MY YOUTH IN HALCYON MEMORY

DEAD END AND BEYOND

Body worn and torn between birth and the end of the line. It would be fine if we nodded off to sleep keeping memories of our time here behind to remind the world of our stain. But we remain to carry on, still worn and torn, born to exhaust all the possibilities that we possess! Feeling depressed and without vigor, finger on the trigger
and muzzle pressed to chest. But you know, your best is yet to transpire, and still you feel so tired and if you expired tomorrow
would your sleep be met with great sorrow? Sit and rest, lay head to bed and slumber, and arise to lumber through anew. There’s still so much more left for you to do!

do we really end,
or move to life’s new station
without cessation?

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

POETIC ASIDES April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #30: “Dead End”

SIR VALIANT POET IN THE DAYS OF YORE
Medieval_Knight_by_lijinbo78
Medieval_Knight_by_lijinbo78

They did live happily ever after. It always seemed that every happily ever after starts with once upon a time. Poets with hearts of gold live the fairy tale writing without fail to assail what lives in these hearts through their rhyme. Banners unfurled, riding to rescue muses held captive in the unreachable tower of a strangled mind, to vanquish villains of verses left undone – all battles won by the surgical strokes of his pen. O’er hill and stream, though valley and dale – poets usually prevail, leaving marks on pages all their own. A rhyming jester upon his steed, his ink bleeds across his virgin page until all sage words have wreaked havoc on its pristine papyrus. It certainly could be worse, but it is his verbal scimitar that he wields with such aplomb. His heart would in all ways find the word or phrase to fill his days with verse. In a far away land, a simple man of expressive heart and gilded tongue had begun on a quest to say with that heart all that his eyes refused to see. Once upon a time…

A hero of words
searches for beauty within.
And so it begins…

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day #28: “Backward Story”

I CAN’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE

I’ve loved you before. But something has changed within me, and you see, I can’t fight it anymore! It goes to the core of this guy you knew and it’s true. You see it too! I can’t hold you like I am used to, my caresses aren’t like they once were. And sure, you can still make my heart dance and sing; you bring out the best in the rest of me! But something has changed. These feelings have rearranged and I never thought they could, or even should. I would find the bliss in every kiss you offer, but I scoff at the idea that that’s all there is! My heart is aching, it is near breaking, almost to bursting and what’s worse,  I am glad it is so. Because, just when I thought I can’t love you any more, I realize… I truly love you more than ever!

there are no limits
to love, hearts find their own mate
love all that you can

© Walter J.  Wojtanik – 2016

 

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #26: “Love/Anti-love”

A RUNNER’S VERSE

 

The starters pistol reverberates in the canyon of athletic pursuit, an arena graced with spectators and the enthusiasm of thousands. Staring, he surveys the scene spread out before him, lengths of ovular concentricity stretch, in this pack of sinew and muscle, a lone harrier stands, nervous and anxious, running his own internal race without obstacles or changes in grade. The sound of cleats scraping upon gravel keeps a solitary rhythm, pacing his pulse and breathing, as he pushes from the starter’s blocks, rejoining life’s marathon. He runs this race with the passion his heart provides; the vibrancy of his every thought expressed in words resurrected from his tired psyche. The pistol echoes. A whistle bleats. Striding into the mass of humanity holding his own until the opening gapes, breaking him through to offer the opportunity for the rest to follow this man’s lead. Sprinting for the line needing only to finish to feel accomplished; to feed whole again. These words are true motivation and his power, driven as he strives for poetic placation. Fellow runners, poets all, cheer and encourage this man, willing his “legs” to go through their cycle of stretches and contractions. The starters pistol echoes loudly in the canyon of academic pursuit, the arena of ideas graced with a myriad of muse, and the electric enthusiasm of our eternal souls best expressed.

Poets lift their muse
to enlighten or amuse
with the words they’ll choose

 

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #25: “Exercise”

 

IN MY FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS

My father had a warped sense of fashion. Wild plaids, and Hawaiian patterns. Neither in bad taste, just too damn loud sometimes. And he loved to accessorize! Usually color coordinated, but some ill-fated outfits just didn’t cut the muster. And shoes! My father had a shoe fetish. Garish loafers in Black/white, or red/white, or blue/white, or whatever color and white that matched his costume. I put my foot down when he tried to offer fashion tips. I’d need quite a few nips of booze before I’d even consider wearing his shoes. Thankfully I have big feet. I followed him in many regards, but that one was not in the cards!

Walk in a man’s shoes
to know the plight of his flight,
sharing his journey

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #23 : “Footwear”

 

CARTOON BALLOONS IN PARENTHETICAL PARODY
(Thoughts Escaping)

Random phrases float effortlessly in my mind. Thoughts and ideas left from other mad fits of genius. (Or not). But, I’ve got all these things to say that in a way gives life to my minutia. I run each one up the flagpole and salute you for being interested enough to read my mind and worry. (Wouldn’t life be easier if spoken in cloud-like bubbles; all your troubles and emotions suspended in an unending tirade or titillation?) There is no greater frustration in speaking your mind only to find yourself looking like an ink drawing (in a four panel spread). I would dread the moment my eye wanders and the onlookers can read my lascivious letching. So, I’m left fetching my gum eraser and removing any trace of thoughts (in an effort to save face). But if you float it out there, your muse ever-hangs in mid-air. An animated existence in this surreal deal called life (punch line not included!)

Left with things to say
That stay suspended in air.
You can read my mind.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #20: “What Goes Unsaid”

 

WHEN WE WAS COOL
One Christmas our parents bought us a pool table. A family gift they said, but our sisters never got in the queue for the cue. But the neighbor kids did. We became the place to be, the hang out. We were “THE cool family.” A quarter a game and the friends came with their paper route money or their lawn mowing cash to play. Some had an allowance (but only briefly). Our plan was to use the cash for improvements on the table and supplies. Better cue sticks, billiard balls (which chipped regularly from flying over the edge to the concrete floor below) and we would split the remaining money (according to our older brother’s suspect math and sense of fairness!)Standard 8-Ball was the fare until the knucklehead down the street discovered 9-Ball. The games went quicker, he said. We could play for…something, he said. He was slicker at it than the rest of us and he’d get the best of us every time. The lot of us grew tired of his hustle and suddenly Billiards didn’t fit into our day. We hardly ever played any more, but before that, there was a brief moment when we was cool.

We were entertained
by the games that we would play.
I would say that’s cool!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #19: “Cool/Uncool poems”

 

I CAN HEAR HOME

My earliest recollection was a connection with my mother. Soft, nurturing sounds that calmed and soothed. What did I know from words? There was something there that made me think…I like this sound. Humming. Singing. A language I would come to know as Polish, spoken from my parents to her immigrant father to communicate. No translation came; all the same it seemed strange all those years ago.

The static hum of something… shrill and powerful sounding, surrounding that little room in the basement where Dad carried in wooden boards and removed the most beautiful wooden things. A carpenter by skill, I learned the thrill of his obsession by the sounds his tools emitted. I came equipped with siblings, and they came with secrets whispered and demands shouted. Tearful emissions and admissions of fear and longing, the same as I had!

There were calls of “Hey Walleee!” at the back door of the house. Neighborhood kids spending childhood running wild, every child a brother or sister. As every one was someone’s daughter or son. And every mother was mom! Each connected to the other. A father’s whistle piercing and urgent. We all went running when that alarm went off! Or when the street lamps came on! Met by the sound of an open hand cutting air when we didn’t.

Alcohol laden tirades invaded on payday. A shot –and-a-beer mentality with all the vitality of a rampant bull in the china shop that was my adolescence. We waged battles and rebellions to save my mother’s psyche and my sanity. The vanity of thinking I could save the world. And iron rails, tracks bringing from there and taking from here and clear across the country, encircled my world. The sound of some steam and much diesel was pleasing to my ear. That clackety-clack brings me back every time I hear it. It was clear I had a passion for trains.

We welcomed the clank of pots and pans when my mother began to prepare our evening fare. It was there that the issues of the day played out. We were never without that blessing until that one Christmas Eve when her self-fulfilling prophecy came true. “One of these Christmases I’m going on a long trip and I’m NOT coming back!” The house was much quieter after that.

The neighborhood was as well. I can tell you when we had all grown and gone and Dad was left behind, I find my saddest memory lingers. Swollen fingers and legs and a cancer that begged for finality came at another Christmas time. Dad would soon follow mom and from then on, silence prevailed. The sound of the tumbler the last time the door was locked is my final recollection. Home became just a noisy memory then.

we hear sounds of love
wafting through our hearts and minds,
memories of home.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day #18: “The Sounds of Home”

ILIO DiPAOLO’S

 

A splendid little ristorante just outside of Buffalo, the ambiance was quaint and classy, the wait staff was quite pretty. The owner was a local legend, a friend to all who paid a call for the best Italian fare in town. Ilio DiPaolo, a wrestling god before all the theatrics, had such class. (He fed the masses with his fantastic recipes.) All the patrons knew him, or did when they were through, he would stop at every table and shake a hand or share a laugh and a smile. The gentle giant had such style. His Abruzzi charm and air was always his personality. But the reality is that Ilio now is sadly gone, a victim of his fate But his family still carries on the tradition. And Ilio watches over all from his portrait on the wall. This Greco-Roman warrior, to the very end a philanthropist and wrestler, restaurateur and friend.

Never judge a man
until you can shake his hand.
Greet a gentle soul!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day #16: Food Establishment

MY-CROCOSM

(or “What Makes a Life So Far?”)

My life can be encapsulated in eight words, each a breach of my confidence and vision. As I look at every tidbit, I’m hit with a bit of melancholy. It is rather akin to folly to think I’ll escape this life unscathed becoming one of my own memories in the process. This body is not a temple, not a vessel of peace or righteousness. My best guess is that I am just a monkey in this three-ring circus called life.

As a boy I had flat feet and although I did not choose to wear orthopedic shoes, I had to anyway. I cracked a front tooth when I was 12 and before I turned thirteen, I cracked the other. My sense of fashion was retarded by my father’s lack of it. He looked bad in the gaudy plaids he’d wear, and I did equally due too his hideous hand-me-overs! I delivered papers for a while, serving to 200 addresses (or two dumpsters). How does a kid get blacklisted by the fourth estate? And yet I persevered and became enamored with words in this lavish rouse of poetic prowess. I guess I’ve done okay by it!

Every walk of life,
presents us with a vision.
We see where we‘ve been

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day #15: Use four or more of these words: FLAT, RING, LAVISH, VESSEL, PAPER, BLACKLIST, GAUDY, TOOTH.

WHISPERS OF LOVE

Soft insinuations play within this vacuous heart. It starts as the spark that memory allows to smolder. A siren’s call within my head displaces dread and heartache. Here within these gates, among the marble pillars; stones and obelisks to mark each valiant soul, and I take time out to stand before her. Sunset near breaking, taking its time to shine upon this cold place. Her face, behind closed eyes, tender touches of hands so soft, serenity’s surrogate reminding me time and again. Calling in telepathic tones, my name in her voice, her name in my ear. Laments of love return in silent whispers, hand reaching, beseeching the spirits to rest and allow me the same. And still I hear my name. Whispers of love never die!

In the name of love
moments fleeting in the heart
start to fill our days

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day #14: “Time Out”

MEMOIR OF ME AT THREE
I was a clumsy kid and I always hid in out of the way places. I could be found atop of the refrigerator… in the pigeon coop… under the front porch… I carried a “torch” for the girl next door (she was much older) all of four. We’d have walks in the pram holding hands and sleeping together (under the trees in the park.) I recall being afraid of the dark. I loved my mom and dad. I had a sister and two brothers (with others in my future.) I got skinned knees and sutures. Certainly a silent sort, never resorting to words then when a good hand gesture would suffice. It was a very nice life for me when I remember me at three.

My youth seems to play
in the rafters of my mind,
finding comfort there.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

 

LAST DAYS OF POMPEII

The days of him erupting were drawing to a close. Everybody knows that “death stare” hidden in every gasp and wheeze. It would have been easy to go out quickly than to have his candle flicker well into the afternoon. But the man had no quit. It was as if he were perpetual. Everlasting. More mountain than volcano. He was the rock upon which our family was founded. Strong, resilient, well-grounded. When his rumble finally ceased our number was decreased by one. But we lost so much more! One mighty volcano silenced. The last days of Pompeii.

Strength, solid and strong.
A long and storied legend
not lost in silence.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day 13: “Last (Blank)

 

BLACK AND BLUE: DOWN AND OUT TO THE BLUE DODGE

We played street football; two-hand touch. The players varied in age and stage of development. That meant the older guys dominated and the younger ones learned fast. But spritely little fireflies would run past bigger defenders and still avoid the fenders of cars parked along the curb. They called me “Bambi” because I made these fingertip catches like Alworth. Anything thrown here or there I would snare with ease. And since I could breeze past my older brother’s friends to the second telephone pole, it would usually end in six points.

But, I would learn the hard way (and I pay for it until this day!) Touch football games from pole to pole steal your soul when an errant pass thrown out of control comes your way. Not another kid alive would be so dumb as to take a dive to catch one thrown into the gravel. Sliding face first up the curb, abrasions and all, it was amazing I even hung onto the ball. “If you bruise, you lose!” my brother said. “Don’t feel bad, you could’ve been dead!” For some silly reason, it didn’t make me feel better as my bloodied nose made my shirt get redder and my two front teeth lay strewn on the street, (how can I function wiffouf my fwont teef?) But with my face battered and my tongue sticking through, I looked so raccoon with my face black and blue!

It is only fun
until somebody gets hurt
with a blood stained shirt.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day #12: “Serious/Silly”

 

SILENT, STILL

“I spoke to you in cautious tones
you answered me with no pretense
And still I feel I said too much
my silence is my self-defense.”

~ from “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel

You’d think I’d learn to keep my mouth shut, but you’d be so wrong. Strong opinions get me in trouble every time! It’s not that I’m a lout or a big mouth, sometime things just come out when I least expect! I suspect this need to express gets my best at every turn. You’d think I’d learn.

Where all are concerned, I’m told my fount of words is like a vast ocean. I should use great caution if I wish to run silent and deep. I should keep my opinions under check in order to protect myself from myself. Otherwise, there’s no helping me. So I’ll tread lightly and be slightly less vocal. That should keep me out of trouble.

The squeaky wheel
can be easily replaced.
Use lube, or lose face!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day #11: Defense

PASSIONATE

We struggle to start, with a passionate heart and no idea how a plea of insanity can render all of humanity smitten, as if bitten by the love bug. Any amorous slug would suffice, and never look twice when the first glance will cover any chance you have to topple heart over heels. You will know how it feels when your mouth gets dry and try as you might, you can’t fight the urge as others delight in your plight. Your hands will sweat, and you will get tongue tied inside. You will quiver and shake; make a fool of yourself. Stutter, stammer and throw glamour out the window, it is not pretty. But anything worth while in life is worth the effort. Make it! Take it as it comes; accept a little shove. And above all else, find your passion; work on love.

Passion drives our hearts
steering us to living life.
In the cause of love.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 10: “Emotion”

 

UNDER THE PORCH

Every young boy needs
a place that is all his own.
Private thoughts to keep.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #9 “Hideaway”

 

CAMP CACTUS – ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y.

A ramshackle cabin stuck in the sweeping hills, a hideaway of sorts. Not a resort by any stretch of any imagination. A destination for a few summers in the late sixties. “Cactus”, an old codger, the last bar stool at the local tavern; his place. His son, a friend of Dad’s invited. Bring the boys to fish and swim and hike in the hills.

The lake water was murky, the catfish were ugly and the incline was so steep it hurt your feet to think of venturing upward. Yet, we had a ball. The men folk drank and “stank” to high heaven. The boys pitched our tents and had adventures. The stars and moon illuminated and we were satiated on marshmallows and “Dogs”. Campfire and stories with all the gory details left in. Long gone, absorbed by sprawl, now a part of the ski resort that claimed her. Fond in memory, we had named her “Camp Cactus.”

Adventure filled us
with stories to tell, learning
where our hearts could lead.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik- 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day #9: “Hideaway”

 

ALL DAY CHILD’S PLAY

My older brother Paul and I would spent our time, taking hours to scribble and draw and doodle. I drew more than he scribbled, his artistic talent would come in wood (yes, another carpenter!) My skills came in the arts: music and sketching and writing and all that these disciplines would entail.

Never fail, on rainy days we’d wile away the day with page and pencil hoping to fill the blankness with something worth displaying on the refrigerator door. Our younger siblings thought we were bores. They just wanted to play! The youngest of the brood would complain “Paulie and Wally doodle all day!” She didn’t know why our mother always laughed at that!

Memories we share
stay etched in our hearts and minds.
We find comfort there.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day 8: “Doodle”

 

REAL McCOY CITY BOY

Quite the misnomer, Homer. They called it a city. Urban seemed more village or town-like. Home was where sprawl went to retire. Actually, it is factually correct to say that what was once part of the Town of West Seneca is the City of Lackawanna today. Although she is facing a period of decay, it is where this “city” boy grew up and played.One time Big time steel producer on the Lake Erie shore, blue collar was just a shout and a holler for another shot and beer. There was a “bar and grill” on nearly every corner with just slightly fewer churches. More “pews” were filled in the former than the latter.

Mom and Pop businesses flourished while the plant was in full bloom. But its closing sealed their doom. There wasn’t much room for them when the money got tight. I worked and played still (although it was less of a thrill) until the family started to dwindle through death and attrition. I was in no condition to stay. When Dad passed away he became the last to inhabit our generational home. Everyone was gone. I longed to someday reclaim our domain. But some dreams will just die with you.

That city living
was giving me a headache.
Now it leaves heartache.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day 7: “Urban Poem”

 

BATTLING DEMONS
Michelangelo's First Painting
Michelangelo’s First Painting

We wage this war all our lives, from the day we’re born until we die. And try as we might, the fight for right tends to have the upper hand. We can stand toe-to-toe and know we gave it our all and yet still fall prey to our temptations or afflictions or addictions.

The greatest warrior I had ever known had shown me how to attack the “demons” in life. Unfortunately wielding the brown bottle, my role model had fallen deep into the alcohol abyss scratching and clawing to extricate his soul for his well being and that of his family. His flank unprotected, Dad was subjected to a counter attack. Cirrhosis of the liver sacked him while his back was turned. Then we came the fatal blow as we learned that cancer joined the barrage bringing a larger than life hero to his knees. No pleas of mercy could save him.

We fight our wars
knowing survival falls short.
We win by living well

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Inspired by Michelangelo’s First Painting

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day 6: Ekphrastic Poem

 

THERE’S MUCH IN EXPERIENCE

 

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” ~Gilda Radner

All we learn, we learn by doing. We try and fail and try again. each attempt at failing falling a little better than before. The more we try and fail, the better we become at succeeding. Or failing. We start out as a blank page. Pure and pristine. And we mean to do our best, but until we learn the hard way, we will stay blank.

Thank God I would learn to fill each line with something. Anything! Each clean leaf a failure waiting to happen. But it also holds potential! And as I continue to grow as a man and a poet, I gain more and score points of experience, for it is in experience that I flourish. It nourishes this resolve and feeds my desire to achieve whatever I believe I can!

Always do something
even if the first time.
gain in experience

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day 5: “Experience/Inexperience”

AT THE MASTER’S KNEE

A skill set handed down from Walter to Walter to Walter. Serving at the wooden altar of a carpenter’s devotion. Wood became the medium of this young boy’s wishes; I would dismiss everything else. An “apprentice” at an early age, the stage was set to be adept with tools. And my father had rules. Goggle for safety, guards in place. Keep your face out of the line of the blade. Be sure every cut made was the first and only. By dictate, “measure twice, cut once”. And there were a bunch more. I began with an apron full of 8d nails, handing each up to the man I looked up to! I Learned to measure with precision, a decision that made Dad nervous at first. (He would sometimes curse if I misfired) But the desired effect came eventually. When I mastered his table saw, his raw sidekick knew carpentry.

In time my focus had shifted from woods to words. Expression in a new medium, had a large impact on me. I could build much like Dad had taught. I did not get caught unprepared. Words shared in poetic pursuit and me more astute to appreciate what he did and the lessons they offered. And each phrase proffered was measured and precise. It was nice to have all these “tools” and inspirations from which to choose in this new endeavor. Inherited from the Master Carpenter, a desire always mired in trees; from carpentry to poetry, I have found my comfort zone, my own place. His memory still soothes me. It puts a smile on my face.

All of life’s lessons
Take root in the family,
Branches of the tree

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016
Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day 5: “Experience/Inexperience”

SIXTY YEARS DOWN THE TRAIL

There comes a moment in our lives that we start to measure time in distance. It is an odd stance we take when we make that distinction, a hinting at some sort of accomplishment. How many years have marked the walking a mile in someone’s shoes? How many hand held strolls in a lifetime? How much life has passed in commutes and moves and the groove to whatever lengths we need to traverse?

And what’s worse? The speed in which these miles flash by us! Zero to sixty written in the gap of years; from here to there in the blink of an eye. And try as we will to understand, where has time gone? Where have WE gone? The longer we’re here, the further away from there we’ll be. Our age correlates to the distance we’ve gone to get where we are. No boat, no plane, no automobile will steal us away to where we began. And here we’ll stand nowhere near where we began. And the journey continues.

Many sunsets pass
in the twilight of our years
we face our fears

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day 4: “Distance”

IN THE LINE OF THREE

I was born the third child on the third day, the third Walter in the line of familial redundancy. Not a junior, nor 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, true to the test of three.

A third birthday 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 stormy Iowa sky. I don’t remember if I cried but the music died all the same. The same year 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 – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016: Day 3 – “Three (BLANK)”

THINGS SHE SAID

So many words passed between two hearts to last a lifetime. And long before I found my rhyme, I found truth in the things she said. She saw me as something I never saw in myself, this spritely elf of a girl with her up turned nose and bright brown eyes that rose to meet mine when my own nose touched hers. She said, “You have too much heart for one girl, and yet you give it to me alone.” And all the love that shone in her eyes said all that she needed to say.

She developed her Anorexic affliction, which became her addiction of diet drinks and urges to purge breakfast, lunch and dinner. I should have had a hunch. She said she was fine and my mind accepted her lie. Again with those eyes, I could not find the words to say. Right up until the day her parents drove me away. She was left with nothing to say.

Years of tears and fears and the “grief” of losing her to the grip holding tighter than I, took their toll on a soul who loved her more than she’d know. It would start a series of new beginnings and endings, mendings and breakings. And then again, she would say goodbye.

More grief to consume me, a doom worse than a thousand deaths, being left to live with the specter of her in constant memory that would burn until her last return. She said she was sorry for our every story that ended in pain. She said she’d never leave me again. She said she would love me until the day she died. And she said one last thing. She said she was dying.

Acceptance will come
in the breath of last goodbyes,
as she closed her eyes

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 2 – “He Said, She Said”

RICH MAN, POOR MAN, POET, FOOL

…and so I find there is a richness in these words, the expression of visions seen through the eyes of my heart. I started out on tentative feet, testing the waters when I should ought to have jumped right in. It brought me besides many like-minded souls, trolling their own waters to release the energies well within their worded wonder. People like me who think others might benefit from their “wisdom”. But the thoughts that languished within me have filled my coffers with a wealth of emotions and a twisted devotion to making a life of metered rhyme. But it has yet to make me rich. It never will. I’m never going to retire on it.

I’ve learned to follow my heart, and starting from that first fit of madness seven Aprils ago, I was able to show what it was that drove me (crazy or otherwise). Richer in the friends with whom I would surround myself, all with out-turned pockets, writing these bottle rockets of words that shot into the sky to explode brightly and then fade. No parades in our honor. Just the honor of the shared brilliance they and I had expounded. It has kept us grounded… we poor misguided minions.

But, there is no doubt that the verse that comes out has labeled me. In the fable of my life, I have been rife with enough good things of which to write. So many places I have been; seen. And people… those who have influenced me, those who have loved me. Those that I have loved. All have inspired this “rapid-fire poet for hire”, the tag that I have been given. I’m living proof that my dreams never truly fade. They merely invade my heart and coerce me to be what feels right to ME. This dalliance with words has infected me most of my life and I didn’t know it. Not until I saw myself through the eyes of a poet’s heart.

That being said, all that I have seen and done, all that I will eventually leave on the table untouched, all that I know or have known, will be left for others to judge. I am just Walter. You can call me poet; call me fool. I am one and the same!

And in the end,
life will be splayed on pages,
Tomes for tomorrow

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 1 – “Foolish”

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