Friday, August 5, 2011

SAME NAME - NEW LOOK, NEW ATTITUDE

"THROUGH THE EYES OF A POET'S HEART" will be moving to its new digs starting August 5, 2011.
In conjunction with these pages which will be run simultaneously until Sept 1st.

All the old feature will move there, with added material and media to make for a more entertaining and comprehensive blog. I hope you will join me there.

THROUGH THE EYES OF A POET'S HEART

Thursday, August 4, 2011

WIND IN MY SAILS


Un-billowed and furled
color splashed and swirled
across the nylon stitching
it stretches. This wretched
contraption missed the boat
and sits afloat my shipping table.
Have I a reason to be prone
to such treason as to let this parcel,
a morsel of sailing finery, sit unshipped?
Destination: Down under and his boat
sits asunder. Without the means
to make it go, this damn boat will
go real slow. I’m glad to regale ya,
NOW OFF TO AUSTRALIA! HAIL YEAH!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SECRETS BEST KEPT?

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?
She 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 poetic prompt brings 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.
The question is posed; "Did you have a high school crush?"
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 her lilting smile
and her warm Serbian eyes; your soul cries
at the top of it's lungs, but your unsung song
has kept her anonymity. Though your proximity was close,
you chose to let fear dictate, sealing your fate.
Never a clue did you expose. You chose to fade,
finding comfort in invisibility. Indignantly you proclaim,
"What purpose would this knowledge serve?"
You have held your nerve and your secret this long.
It can't be wrong to release your burden and breathe again.
She couldn't know.
Unseen for thirty-two years, no one knows.
You wonder if your existence evaded her detection then.
You are certain that it does now.
Unseen for thirty-two years, she couldn't know.
You are prompted to think of her and how you felt.
Your memories melt flowing onto this page as you engage your feelings.
A poem gets written of your smitten past, and at last you come clean.
I mean, really, it's not as if this poem will ever be seen.


POET'S NOTE - A response to a poetic nudge five years ago that I saw as ridiculous and unnecessary. But for some reason I relented and presented what lay hidden, fondly. Time and distance can surprise and sometimes re-introduce warm Serbian eyes and lilting smiles. She didn't know. Those memories stay with you. Writers feed on their marrow. Histories come full circle..

Sunday, July 31, 2011

RECLAMATION PROJECT




1.) Phase One – Losing Myself



Rev up the Delorean, I’m going back. We all have that defining moment, pointed and prescient that had set our course. The forces of nature were strong and one wrong turn could have sent me reeling. I have a feeling it did.


My temerity was the social end of me, for as far as I can see, High School defined that moment in time, where I had let the ball drop.Not regret per se, but sadness now for those would have, should have, and could have moments so fleeting. Those errors of omission were well hidden in my condition from which I’ve been extricated. Celebrated now for my abilities to see things, and write things and expose things about me that without, would not be me. Debilitating was this fear to connect, rejection not something I handled well, or handled at all. So my fall from grace saved me from the disgrace of “embarrassing” myself by letting loose and living my life.


The perpetual lost boy languished in Neverland.





2.) Phase Two – Righting the Ship



Looky, looky, there goes Hooky!


The ribald Captain has been dispatched with a swift kick in his steering mechanism. A discovery, a long time in the making has taken a stand as well as command of my journey; a life’s worth of yearning for solid footing and a direction much easier to navigate than blindly following burned out novas in the cosmos of my mind. For in the stars, paths that crossed each other unnoticed have found a circuitous path to intersect once again.


Older now, more aware of selves and of this moment and what lead each to move to embrace it. In the kindling of a reborn kinship, acquaintances long removed and left unseen, find a connection that closes unsure circles, and opens the world to new adventures. Both stand, with eyes open like the wide-eyes kids we were when we began. A familiarity which neither knew, comes through to ground us as the friends we never realized we were.


The gathering of spirits once left to roam those hallowed halls has stepped back to touch base and begin anew, assuring us of the fact that yes, you can go home again.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

EULOGY FOR JANE F. BURKOWSKI

I had been asked to deliver the Eulogy for Jane. She lived a different life than most in the family. And at 90 years of age, she had earned it. She owed nothing to anyone. Half the family that still loved and accepted her for who she was, took comfort in my words. The ones that looked down their noses at her all their lives, rolled their eyes and did not appreciate my candor. Bottom line: I liked Aunt Jane for the reasons listed below. But also because there was plenty of reason to like her. She was a human being. I could relate to that!

THE EULOGY

Today we celebrate the life of Jane Burkowski. These brief words touch on one small part of that life. It was a life that she lived by her own dictates. Whether people understood or agreed with her grand plan did not matter. The fact is we are what we are, and Jane was who she was. Being quick to judge her took the spotlight off of our flaws and imperfections. But what can I say about a woman from my perspective of as “outsider” looking in?

What  do we remember about Jane? That she worked at AM&As? That she was an avid sports fan? She love the Buffalo Bills, the lay of the land at Fort Erie Racetrack and the ponies that played there. That she held her heritage and language and faith close to heart? That she loved her brother John, and although they had their differences the love always shone through. I’m sure there was a time when she probably could remember more about us than we did of her. Maybe we could have tried a little harder to achieve that familiarity. Jane’s life had become just a matter of existence; a daily cross to bear, unwittingly.

She did no more or no less than any of we do to survive in the life we were given. She was no better and no worse than anyone in this church. In her later days she was made comfortable and Jane was afforded the dignity of passing as she had lived. In her own way; in her own time.

On a personal note, I liked Aunt Jane. I liked her independence and I liked that she pushed people’s buttons. Good or bad, she got people to give her attention whether they intended to or not. I loved her laugh, a cross between a cackle and a cavort; when she was filled with joy, her presence was known.  My regret is in not having taken the time to know her just a little better. In my eyes, she was good people; better than most.

In the final analysis, you didn’t care that you had been forgotten by her. You embrace the brief flashes of lucidity that graced her and accept that life had caressed her heart.

This week, life stopped caressing Aunt Jane’s heart and placed her in the caring hands of her Heavenly Father, her Boze (Bo-zha - Polish for God/Jesus) to whom she talked and prayed. Her nephew Kenny Rompala cleared her way and held the gate opened for her as she returned to the eternal warmth of her mother, Frances, for whom she cared in her later years, and is once more in the embrace of her beloved father, Jan, and siblings Mary, Rose, Bertha and Emil. Thankfully, there remains an empty seat in this family grouping for the moment. Jane has gone to a better place where she will always remember and hurtful words cannot denigrate the life she chose to live. She is home again; a new home.  May God bless you, Aunt Jane. Rest in peace.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

NEXT PROJECT: I AM SANTA CLAUS

Cover art for "I Am Santa Claus"

My latest project has taken a wonderful new turn, and a new collaboration is being forged. The chapbook,  I AM SANTA CLAUS is under review by a good friend, Cathy Milosevich Crepeau with an eye on providing illustrations to enhance the poetic text. Cathy is a talented and progressive graphic artist and a friend since our days at Lackawanna High School. She had studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and was owner of Downstairs Graphics. I am extremely thrilled and honored that Cathy has enthusiastically agreed to be a major contributor to this book. A publisher will be sought to undertake the newly enhanced material.

The text of I AM SANTA CLAUS will consist of poems I have written from the Santa Claus perspective. Release information has been delayed, but updates will be posted on these developments. Please watch this page for details.



Saturday, June 18, 2011

NEARNESS OF SPIRIT


I hear it in the darkness of a dream filled sleep,
my Father’s voice. Reassuring. Comforting.
Directing my every step in choreographed
mimicry of his own journey. I feel a hand
placed lovingly on a shoulder slouched
and weary from the burdens life provides.
It is an affirmation that my direction
is right and forward moving, all learned in the
spirit of his nearness. Nestled in this son’s heart,
respect and reverence are his, burnished
with love and temperament that his example set.
No regret comes with my genealogy.
I am my Father’s son. I will carry his torch.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

UPDATE ON WOOD 2

The CD recording of my chapbook, WOOD, is completed. It contains all poems from the book and included two bonus tracks, my "A Poet Sees Things" and a reading of Yehuda Amichai's "A Man In His Life" followed by my short story inspired by it entitled, "Procrasti-Nate".

The books and CDs are $10 each. If both are purchased together, the cost is $15 for the pair. Payment can be sent to:


Walt Wojtanik
c/o Hesse-Reynolds Sales
3372 North Benzing Road
Orchard Park, New York 14127

Please restate which item(s) you requested and I'll have them out ASAP. Again, thank you for your interest and support.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A HOUSE OF CARDS

Brick by brick we assembled
this life we've come to know.
Mortar provided strength,
but little else to solidify
these emotions. A devotion
cemented and inflexible;
an expected result of
living and learning
and burning all bridges behind us.
If they find us outlined in chalk,
the talk would be that I wore you out.
But I doubt your facade would crumble
as easily as that. Pointed and level,
every detail possessing its own devil,
dishevelling all your efforts
to build it better. Give yourself room
or your doom will be certain,
veiled by a curtain of doubt.
Maybe brick by brick is flawed
Each terra cotta block is rigid and hard
not like some wind-blown house of cards.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

FINNEGAN, BEGIN AGAIN?

There's that song.
All along I've held this animous,
an anonymous dislike for its root
that burrows into every furrow
of gray matter. Mad as a hatter
and twice as worn. I was not born
to listen incessantly to this melody.
And just when it appears to disappear,
I hear it. There's that song.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

UPDATE ON WOOD

I have the books bound and ready. But, I've needed to re-recorded three of the poems for the CD which will include two bonus tracks of works not found in the printed version. I have had an unsavory experience with Pay-Pal and am resistant to use this function for payment. A check or money order will satisfy all conditions. The books and CDs are $10 each. If both are purchased together, the cost is $15 for the pair. Payment can be sent to:


Walt Wojtanik
c/o Hesse-Reynolds Sales
3372 North Benzing Road
Orchard Park, New York 14127

Please restate which item(s) you requested and I'll have them out ASAP. The CDs orders will not be delayed at all. Thank you for your interest and support.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

THE BLUSH OF SPRING

Her cheeks flush;
the crimson spreading
to her heart
and her lips.
A young man’s fancy turns with
the blush of her cheek.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ANNOUNCING MY FIRST POETRY COLLECTION

After three years of intensive poem composing, I've finally found my nerve to compile my first collection of poems into the limited edition chapbook entitled, WOOD. The inspiration for WOOD was two-fold. Of the poems included, the majority is about my Father who was a very skilled carpenter. It is fitting that Dad worked his mastery of woods while I have developed a mastery of words. Along, with that connection, we lived at 76 Wood Street.

I had gotten a bit ambitious in offering 31 poems in this collection, but strung together, they actually tell the story of my relationship with my Father and that place near the Erie Tracks where we lived and grew up.

I will initially be releasing a limited run (76 copies) of the First Edition of WOOD. I plan on also issuing an audio CD of a reading of the book. The price of either will be $10. However, the combo will be made available together for a special $15 price. Further information will be posted soon. Anyone interested can submit their queries to Walt at  wojisme@roadrunner.com  with the subject line "Interest in Your Chapbook"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ANGEL VOICES AT DAWNING


I hear it gently,
and I mentally
take note of the lilting song.
Angel voices sing
the soundtrack of Spring.
Their chorus is loud and strong.

Morning brings their sound,
and it is around
dawn’s first light that I hear it.
A poet’s heart sees
the living beauty
within euphonic spirit.

I begin each day
the exact same way.
I am thankful for this gift.
My whispered prayer
rises through the air;
as their harmonies uplift.

 
Copyright © 2011 Walt Wojtanik

Friday, May 13, 2011

UNENCUMBERED SLUMBER

The weather forecast delivers as predicted;
a wicked downpour, torrential and damaging.
All the while, I keep managing to sleep.
It is a deep doze, nearly comatose is my brain
as the rain continues. It appears she brought friends.
The lightning flashes and the rumbles never end.

Thunder rattles my windows, but it does not disturb my slumber.

Oddly, insomnia escaped me when the rains came.
The same can be said of my apnea, I wonder
if the hum of the thunder plays into my slumber?
Does the electricity cause static that makes it cling
within the ring of its timpani; a "drum" laden symphony
that pacifies my eyes allowing them to not be breached?
Does the lightning beseech my heart to remain still
until the thrill of thunder's wonder subsides?

Thunder rattles my windows, but it does not disturb my slumber

and therein lies my answer. Is it right every night
to pray for the rain that offers my tired strain a respite?
For the hypnotic roll takes full control as I lay in a heap,
awash in dream filled sleep, unfettered and undisturbed.
But, the silence of the night supplies a fright that says I will lay here,
awake all night. It is then, I thank the forecasters call for rain with thunder.

Thunder rattles my windows, but it does not disturb my slumber.

Monday, May 9, 2011

PRECIPICE



The crossroad ends at this juncture,
a puncture to you psyche; a stab to
the heart and soul. Toes straddle
the point of no return, it is up
to you to discern your next best move.
Not long ago, you held your groove
slotted for success. But lest you forget,
you are now in a rut and your voice
cannot hoist you out of every predicament
you encounter. The pressure mounts
and you can count on one hand every stand
you had ever taken; shaken to your core
and wanting more. The chasm is wide.
Can you afford to ford its expanse?
Then again, can you afford not, too?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

FALLETTA



Baton tapping,
a gentle rapping
to bring instruments at the ready.
Steady guys and gals,
she will dictate the pace,
this is not a race to the finish,
so don't diminish her worth.
Nowhere on earth has
the music sounded as sweet,
and she stands replete with looks
and style; a smile
that makes beautiful misuc
all by itself. Some great composers
have inspired her and the Buffalo
Philharmonic Orchestra hired her
to resurrect a great ensemble.
They follow her lead,
indeed JoAnn Falletta deserves
the accolades for the melodies played.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

TAKING FLIGHT

Poems
are kites.

We wait for the wind 
to be right and delight to bring 
them out to fly and display, and we 
play like children, releasing our words into
the air. Sometimes they struggle to lift off the ground,
and we run dragging them behind us. Stopping 
and starting until the wind shifts and it catches. 
It stretches our muse like a taut string,
a connection from our common 
grounding. High and higher 
still, bounding; seeking
altitudes that defy 
logic, and find-
ing attitudes
that mimic 
yours.
An 
                                                                                 expres-
                                                                                          sion, 
                                                                                 airborne 
                                                                             and
                                                                          soaring.
                                                                                Bringing 
                                                                                        delight to 
                                                                                                  others 
                                                                                                          who
                                                                                                       find 
                                                                                                  kite 
                                                                                             flight 
                                                                                      fascin-
                                                                                 ating.
                                                                        Release 
                                                                           your 
                                                                                words 
                                                                                        into the 
                                                                                           wind.
                                                                                   Poems
                                                                           are kites.

Friday, April 22, 2011

CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE

All that was left from the shipwreck
was a tin of caviar and the wine.
A bottle of the grape and a can of bait.
You hated the taste of the caviar,
but the fish it had lured to your
make-shift fishing pole were a treat.
All you could eat until the can was drained.
For an ungodly reason, you kept the cork
intact for a special occasion, and today
was that day. The day you lost all hope.
The bottle popped with a resonance that was
a perfect counter point to the waves lapping the shore.
A sip.
A swig.
A gulp.
That label read "Ch√Ęteauneuf du Pape, 1951"
Probably French for "Water from 1,951 Sewers".
Your inebriate binge lasted long enough
for you to scribble something on the back of a leaf.
You stuffed it into the bottle.
Your last will and testament.
All your worldly possessions.
An empty tin can and your father's watch.
You heave the bottle into the surf and watch it bob,
praying for death to rescue you. Your coconut just stares.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NO CRY FOR HELP ( A Trillonet)

A boy, the age of seventeen,
still standing on the cusp of dreams,
wandered lonely in his despair.

A handsome lad; athletic, lean,
not bound to someone else's schemes.
Eyes, a bright blue; brown shaggy hair,

kept to himself, no one had seen,
Troy coming apart at the seams.
On the surface, without a care.

Who would have guessed that this bright teen,
would end his own life amidst screams,
his final breath with no one there.

A bullet blast, and now he's gone,
A promising life had gone wrong.



"Troy", a boy in my youngest daughter Andrea's English class
ended his life yesterday afternoon. He sat in front of her in class
and although they weren't good friends, had sided with her in a discussion yesterday morning; aside from a shy hello when they passed, verbal exchanges weren't a part of their routine.
Now, my bright seventeen year old daughter doesn't understand
why life is "so fucked up". Me, a man of words, had few answers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WHY DO YOU VEX THEM SO, DEAREST SESTINA?

Why do you vex them so, Sestina Faire?
Lovely maiden with golden hair, a warming smile
and caring heart, I am startled by your beauty.
You carry your soul within your expression,
a gradual progression to the core of your being.
Seeing you amongst us gives me cause to cheer.

Soft and lilting, your voice is euphonic, a cheerful
blend of whisper and song. It is a fair
assessment of your strong sense of being
a part of the world that surrounds you. Your smile
is a wish for understanding, without remanding your expression
to the darkened pages of closed minds, hiding your beauty.

And it is such that something considered so beautiful
can scare her unsure suitor, her once cheerful
companion, to shy away from all for the expressed
purpose of rejecting her. It is not fair
that within her circles she is looked upon with as smile,
but when standing on her own, is denied her very being.

There is a great disservice brought about by being
callously ignored, oh wonderfully worded beauty.
Dearest Sestina, will you charm me with your smile?
Will you bring to this saddened heart, your cheer?
Loved and lovely, fairest of all the fair,
hear my song and all unconditional expression

that it conveys. It says much, although simply expressed.
You are the reason for my being
as poetic as my heart will allow; our love affair
is a thing of overwhelming beauty.
It becomes my life-long duty to warm you; to cheer
you and revere you. And blanketed by the shadow of your smile,

I offer you comfort in the knowing that your captivating and caressing smile
will live in my heart for as long as your name can be an expression
of truest love, Sestina Faire. I raise in toast a glass to cheer
your welcomed place in my world. You are a part of my being.
You are a lasting thing of extreme beauty,
You are the epitome of poetic love, Sestina Faire.

Bless me with your fair smile.
Make your beauty and expression of my heart.
Bring exuberant cheer to my very being, Dearest Sestina Faire.

INVENTING A NEW POETIC FORM - FABRIQUE

The Fabrique takes its inspiration from the popular French forms (villanelle, pantoum, etc.) of poetry in that it makes use of rhyme and repetition throughout the verse, woven much like a thread through a swatch of fabric.


The pattern of the "Fabrique":

It requires a short (2-3 word) title.

Line 1: The title doubles as the first line (A)
Line 2: Two verbs depicting an action of the subject.
Line 3: Three adjectives describing something about the subject.
Line 4: Rhymes with line 1, seven syllables in length. (A)
Line 5: Twelve syllables; third word is an internal rhyme (A); last word (B)
Line 6: Twelve syllables (B)
Line 7: Twelve syllables (C)
Line 8: Seven syllables in length (C)
Line 9: Two rhyming adjectives (D-D)
Line 10: Two rhyming adjectives (E-E)
Line 11: Repeats line 2
Line 12: Repeats line 3
Line 13: Repeats line 4 (A)
Line 14: Repeats the title of the poem. (A)

Example:


CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
Christmas lights.
Blinking, twinkling.
Red, yellow, blue.
Green and white; burns all night, bright.
Beacons of light in a mid-December snowfall.
Offering a brilliance not seen since early fall.
Silent, accenting vignettes of serenity.
A Christmas amenity:
strung and hung,
eclectic and electric.
Blinking, twinkling.
Red, yellow, blue.
Green and white, burns all night. Bright
Christmas lights.
 
 
 

Friday, April 8, 2011

WHAT IF WE REALLY ARE WHAT WE EAT?

In terms of food, I have no doubt,
I'll never be a brussel sprout.

And in that vein I'd never see
me living life like broccoli.

If I ate a lot of cabbage,
I'd be saddled with some baggage.

But I would gladly be a mobster, and make no mistake,
I'm a big Surf and Turf fan, bring me lobster and steak, man!

Monday, April 4, 2011

COMPOSER

Clips of melodic minutia sliced,
diced and restructured to sound
like the symphony in his head.
Dreading the chore, hoping to jam instead
but the first measure seems undone,
no fun until he gets to the bridge.
Crossing out a whole movement,
his groove seem gone and his hand
aches from pounding the same key
over and over hoping it catches fire.
His only desire is to rework "Chopsticks'
to sound like Handel's "Messiah",
So, he tinkles and trills,
until it fills his head with the
sound which he seeks. He peeks
over his shoulder to see if anyone's heard.
He dreams of airplay, and everyday
he is back to the grind, tired and bored,
hoping to find the lost chord.
It's in his head. It was born in his soul.
And he believes, when it gets into his heart
he will lose all control. Big dreams die hard.
He knows in the end, he will just decompose.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

STILLBORN: FEBRUARY 3, 1956

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Wojtanik".
Words of comfort meant to heal,
only to steal the lasting memories
that now will never come.

"I'm so sorry". Words to stab at
the heart and rendered her broken.
Twice in four years, toxemia her venom;
a powerful poison to suck her soul

from within. A boy. Another Handsome boy.
He was to be named Walter Joseph,
a tribute to her husband's father, Walter,
and her own immigrant patriarch, Jozef.

Her first born; her first stillborn,
Joseph Walter's life ended before it began
as well. A living hell for young parents
of promise and love; she almost went with him.

But after two successful live births,
another would-be child held hope,
but no one could have imagined the private
pain would reoccur. It was two days shy of her

own birthday. She felt the emptiness.
She felt the loss. And she felt more.
In nine months of anticipation, she had a sense;
an immense feeling of wonder this boy

provided. Potential and promise.
Her heart ached so. Words could not describe it.
Words were taken from her. Or maybe,
she had given her words for her son to use.

A chance to express what she could not say;
he would have shared with the world. An orator?
No, a composer. A poet. Yes. She had a sense.
He would have given his heart in metered rhyme.

His life would have been a living poem.
A poem of love for the mother that bore him,
and the father that could have taught him the beauty
of the art in which he could have excelled.

Now, people will never know, or grow in the
warmth of his heartfelt hearth of words.
They could never miss what they never had,
but she always will. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Wojtanik"

"I'm so sorry".


(Poetic Asides prompt for Day 3 of the Poem-a-Day Challenge: Envision a life without you in it.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

BRINGING YOURSELF TO RHYME

In the present we stand, hand-in-hand for the cause of poetry.
Not quite sure what means to this end, but poets and friends
sharing in the hearth of majestic musings warm their hearts
for the start of April. Never at a loss for words
but sometimes a lot of effort goes unnoticed. The rhyme
stays within reason, for 'tis the season for all to write.

We would be well within our right
to seize the opportunity to delve into poetry,
giving proper respect to the relevant rhyme,
for what would sound more fitting between friends?
After all, we all craft with our own fine words
and hold the verse of others to our hearts.

For it is within the beating of said hearts
that we find the power in all that we write.
Poems flow from the manipulation of words,
and become the true essence of living poetry.
Inspiration expressed in the gathering of friends
all for the propagation of rapturous rhyme.

Not all find worth in the like sounding rhymes
preferring the freedom that liberates their hearts
in the form a verse that is as free. These, my friends,
are the choices that we as poets make. We are what we write.
It takes all kinds to write all forms of poetry,
but a true poet see the emotion woven into words.

Offer up your musings, for the communion of words
never ceases. Be they random or deliberate, rhymes
are the glue that holds together all our pieces. Poetry
is the literal music of our souls. It resides in every heartfelt
pang of passion and fashions itself into the right
moments of our lives as if they were comforting old friends.

What can we do to spread the scope of our beauty, friends?
Put the power of your opinion or your longing into words,
for it is within every woman and man's right
to give the world exactly what we glean from our rhymes.
Poetry is a pulse. It is the syncopation of a loving heart.
And the living that we do, becomes our lifelong poetry.

Give poetry a chance, friends.
Leaving your heart in every word.
You have the time to rhyme; and all night to write it.

A FINE LINE

The tightroope; taunt and trecherous,
and me, no more pious than lecherous,
Never the bane of humanity
but this sanity rides the fence.
At the expense of sounding crazy,
my thoughts get hazy and I wander.
I wonder what lies ahead but feeling
dread instead. A fine unnatural balance,
wearing this valance like the shroud it is.
Darkness offers no recompense, and you plead
the only defense you can, insanity.
You were crazy not to have seen it.
Walking a fine line between help and hell.

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN

We don't make eye contact anymore.
I ask; you're FINE!
And all your venom is reserved for me,
it's mine. Something I said?
If your demeanor was any meaner
I'd be pushing up daisies instead.
Call me crazy, but you never
balk at talking until I enter the conversation.
A text on my phone emotes more elation
than you stealing moments of silence
from my vacant stare. Are you still there?
What we have here...is a failure...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

METRONOME

Tick, tick, tick-tick-tick,
the rhythm sticks in my head,
so sick, tick-tick-tick.

Kinda waltzy, always schmaltzy,
playing as backbeat to every feat
I attempt to conquer. In my ear

tick, tick, tick-tick-tick,
life at a metered beat, sweet
syncopation of this celebration,

high elation and a quick
tick-tick-tick. Slick in its
cyclical pattern, mechanical toe tappin'

Keeps me at an even keel, a real
chance to keep pace with the rat race
and face the challenges I pick,

tick, tick, tick-tick-tick,
the rhythm sticks in my heart
great way to start the day. Tick.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NED WOOD


Prestonesque, your fingers danced
across the ivory and ebony,
your now bony fingers, danced.

The ivory is the purity of life's page,
played simply and powerfully,
a tribute to your aptitude.

The ebony is the blackness;
the cursed cancer consuming you.
A tribute to your strength.

A musician and mentor,
like all of us, life's renter.
In decline, but inclined to play

every sweet note left in your magic hands,
harmonic, symphonic; an iconic sound.
One of the best around Buffalo town.

Awe strikes with each passage played.
Awe strikes with the courage shown,
never over-blown, gratefully, home-grown.

Ned, glad to have known you.
And yet, we hardly knew ye!


 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

ETERNALLY EQUINE

Alabaster and roan, she was put down; a
broken fetlock blamed for the turn lame.
Certainly, a sad end for a once proud and
determined foal. She was a true beauty;
effervescent and ethereal.
Furlong after furlong, a strong
gait with the gallop of each
hoof striking a counterpoint to the crowd.
Indeed, now the odds were against her.
Jockeys would run her hard and fast,
keeping her on the track far
longer than she should have been.
Many years back, she was a champion, but
now in her later days, she was not.
Other trainers would have put her to
pasture, but where her legs failed, her spirit remained strong.
Question her determination, and she'd prove you wrong.
Rest would have helped her for sure, but
she knew she had one good race left in her.
Three quarters of the way around the track,
unknown to her owner, she fractured a leg.
Very few horses would have continued, but
winning her final race would reveal a true champion's heart.
X-rays would verify the sad fact. After
years of racing, her fate was sealed. Outstanding in her field,
Zenotrope's Zip found her rest in eternal pastures.


Response to:

"Heaven For Horses" by Lew Sarett

Friday, March 18, 2011

WALLEGORY AND OTHER STORIES: PROCRASTI-NATE

WALLEGORY AND OTHER STORIES: PROCRASTI-NATE: "Nathan Shell was a good man, to hear his Mama tell it. 'My son, the screenwriter' she would proclaim. But, all the same she loved her Nate. ..."

Friday, March 11, 2011

ECCLESIASTES

Inquisitive and questioning,
the whys and what fors
come to the fore to satify
a muddled soul. All control
once thought to be ours,
becomes clearer the nearer
we come to believing.
Not as decieving as expected,
for it has been perfected
since the world was new.
And you, seekers of a truth
you can accept, expect it
to fall into you laps like manna.
But, to everything under heaven,
there is purpose, and the worst
we can do is think in terms of now.
In its time and season, everything
for a reason. A time to live and die.
A time to laugh and cry.
A time to reap and sow, don't you know?
When the time is right, you will in turn.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WILDWOOD WEED (by Jim Stafford)

Hidden in the thicket,
near a picket fence it grows
wild and high. And so do I!

Friday, February 25, 2011

WRAP MY WORDS AROUND YOU (by Daniel Bedingfield)

In the night, you approach.
A wafting wind to warm me,
a gentle hand to soothe my anguish.
I am inspired by your beauty,
a vision to feast upon,
a voice to quell an angel's sigh.
And I, merely a mortal man,
a word monger striving;
surviving this life through verse.
Sometimes this blessing is a curse,
a perverse ability to seduce
the mind and heart. I am an upstart
in search of the phrase that will
open you, longing for the rhyme that will
infect your spirit with an unending love.
Find solace in my wile;
take comfort in my words.
Warmth and security emenate
from within my verbose blanket.
To you, I offer the rendings of my heart.
Wrap my words around you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WALK LIKE A MAN (Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons)

Striding, head held high,
a strong classic chin leading,
your breeding shows, and she knows it.
You smile, pearly whites, bright they are,
each a shining star in your oral galaxy.
Broad shoulders and a chiseled boulder
for a chest. You're doing your best
to display the package; a knack you've had.
It doesn't make you bad as you nod,
an acknowledgment to her passing.
A beauty in her own right, you fight
the urge to speak; a mysterious smile
guides your wile. You look back
and as she strolls away without fail,
you exhale. Your chest drops
as does your belly, lapping your belt
like a bowl full of jelly. Short and labored
is your breath as you struggle to retrieve it.
Who'd have believed it...that you still
thought that act would get you noticed.
You trudge away, another day in anonymity.

Monday, February 21, 2011

SAIL

Unfurled, my canvas tightens,
taut and rigid in the strength
of a gale force wind. Beginning
and ending with the gusts
prevailing, sailing into the waters,
uncharted and unsure. It is purely
the epitome of self-sufficiency;
this proficiency so star-guided
provides me with the direction I crave.
In it, I am saved, a navigator of
life's currents. Wave after wave,
I am coaxed toward shore, for sure
more open waters await me.
My sole journey continues undeterred.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WHEN WE WAS FAB

 
Do you want to know a secret?
I want to hold your hand.
It won't be long, just eight days a week.
I wanna be your man, but I'm happy just to dance with you.
Girl, tell me what you see. I want to tell you, I need you.
Yesterday, or the night before...any time at all,
I will carry that weight. I want you.
I've got a feeling, Martha my dear,
that we can come together. Don't let me down.
In my life, this boy knows, all you need is love.
Oh Darling, good night.

P.S I love you.

 

NOT ABOUT THE BLING

Level headed, keeping eyes
close to the vest, at best.
Not drawn to the sparkle,
left in the "dark" for the most part.

It's a start when beauty is beheld,
a wealth for the eyes, as it decries
all that glitters. Never a bitter glance,
askance or other wise, it flies

in the face of reason. Coveteous I am
not, a guy blinded by bauble or bead
does not succeed. It distracts and retracts
from the grounding found in youth.

Finding wonder in a mystic smile,
Venus de "Milo" meets memory,
and all that he can see, inspires.
Fires of passion seek repose in poem.

And there beauty resides.
It hides in the shadow of worded rhyme,
in time it finds the bright light of day.
Not blinded by the bling; allowing hearts to sing.

WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

Lyrics by Walter J. Wojtanik - © 2011

Sitting here I watch your picture on the wall,
dancing to the gentle strains of melodies we knew.
Memories we've shared; the times that showed we cared,
fade away in thoughts of you.

All alone at night I wonder where you are
and I wonder if you think about me now and then,
thoughts inside my head are better left unsaid
since my heart fell from your hands.

Where are you now,
now that I need you?
Where are you now,
wishing somehow you still need me too,
the way you used to do.

Looking in your eyes was like a dream come true,
feeling all the little things I learned so hard to need.
But, now I look around and realize, I've found
just how much I need you still.

Where are you now,
now that I need you?
Where are you now?
I just don't believe in love anymore
since you've walked out my door. Now you're gone.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ONE OF THESE DAYS

I'll finally be the man I've aspired to be,
one of these days.
Happy in my station, a perpetual situation,
one of these days.
An unconvicted, man of conviction
one of these days,
who is as adept at poetry as at fiction.
One of theses days,
my wife and I will find comfort in the nest, and
one of these days,
when my daughters find their joy, it'll be the best.
One of these days
the aches and pains will be tolerable, less taxing
one of these days
I'll find time for relaxing.
One of these days
I'll walk my daughters down the aisle, and
on those days,
I'll sport a sad tear and a smile.
One of these days,
all of the projects I've started will find completion, and
one of these days
I'll finish my novel, a fine first edition.
One of these days
I'll run out of things to do, before I run out of time.
One of these days
when people say my name, they'll say "He was fine!"
One of these days.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

WASTED TIME

Seconds tick.
The tympany of lost moments
left to linger in the anteroom of thought.
In the expanse of eternal existance,
we offer resistance to the passing of days,
hoping to delay their demise; returning with
each new rise of the sun. But, when we are done,
will we be remembered for all we strived to be?
Or will we be forgotten in the unmarked grave
of obscurity? Our procrastination is telling.
Time's a wasting. There's no tasting success
until we kick up our heels and initiate.
Tick, tick, tick,...


**For micro poetry's prompt, "AND I QUOTE..." - "If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin." ~ Ivan Turgenev

Monday, February 7, 2011

MUSIC HATH CHARMS


Melodic memories, triggered by random turns
of phrase, a new page in your book of dreams.
It surely seems that a mind can be shaken or stirred
into a whir of activity. You possess a proclivity for
drawing upon the past long enough gone
to notate upon the staff of your life;
it is a song composed with ethos and verve.
Steeling your nerve, thrown caution becomes windblown
and all are shown the power of your voice.
A flash-back to a day when music was an ally
to rely upon, a trigger for thoughts nurtured
in the womb of your fertile mind. Gestation,
born of elation for all your songs relate;
it is never too late to write your score.
The more you remember, more tender the melody.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

POETRY AS ART

Another honor bestowed upon me thanks to my association with Robert Lee Brewer and the absolutely amazing poets of the Writer's Digest.com/Poetic Asides group. I have been riding high on my laurels since Robert had named me the 2010 Poetic Asides April PAD Poet Laureate on his birthday. Fittingly, my chapbook, "Worth a Thousand Words" has been selected as one of the top seven finalist for the November Chapbook Challenge a day before mine. The top honor, and deservedly so, went to Uma Gowrishankar for her chapbook, "Inhale".

I had submitted two manuscripts for the challenge. The first "Chronicles of the Traveling Red Suit", was a collection of my "I Am Santa" poems. A rough draft of a future work for sure. I am proud of this one in its own right.

But, "Worth a Thousand Words" is a compilation of some of my concrete poetry. Concrete poetry is a visual representation having a direct connection to the poetry proffered. Each "picture", although not nessessarily comprised of a thousand words, conveys the work in an artful way. From Snoopy, to a fishing pond, to an electric guitar, each was a unique challenge in itself. If I am ever questioned about poetry being an art form, I will place "Worth a Thousand Words" on the table and answer with a resounding "Yes!"

Along with Robert Lee Brewer and his gracious wife Tammy (Thanks Tammy), I must also express my gratitude to the following people:

Marie Elena Good, a good and loyal friend and wonderful poet as well. Marie has supported these efforts, while provoking and nurturing the works, along with offering her own takes on every piece. A great partner with whom I am happy and proud to share the blog "Across the Lake, Eerily".

Sara Gwen, another of the Poetic Asides contributors you helped reveal the "secrets" of spacing in relation to the PA site.

My daughters Melissa and Andrea who have been my biggest critics and supporters. I love that they share my interest in the written word, being partial to poetry as well.

And thanks to all of the fantastic poets I have encountered on this incredible network called the Internet.
You have all added a small piece of yourselves through your works and words.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

FOCAL POINT

You were merely a snapshot,
a moment in time preserved,
reserved for random viewing,
your candid doing, frozen.
Had I chosen to snap a second
sooner, your expression
would not be as expressive,
and your movements
may have been in motion, but excessive.
I took a flyer on your
ability to dance across my mind
in floating steplets two and three
ahead of where you were, for sure
a fortunate accident of a slow trigger
finger, had I lingered an instance longer
the moment would have gone and I would
be longing for its replay. This is a day
to celebrate in constant exuberance,
a mystic circumstance; a chance moment
frozen in the album of our history.
A mystery preserved in time, yours and mine.

BY CHANCE

A quick glimpse was all it was.
A hesitation in my focus that caught me.
All I could see was what I spotted, by chance.

A fated glance as it became
a prelude to finding out your name,
putting it all on the line in my mind. By chance,

did you see me as well? Do tell
if familiarity breeds consent? I think what I meant
was, do you believe in things coming together by chance?

In the great expanse of a universal truth,
what struck me in youth was a step toward eternity,
this serendipitous happenstance, a twist of fate by chance.

You signed your signature with a smile
and it was while your teeth gleemed that it seemed
we were a destiny waiting to transpire; an inner fire. By chance.

An extended hand, a stand closerthanthis, and a kiss;
a bold expression of a newfound emotion. A building
devotion to a love long languishing enhanced by chance

and a feeling you get. And yet, you know when you know,
that love will grow despite the obstacles, this optical illusion,
this passionate confusion has taken root. All by chance.

IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN A LADY TO BEGIN WITH

Luck, be a lady tonight.
But be good luck. I've had it
up to here with your sister.
I'm a stand-up mister, but keep falling
flat on my face in this place.
Quit stalling, I'm calling you out.
Do you need me to shout it?
Can I do without luck? I doubt it.
So, would it be fine to you, if I wine and dine you,
candle and moon light, dimly bright?
Dancing, romancing; chancing all I have?
You could be the salve for what ails me.
Lady, don't fail me. I'm the fella
you came in with. Luck, be that lady!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

JANUARY SNOWS

First comes the thaw.
A heartless tease from a gentle breeze,
bringing showers and hours of warm.
No storm in site; just the right temperature
to make a nice White Christmas
a fond memory. Every sensory stimulus
is less provoking as I stand, choking back
my enthuiasm. A wide chasm between
reality and what I know to be an illusion.
It is this intrusion of this lake; unfrozen and
enabling, labeling these shores as
the snow capital of nowhere. Glancing to stare,
aware that the forecast calls for resurgent flurries.
You scurry to catch a quick glimpse of the skies
and there before your eyes you realize.
The snow machine is well in tune.
I hope it ends before we hit June!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

BEGINNING ANEW

Starting from here;
going on from now.
A fresh start is at the heart
of all that is to come.
A brand new year
comes to call, and all
that transpires grows
from the seeds planted
in the twelve month prior.
That fire in your belly
spurs you on, a prodding
giving the nod to better things.
A fresh start is at the heart
of perfecting your art.
It all up to you
to begin anew.