My daughters are my pride and joy. I got just what I wanted; I never “wished” for boys. As different as night and day, they both have a way of working Daddy around their finger. The feeling lingers. Melissa holds a seven-year advantage, in time spent and shared. There were many a glad moment when she “met” her grandmother, my mother, spending her last nine months together. But as short lived, they were moments I cherish in my heart. The part that staggers me and saddens this old Dad’s demeanor was that my youngest daughter Andrea had never known her grandmother. I have no doubt that Andrea would have had Mom’s special favor. She has Mom’s smile.

I recently dreamed about Andrea meeting her grandmother. Any other dream would have faded quickly in the early morning light. But this dream had the feeling so real that I could feel Mom’s gentle hand leading me through the mystic midnight vision playing in my sleep filled mind. For thirty-one years she’s been gone, but ever-hopeful, this “one more day” played like it was video taped for posterity. The sincerity of Mom’s smile while she embraced our baby – fully grown and who has only “known” grandma by photos and oft-told memories which she had come to cherish as much as we had in making them. But, there they were a generation removed and settled into the groove that should have had the chance to flourish. It would have nourished both hearts in the lifetimes they would have known. Cuddled close conversing about futures planned and wisdom handed down; secrets shared between two of my favorite “girls”. But all nights do end and dreams do sometimes find conclusion. One final photo, a keepsake to take to my waking moments and beyond. In my dream, my daughter found her missing peace!

It warms my heart, but saddens me that on Andrea’s fast approaching big day Mom an only be there in spirit. But I am assure by the memories of that dream that will be beaming my with such love and pride. Another of her “babies” makes that step fully into adulthood. That shared smile will rule the day!

Daughters find their way
even in dreams they can feel
moments in their heart.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2017



Five years ago, I penned the lyrics for this song in tribute to the young lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary on this day in 2012. I re-post this each year on this day in tribute. A melody has been composed but still hasn’t been recorded.

Melody and Lyrics by Walter J. Wojtanik

Hearts of joy,
Playing in this world of love and happenstance.
Little minds,
Wanting just to learn of life’s glad circumstance.
Standing on the brink of years,
Standing tall in spite of fears
with open eyes.
Gentle souls; their mothers’ dears,
rained upon with angels tears,
oh, how they cry,
I’ll tell you why…

Another day,
Never knowing what’s in store, so unprepared.
Not the way
Children’s lives are supposed to be; confused and scared.
No one could have guessed their fate,
Mercy came, but much too late
for little ones.
So much love within their hearts,
Just waiting for their lives to start,
Oh, how we cry,
Tell me why.

The angels cried at Christmas,
Hearken angel voices sing a new refrain.
Now every year at Christmas,
Angel tears will fall again in sorrow’s stain.
Come now Angel, it’s okay,
Let love wipe your tears away
though your smile is gone.
Here now Angel, it’s all right,
Every new star shines so bright,
like your love, your light lives on and on.

Your Momma knows,
Deep within she feels your hand upon her heart.
And Daddy knows,
That even though you’re gone, you’re never far apart.
Babies when you left that day,
Angels now where angels play,
All looking down.
Missing Grandma’s warm embrace,
Grandpa won’t forget your face,
So, dry your eyes.
Please, don’t cry.

The angels cried at Christmas,
listen to the angels sing a new refrain.
Feel our love at Christmas,
Angel tears will flow with love ‘til we meet again.
Come now Angel, it’s okay,
Let love wipe your tears away,
though your smile is gone.
Here now Angel, it’s all right,
Every new star shines so bright,
like your love, your light lives on and on.

The angels cried (please dry your eyes)
The angels cried (a tearful sigh)
The angels cry,
Yes, they cry at Christmas.

© Copyright – Walter J. Wojtanik 2012




The wind blows cold
and whips the frosted breath
across my frozen cheeks.
I stand abreast my steel railed chariot

beneath the Northern Lights,
I listen to the sound of the
antlered behemoths pounding
a rhythm that drives my determination.

My trek begins,
rising to heights that until now were
unreachable. Unfathomable.

The wind no longer burns my face.
It soothes and comforts and fills my heart
with this love I have known my entire life.
With each bound I leave the desire

of all below. Rapid as night
my chore is ventured.
From village to town to city.
Each stop is a step closer

to my final destination.
For deep in the bottom of my bag
is a wisp of a frozen sigh.
It bears the name of you.

I slide down with my treasure in hand,
tip-toeing across the floor
to the side of your bed.
I warm the wisp with

the hotness of my breath.
I place it on your lips.
The warmth of a breath,
a wisp of a sigh.

A kiss from a love so true
brought to you on this Christmas.
I am filled with the joy of the season.
My bag is empty, my journey is done.

I am Santa Claus.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik

– Written on 29 May 2009 for the love of my life, my forever wife, Janice. (Although she’s not fully convinced that I Am Santa Claus.)


December 8, 1980

A busy night in the jungle,
it seems every bungled
suicide attempt and
accident picked today
to play out their dramas.
Street punks and pistol
packing mamas and pops.
Everything stops when they
wheel the shooting victim in.
It’s a sin, they got him in the back.
His jacket soaked in the outpouring
of his life’s force. In the course of such
events, life takes a front seat,
we meet it head on. That Beatle
guy was dead on. But, “Happiness is a
Warm Gun”? Tell that to this guy…
He looks like… Lennon?

(C) Walter J Wojtanik



Left behind.
After all that have gone before.
A box.
No one left to claim the contents,
so it becomes mine.

Scraps and relics of foregone places,
tug on my mind for the slightest traces
of remembrance.
Remnants of vaguely familiar people
who caused me to be.
Reminders of the way
things came about in my history.

The past revisited
in fond recollection.
I study the faces
and strain for a mention
of a name. Many are unknown
and will remain so.
But, in the myriad of this photographic
patchwork I find a common thread,
which binds this present
to those long agos.

This sepia tone
is the trigger that fires these synaptic
glimpses at who I have become
and of the people who “brought” me to this place.

Sepia is the color of memory.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 30: Back in the Day


I’ve finally gotten around to redoing my first poetry chapbook collection, “WOOD”.

My “first” poetry collection –        WOOD

Nicely bound with a slick new cover and an added introduction, I am satisfied with the results. This second printing blends in nicely with the rest of the collection. Just like Dad, it felt good to rework (refinish) “Wood”.

Now, the companion follow-up “Return to Wood” makes a bit more sense.


The days dwindle down,
and this half smile/half frown
has been lacing my face of late.
It is great that I get to escort my girl
down the aisle to change her world
and that of her chosen mister.
Her sister stands as matron of honor,
and on her sleeve she wears the heart
of her mother where no other can reside.
Me and the bride, side by side for a brief while
longer. The emotions get stronger and the frown
is internal, this infernal feeling that she is stealing away
to play wife to the joy of her life. But that smile
takes over as I hand her over knowing her young man
made the right choice and the voice in my head
says what I need it to say. “She’s on her way!”
Way to go, Dad!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 27: _____ OF _____


There’s a wedding soon and we’re excited,
all the required functions are in place.
A daughter bride, I find it hard to hide
the pride I have for her. For sure she will
grace the life of her fine young man.
A lad of a Canadian clan and his tartan
is true. We view him as a wonderful addition
to our crew. By year’s end we will have
made familial friends across the Provinces,
from Ontario to Alberta, the Great White North
and her glories, our stories will compliment
each other. New found sisters and brothers
joined for a cause to much applause.
We can’t wait. It’ll be great. And so it goes.
The family grows.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 21: Construction/Deconstruction


Monday comes.
mess of morose,
a strong dose of reality.
A new week begins
draped in mundane banality.

Tuesday’s child
is neither wild or mild,
she wears a slightly devious smile.
It supersedes her previous smile.

Wednesday is a bump in the road,
a hump on a toad,
half the load of a full ride.
Tucked inside between
beginning and end.

Thor’s day.
Bring the hammer down.

Friday Fish Fries
a Buffalo staple,
brought to the table
with slaw, and macaroni,
fries and a slice of rye.
Oh my!

Saturday’s a happy dance,
a chance to catch up
with things left hanging.
Banging away
in the workshop shed.
Peg board hooks and hangers,
Wallbanger is no stranger
than usual.

Sunday & I slip away,
no more work,
not much play.
Looking for just a quiet day,
not waiting for Godot,
no way!
A song of praise
for the past seven days.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 7: Week/Weak


Deez guys is putrid,
deez guys is bums,
deez guys ain’t got no brains, dey’s so dumb.

Deez guys got no class,
deez guys don’t know nuttin’,
deez guys ain’t got no lip dey should button.

Deez guy think dey’s funny,
deez guys don’t look tough,
deez guys jus’ don’t know when enuff is enuff.

Deez guys ain’t got no jobs,
deez guys jus’ hang in mobs,
deez guys is indubitably big fat slobs.

Deez guy don’t talk good,
dey’s got made up names.
Deez guys got the hots for dem lower east side dames.

Deez guys could dress up
but a woid to the wise.
If dey looks any better, it’s just a disguise.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides – 2017 November Chapbook Challenge – Day 2: Disguise