Tall and thickly rooted,
an “orchard” amidst a garden.
The hardened immigrant toils,
muddied soil his base,
and his face is ruddy and worn.
He had been removed
from the home he knew trans-
planted between two trees
shading his vegetable patch.
An apple tree reaching,
arms raised in prayer beseeching
for a fruitful yield. Across the way
plums, purple and regal.
Leathery hands gripping a hoe,
a “Hokka” he calls it, chopping
and tilling clods of dried sod.
Plans for tomatoes, potatoes,
beets and cucumbers
and a number of other plants.
Bandanna flailing raised to brow
mopping the flop-sweat
under the noon day sun, baking.
A curse in his mother tongue,
chopping against bark to free
the mud held tightly. Releasing
his place of birth for a new home!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides Prompt #397: Land of ________



If I lived in another land, it would be something Seussian,
then I’d have an excuse again for being so strange.
I could rearrange words as if they were furniture,
and I would yearn for sure to hear the who
what Horton heard. It would be absurd I’m sure if
I could bring Thing 1 and Thing 2
into my crew and eschew (or bally-hoo)
any Lorax attacks that smacks of tom-foolery
and wear my drool like it was drool joolery!
That would be way too cool, you see!
(But that’s just me!) I’d enter every poetry slam
equipped with a pan of green eggs
and ham it up with my eyes quite shut
and a pocketful of wockets
(that sounds more Fuddian than Seussian!)
and I’ll be very amussian in my humor rume!
I would make a wish for just two fish,
one red and one blue (I’ve no need
for two blue! Do you?) I think
what I think and I know
what I know and I’m very familiar
with the places I’ll go.
I’m only old once (or maybe twice
if the weather’s not nice)
and have bunches of hunches
about sneetches with leeches
or foxes with sockes (hidden inside
of brightly wrapped boxes.)
So, say what you want and say what you say,
I’d be luckier by far to live right where I are!

© Walter J Wojtanik



They called him Jimmy Mudflap,
the lousy greasy comb over did not flatter him.
But he kept his Capo clean. No spatter
from any gatt got on nary a spat
when Jimmy laid out. He hung
close to the wheels with the motor running.
He was gunning for consigliere,
but would settle for some muscle.
In any tussle, Mudflap had it covered.
He was discovered with tire tread
across his head in the Fine China factory.
Jimmy Mudflap sleeps with the dishes!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik



Two young boys caps askew, discussing the finer points of the designated hitter, a wad of Fleer’s between their cheeks, a bat over the shoulder of one, glove in tow. A cleanly stitched Spaulding tightly gripped and the other astride his bike, Mickey Mantle in his spokes. Not a common scene today, a refreshing look; a throw back.

A clear spring evening
memories of youth invade
in mental cascade

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik


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


“Go West young man, Go West!”
Or so they say I said.
First intoned by John Babsone Lane Soule
in 1851. It’s funny that my quote
mirrored John’s in a sense,
but lets dispense with the mystery.
History will show that I had
paraphrased what Soule had said.
I reiterated in this way in 1865:
“Go West, young man,
and grow up with the country.”
I’m giving Soule credit for that verse
because he said it first!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides Prompt # 396: Historical Persona


Looks like my “I AM SANTA CLAUS” project is gaining steam toward completion. The concept of this collection of poetry is a book of poems written from the perspective of Santa Claus (or a “Santa Claus” persona). Each piece contains the line “I am Santa Claus” (usually as the last line of the poem.)

The “tag” line for “I Am Santa Claus” is “We are ALL Santa Claus”. That’s where you, my poetic friends come in. I hope to include a chapter entitled, “We Are ALL Santa Claus!” with poems written by my cohorts. I will also hopefully choose up to fifteen poems for this section. If you are so inclined to contribute to this long awaited effort, send your poems with the subject line “We Are Santa Claus”  to:


Be sure to include the “I Am Santa Claus” line in your poem. It could be from your perspective, someone you’ve seen do positive things for others or of course from the eyes of Santa Claus. I will select my favorite poems (up to 15). You will retain the rights to your poems. If selected, you will be asked to provide a brief Bio for this project. Your submission will give me permission to consider your work happily. And remember, “We are ALL Santa Claus!”


As the dense smoke of ill decision lifts,
it becomes clear that a heavy heart is cumbersome.
Where once it danced lightly and entranced,

it now serves to be too clumsy and immense,
it pelts the senses like a wet sack of cement.
Heartbeats are reduced to a murmur,

they are reluctant to answer love’s call.
You can guess that all stray thoughts travel
to hell and back without a GPS.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides – Prompt #395: Snap Decision