Ocean swells, casts its spell.The next person up to bat as Guest Host, is another outstanding poet and wordsmith, and was also a Poet Laureate at Poetic Asides. It’s always an honor to share the stage with De Jackson.


De Jackson hails from the desert of Southern Nevada in Henderson, near Las Vegas, where she lives with her gorgeous groom of nearly 16 years, two crazy kids, a beloved neurotic terrier, an aloof cat, a bearded dragon, and various members of the insect and arachnid world. She breathes best with inky fingers and salty, sea-soaked toes, but she’s also blessed to bloom online alongside some incredibly talented creative souls (you all know who you are.) De’s words have somehow made their way onto the pages of such journals as Curio, Garbanzo, Burning Word, Shot Glass Journal, Sprout, Tuck and others, and she was honored as a Poetic Asides 2012 Poet Laureate. De’s a full-time mama and a paid published poet (if you count journal copies, garbanzo beans, and one time, a whole dollar). She occasionally writes ad copy for money, but scribbles poems in the margins of life daily. You can pay her a visit at



Think of 10-12 good reasons to do something. The “something” is the subject of your poem. Write a list poem including as many of your reasons in the body of your work.



I’m my father’s son!
(I’m my mother’s prodigy!)
I’m having a good day!
(Any day alive is a good day)
I’m turning a year older.
(39 never gets old)
My job promotion came through.
(Then I wake up and go to work)
My muse refuses to slow down.
(And that’s a good day)
My cholesterol numbers are better.
(Making the right changes for a change)
Just because.
(Reasons? I don’t need no stinking reasons.)
It’s my favorite season.
(Steeped in tradition, I am)
The Bills haven’t lost in 2014.
(They haven’t played in 2014)
I’m celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss today!
(Happy 29th Anniversary, Janice!) 🙂

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014




Find yourself alone, let the record show:

Because the sound of your own breathing is a heartbeat rhythm spent.
For the sake of all things buried deep, steeped in salt and silence.

Because words flow best in whispers, wrapped soft in breeze.
For the taking of stars, shattered pieces of sea glass; pocketed scars.

Because hope is a feathered thing, too easily startled.
For the attention span of sky, moon at full attention, spotlight shone.

Because knowing your own syllables requires a more quiet song.
For the ache of growing, groaning, grounding lightning to jars.

Because the world is loud and proud and lousy with shouting.
For the persistent casting of pearls from stones.

Because you don’t need a reason
for finding yourself. Alone.

(C) Copyright De Jackson – 2014


  1. Such lovely examples for us. Congrats, Walt. I hope you enjoy your day beyond all measure. And De, it’s so good to see you here and in front of the class (hem–the raised flower beds. 🙂 Solitude is highly underrated for both its importance and its mentoring properties.

    I’ll be back in the morning with something for this interesting prompt. See y’all then.


    It’s my right to contemplate
    the storied halls of the universe and write what I see.
    Overflow this heart of ink of mine
    that’s been encompassing me.
    I write my joys, my wounds, my pain
    all things exciting or just mundane.
    For it would be insane not to. This is nature’s chronic plea, to be seen and heard through mystic mountains of prancing word. I write for there is a story swirling within me. A song, a word, a writer crafting poetry.

  3. Oh, YES! Walt, your Celebration is such FUN and so YOU! Congrats to you and your lovely (39 y/o) bride! 😉 De, simply beautiful — from start to finish! Adding this assignment to my “to do” list. Hope to be back with something to share….

  4. Small Things

    By David De Jong

    The wisp of hair that caresses your cheek
    Strands of blonde and silver, shimmering sleek

    Green color of your eyes reflecting light
    Soft breaths from your lips as you sleep at night

    Radiance of sun on your darkened skin
    Rings on your fingers, delicate and thin

    How we walk hand in hand where e’er we go
    Even while we sit and watch an old show

    The curve of your waste under apron strings
    How your hands create such delicious things

    The sound of your voice answering the phone
    Knowing you’re there before I get back home

    The inner-most spots in your tender heart
    How you nurtured our family from the start

    Soft silk of your skin to my calloused touch
    Small things about you, that I love so much


    In my younger days these legs of mine
    were strong enough to carry me
    as far as these eyes, sharp back then, could see.
    I could dash from Point A to Z in no time.
    Now the inner voice that whispered “Go slowly”
    speaks loud enough for these old ears to hear.
    I take one step, then another, wholly
    aware I’ll win no races, merit no cheers.

    It forces me to keep a normal heart rate,
    my lungs inhale sans that persistent
    hacking, and at the table take time at the plate.
    Back then I was brash, cocky, much too insistent.
    Patience is a lesson worth earning A’s.
    Why be in such a hurry! I’ll get there
    sooner or later. Practicing patience pays.
    Travel fast or slow, there’s no difference in the fare.

    What a fool I was! I’d tell God to grant
    my every prayer right now without delay,
    a creature commanding God, like a flower plant
    telling the gardener how to satisfy its day!
    Now I take the time to praise and thank the Lord
    instead of asking for still another gift.
    In fervent prayers I speak less and listen more.
    Being patient when once I wasn’t is quite a shift.

    And as for this world in which we live, though
    finite with its falsely glittering neon light,
    I take the moments as they come, say no
    to saying yes too quickly: I don’t bite.
    Embracing patience has helped improve my craft.
    Where once I rushed through a story or a rhyme
    and called that first run-through a final draft,
    I now ignore my clock and red-pencil line by line.

    How else has patience brought me peace of mind?
    I live and love and laugh each day, so glad
    With how the moments go, content with what I find,
    Not missing for a second the impatient life I had.


  6. Electric Bike

    I’ve never had such fun in my life
    than when I rode an electric bike.

    Steep hills are no problem, up you zip.
    You can keep up with the young and hip.

    You still pedal and keep yourself fit.
    You are not too old, you need not quit.

    Easier than a regular bike.
    It beats walking or taking a hike.

    The cost is cheap, compared to a car.
    You’ll get fresh air and you can go far.

    So save your pennies and zip along.
    With electric bikes, you can’t go wrong.

  7. Here’s my contribution for the day.

    Journey Home

    It began with the need to see
    One who’d been neglected far too long,
    For want of finances, for want of access.

    It began with a rising tide
    Of urgency, swelling to a surging undertow,
    Beckoning the prodigal homeward yet again.

    It began on an asphalt ribbon
    Across states never traveled, in a state unraveled
    Amid emotions uncalled for and seeking release.

    It began by answering a geas,
    With purpose unknown, traveling blind, alone,
    Moving to a rhythm not of personal making.

    It began on arrival with tears
    And days later it ended with arms wrapped around
    Granny’s thin shoulders, heaving last breath’s rhythm.

    It began as my journey home,
    It ended as a final homeward journey for one I loved,
    As the geas lifted, purpose complete, reasons known.

  8. Just beautiful, Claudsy. I’m especially drawn to:
    “It began on an asphalt ribbon
    Across states never traveled, in a state unraveled”

    I love your use of repetition, pulls me along like a winding ribbon road. I also love that I had to look up the word “geas,” and it is now part of my language center. This is a lovely tribute, and above all, a journey of the heart.

    • Thanks, De. Muse and sleep brought this into mind this morning upon waking. I kept dosing off again while the lines ran through my head and the memories that went with them. I guess it was time to revisit that chapter and finally put down the feelings. And I know what you mean about a new word for my personal lexicon. 🙂

      I’m so glad you liked it.

  9. Just Do It

    Do IT for love –
    for the love of all people,
    for the love of yourself.
    Do IT because it’s the right thing to do –
    for you,
    for them.
    Do IT because you want to –
    for you want to give,
    for they need you to give.
    Do IT for happiness –
    Do IT for the good feeling –
    you will get
    and they will get.
    Do IT to help
    anyone in need or
    yourself be the best you can be.
    Do IT to make yourself a better person –
    you will benefit from it
    and so will everyone around you.
    Do IT to make a difference
    in your life
    and theirs.

  10. To Believe

    Sparkly Stars
    Mercury and Mars
    A baby’s coo
    A wooly ewe
    Roots on trees
    Elephant’s knees
    Pinks and lilies
    Red hot chilies
    Geysers and falls
    Twitters and calls
    Bolts and thunder
    Awe and wonder.
    Nature’s signs
    of fine design.

  11. “Reasons to stay in bed”

    I slept with Mister Migraine again. Third time
    this week. A cool pillow, A few Advil kisses and
    I’ll cuddle into his arms just a few more hours.
    Yesterday, Mister Alzheimer’s answered the phone
    when I called mom. (He hates me cause I cry.)
    She doesn’t hate me but she forgot my birthday
    this year. Again. And so did dad. Again. (I wish I had.)
    My birthday is in Spring and with the mounds of pollen
    in the air it takes a double layer cake of Zyrtec to fight
    this war but fog brain . . . slows me. Down. To. A. crawl.
    What is an exhaust manifold? Cause it’s broken.
    Three red light flash at me So that makes two
    more broken car parts with big names so I can’t
    buy that cake of Zyrtec just yet. Child is squinting
    at the cereal box. Says, “Mom, I need glasses.” and
    “Mom, I need braces.” and “Mom, I need clean—”
    “Honey, I need you,” a deep voice calls. (what is he, nuts?)
    But, I put on my socks and patter down the stairs
    carrying Mister Migraine on my head to play with
    Darling’s glitchy computer.

  12. (Poem w/image:

    “Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them. Our own noise blots out the sounds and silences of the outdoor world;…The only friend to walk with is one who so exactly shares your taste for mood of the countryside that a glance, a halt, or at most a nudge, is enough to assure us that the pleasure is shared.” C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

    A Quiet Walk

    Just BE with
    Silent and holding.

  13. Congrats, Walt. You and De have started us out with excellent poems.

    Go to the Beach

    To calm the beats of my heart
    Listen to the rhythm of rolling waves
    Make footprints in the sand,
    knowing their impermanence.
    Let little feet of foamy sea water
    tickle my own.
    To think undistracted
    Not to think at all
    Put my problems in perspective
    in a vast space
    To smell salt, and sea creatures
    Walk the shoreline, and collect
    shells that call out to me
    To feel my father’s presence
    watching over me

  14. Pingback: Walk | Metaphors and Smiles

  15. Walk

    Because it’s raining
    or because the sun’s shining,
    go when it’s foggy
    or snowing
    go because you’ll see the heron wading in the creek,
    the widening rippled V of a duck or a beaver swimming.
    Go knowing that you might smile at someone who needs it…
    perhaps you’ll find a new lucky white striped stone
    or the first of spring’s blooms.
    Put one foot in front of the other because you can
    and because you’ll sure feel good,
    do it to breathe
    and to connect with that living world
    just outside those walls that’re holding you in.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  16. Blues and Greens

    My dreams are the colour green
    in sweet shades of fresh mint tea
    in long grass that whispers wind
    in tumbled tarragon on the breeze.

    And yes, blue, too. Blues and greens
    in the colour of misty salt, sea-soaked
    in shades emerald clean and tart
    in skies shining spring after winter dark.

    So, yes, my dreams do dip and tint
    into green
    into blue
    and on Tuesdays I dream
    in turquoise, too.

  17. Pingback: Blues and Greens – A List Form Poem | The Chalk Hills Journal

  18. “On the trophy shelf, next to the grass stains”

    Because rain
    is itself beauty
    as it deepens the colors of everything
    and earth holds the secrets of life
    and viscosity (the state of being
          and sticky,
                      and semifluid)
    is worth understanding
    and the question
    of what constitues perfect
    must be explored
    by all right thinking folks,
    we stand
    ankle deep in mud
    so thick
    it pulls the shoes
    from our feet
    leaving our toes
    in their natural state
    and our shoes
    as monuments
    to the moment:
    We dared to pass.

  19. WHY I CRY

    I cry a stealthy tear
    to release the pressures
    pent up within me
    Like a sage vintage wine
    anticipating its discharge
    from the bottle
    dribbles of me
    make manifest
    stream down my cheek

    I pray no soul
    sees my strain
    takes a peek
    and spies the pain
    in this weak vessel
    strewn across
    a fractured countenance
    trying to prevent
    a crumbling

    But I cry if I must
    to defy the gravity
    of my pride
    in fear that I may hide
    then bust
    or implode within

    and all will see
    hidden secrets
    splayed open me
    across the pavement
    free game
    for all

    I cry in disgust
    to shed parts of me
    to the earth

    I cry because its

    I cry because
    its healthy

    Blazing skies of sunset will make you feel simply beautiful !
    As the golden glow will fill your heart you will see silent scarlet faces come alive
    Orange grace will stir melodious zephyrs from distant stars that will twinkle in your very own mettle
    The softness of the pink will drape silk petals around all your hurting world
    and mauve swirls will trace innocent silhouettes across silver lined clouds
    As you gaze into that portal, where your dreams unfurl, your heartbeat will pump in splendid lavender hues
    and you will hear its deepened echoes across the tranquil blue.
    As quick as it comes, when the sun turns his face,
    this moment will pass, so pay attention to your breath — as you are left with lingering velvet grains in your shadow of thoughts.


    When I am happy,
    color me yellow as the rising sun;
    when I am content,
    color me green as the springtime grass;
    when I am angry,
    color me red as a prairie fire.
    When I am lonely,
    color me blue as the rim of the ocean,
    but when I am no longer lonely,
    color me blue as the sky in June.
    When passion comes,
    color me purple;
    when passion goes,
    color me brown.
    When life seems devoid of life,
    color me black as the colors that have vanished;
    but when life is full of life,
    color me white as the noonday sun,
    for all the colors that have returned.
    And when I finally learn who I am,
    color me gold.

    copyright 2014, William Preston


    1. My soul seeps deep into winding
    road, until joys untold are lost
    in it’s trodden path.

    2. Simply at ease, in nature’s breath.
    All is at rest, in the subtlety of
    her embracing breezes.

    3. Unperturbed in journey; hugging,
    seizing every curve.

    4. Drinking in the countryside,
    (down the hatch) pondering
    what I heard.

    5. Liberate from reeling mind,
    ever staggering from daily stress.

    6. Digress and undress hidden
    wounds, apply healing balm
    of oil and wine.

    7. Unwind from the daily grind,
    recalibrate the system.

    8. Tune in; to nature’s radio,
    and bask, in the season’s broadcast.

    9. Appreciate old heaven and earth,
    as it stands, until it breathes it’s

    10. To be lost in the wind again, blown
    astray, evanesce in it’s path.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas

  23. LIFE

    Life is grand; life is grandeur;
    life is high and wide and tall
    as purple mountain majesties
    and great sequoias and their kin
    and golden eagles living therein;
    life is deep within the atom;
    life is molecules and elements
    and amino acids and cells
    and salamanders that spring therefrom;
    life is creatures of the water
    and of the land and of the air,
    and lives throughout the universe
    in habitats and worlds thereby;
    life is living every day,
    accepting life and death
    and the cycles thereof
    as best one may,
    because life tends to throw wicked curves
    in fastball counts.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  24. Toss the “To Do” List and Take a Walk

    You know you want to…

    because the sun’s shining (or it’s gently raining
    or cloudy or windy or snowing) or because
    the moon is full or crescent or new,
    waxing or waning, eclipsed or blue and
    the stars are out (or coming out – or fading), and
    Orion (or the big – or little – dipper or Cassiopeia)
    is visible overhead or on the horizon;
    because Venus (Mercury, Mars, Saturn,
    Neptune, Jupiter) is rising, setting, dazzling
    and the Perseids (Geminids) are positively amazing.

    Toss the “to do” list…

    because the wild berries (black-, rasp-, blue-, straw-
    or huckle-) are sweet & ripe and begging to be picked
    and the flowers, too (star- and may- as well as
    sweet peas, anemones, jewel weed, spotted wintergreen,
    black-eyed Susan & Queen Anne’s Lace) are sprouting
    (budding, blooming, going by) and the trees
    (maple, oak, magnolia, cherry, dogwood, apple) are
    greening (blossoming, changing color, dropping leaves);

    take a walk in the woods…

    because the birds (red-winged blackbirds, bluebirds, catbirds,
    red-breasted grosbeaks, robins, swallows) have arrived
    (are mating, nesting, hatching, fledging) and besides,
    the butterflies (fireflies, dragonflies, damselflies), and
    all the busy (lazy) creatures (chipmunks, turtles, snakes & frogs)
    are out and about – courting, swimming, hunting, sunning, so…

    you really ought to
    (you know you want to)
    because spring (winter, summer, fall)
    is growing older by the minute
    (and so, too, are you).


  25. Pingback: Jeremiah, Don’t Give Up | echoes from the silence


    I could list
    all the pros and cons
    but really
    there’s just one
    pro that matters; God’s promise
    of a future hope.

    P. Wanken


    If I were a bird;
    I’d be a sinister red cardinal
    decked in cherry suede garments
    a hooded black mask,
    sport a finned spiky mohawk
    and develop platinum chirped soundtracks
    just for the chicks.

    But I think I’d rather perch
    on a sexy, sexy dogwood.
    Sink my claws firm,
    into it’s stately wood.
    If she would
    permit it
    that is.

    I could
    spy a chance,
    at some romance.
    Examine closely
    her hands
    as finely grained

    And perhaps
    I could,
    nibble gently
    on precious her fruits,
    steal a foretaste of her beauty.

    Perhaps I would be instantly
    Hardened into branch,
    become the same
    fineness of grain.
    For this is romance,
    to be the same
    as she is, in life and nature.
    Perhaps, I would effloresce,
    and become destiny.

  28. Pingback: The Reasonability of Solitude | Whimsygizmo's Blog

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