my page.

A poem never to see
the light of day for years,
dead ended in a rusted file cabinet,

along with every other lame attempt
of poem and prose that
had me believing I had talent.

Maybe talent, but nary a whiff
of confidence to show the
work that was even at this early

date, very personal, a glimpse
of my inner self, the now me
in miniature, immature,

but with a dream.
To see my words light up
the pages of this book of life.

The flesh was willing,
but the spirit was weak,
my ambition was a wishful thought.

I wanted to write in the worst way,
and that was what I did,
in the worst way.

As the years passed,
I still tried to convince myself
that I was a writer, a poet

a composer, an untapped
resource in a disconnected
reality, a dreamer

working for his hearts desire.
Hard work, hard words
mired in the muse of my mind.

But determined to live
according to the dictates
of my nightly mystic visions.

I dusted off my file cabinet,
shooing the dusty webs from the
hidden treasures long buried.

I sent my words into the world
unsure of their worth,
afraid of their power.

Given to the eyes of
others of a write minded bent,
sharing similar uncertainties

of their own. They labeled me,
tattooed me with an identity.
They called me poet.

The name I wanted;
the name they offered.
Nothing is impossible.

THE TRUE NORTH

by Walter J Wojtanik

I grew up very near the border with Canada,
and at times I feel Canadian by osmosis.
The influences of their media
had a profound affect on my upbringing.

I remember singing “O Canada” at hockey games
(I grew up very near the border with Canada.)
Or when the games were televised on Saturday night.
At the end of day, I sang both anthems when they’d play.

Many shows would entertain and remain to,
long after I had grown. You would have known
I grew up very near the border with Canada,
by the True North knowledge I would amass.

Now, my attraction is due to my daughter.
She married a Canadian gent and went
to live in Ottawa in the Great True North.
She grew up very near the border with Canada.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

SUMMER DISAPPEARS TO SLUMBER

The days are getting shorter still,
the summer fades away,
we’ll say goodbye from on the hill
on some late summer’s day.

I hold you near and we can hear
Fall waiting in the wings,
the colors warm will soon appear,
with all that autumn brings.

Moments of love’s long embrace
sustain me through the night,
and glowing starlight on your face
makes everything feel right.

Prepare to dream of Summer sun,
a restful sleep ensues,
with memories of Summer fun;
the ones we’ll never lose.

The kiss we shared upon that shore,
the picnics in the park,
the magic of this life and more
will greet us after dark.

And there my dear, I’ll hold you,
and whisper love’s entreaty,
as summer sets, when day is through
to rest in autumn’s beauty.

So, go to sleep and have your rest,
I’ll wake you come the Spring,
just lay your head upon my chest
to see what this night brings.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

SECRETS KEPT AND HIDDEN

No one knows.
And the best kept secret remains as such.
How much is it worth to know things
that your heart can confirm,
but you can not communicate,
this declaration of fact lies hidden.
Distance spanned and water
under the bridge between then and now.
How do you live a life with this burden?
They couldn’t know; you gave no indications,
your stagnation and debilitating fear
brought you here with nary a lead.
But indeed, you have known.
You will carry it until you’ll have grown
feeble and cold, just an infarction from
the chill’s permanence; it hides in residence.
Do you declare to the world and hope the rooftops
can handle your exuberance,
your happy dance long buried?
This fact prompts you to wonder
that if under this guise you can reprise
what your heart conceals; the real feel of its mystery,
your history until now untold and you let the story unfold.
Touching secrets with probing fingers,
the memory lingers. You held the best vantage point
in the room to see all before you,
a chance at a glance always revealed.
Though you were in close proximity,
you chose to let fear dictate and seal your fate.
Never a clue did you expose. You chose to fade,
finding comfort in your invisibility. Indignantly,
you held your nerve and your secret this long.
It can’t be wrong to release your burden and breathe again.
No one knows.
You wonder if your existence evaded detection then.
You are certain that it does now.
Unseen for all these years, no one could know.
Your memories melt flowing onto a page
as you engage your feelings.
Poems written of your smitten past,
and at last you come clean.
I mean, really, it’s not as if these poems will ever be seen.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018