We come upon the end of another year. The celebratory nature of New Years Eve (Hogmanay, thanks to Poet McIllwain; the last day of the year in Scotland) has us reveling in the festivities. We reminisce the past twelve months, our achievements, our additions and our losses. And the promise of the next new thing. We all hope to survive the next round on the calendar.

And we toast the day (be it champagne, or sparkling grape juice). We may set specific resolutions, but truly just wish to be better people than we had been. (Although one can attest when you’re Good, you’re good!)

So today write a “toast” poem. Put your heart into it (as always) and make it words we can all take to heart.

Happy New Year to you all, and here’s to 2019!


You are who I toast.
Not to butter you up, but
just to spread the joy.  😉

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

(And speaking of buttering up, thanks Walt!  😀 )



Raise your glass
and toast this day.
Hale and hearty
may you stay.

Wishes for a happy year,
full of love
and joy
and cheer.

May your pockets
hold great treasure,
may your goodness
match its measure.

And I wish your dreams
will all come true,
I share my love,
here’s to you!

© Walter J Wojtanik, 2018


It’s a single stanza that’s six lines long.

The syllable count is 8-8-8-6-8-6 or 8-8-6-8-8-6.

The rhyme scheme is usually a-a-a-b-a-b.

A scheme of: a-a-b-a-a-b is also acceptable.




We’re on the cusp of a new year,
and everyone is gathered here.
Good friends and the ones we hold dear
wishing each other peace
and hoping we’ll remain quite near.
These dream will never cease.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018


I appear to be behind my time. I was making rather merry yesterday, celebrating the news of a granddaughter to arrive in mid-June. And that Christmas thing 😉 !

But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer a poem to our poetic devotees, and so I shall.

I’ve mentioned time. We are guided by it, sometimes a slave to it. But, it marks our place in this life from beginning to end. The group Chicago sang “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” We all claim a clue, but do we? The Rolling Stones regaled us with “Time Is On My Side”, and Styx had “Too Much Time On My Hands”. So our poem today is by Henry van Dyke, entitled “Time Is”. It is a short rhyme, so take a short time and read it!


TIME IS, by Henry van Dyke

Time is 
Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not. 


They say it is better to give than to receive, and this is surely true. There’s no greater feeling than seeing the joy one can bring with a simple gift to another. No one would know better than the “Big Guy” himself. Many people ask me, “What’s in the bag, Santa?” Well, you’ll have to wait until Christmas to see.

This Santa is in a giving mood all the time, but even more so at this juncture of year. But, what about Santa?

Write a poem about a gift you would give to Santa if you could. Help fill his sack to take home and open with the Missus. (And I’m not talking about me, but the “real” Santa, remembering of course that we are ALL Santa Claus!)



As he flies through the sky at the blink of an eye (with that jolly guy wink), I can’t help but think – while our hearts are aglow, our thanks ranks too low.  So I’ve wrapped up my best – blessed, and addressed to “That Jolly Olde Soul at The North Pole,” including some kisses for Kris AND his missus (it’s apropos)  – sans mistletoe. 😉

© Marie Elena Good, 2018



“What do you want for Christmas?” the question came
every year from every Santa Claus and Mom and Pop.
You’d stop and think of all the wonderful things
imagined from sales ads and catalog pages.

Sometimes the gifts were outrageous,
it became contagious and we’d dream.
It would seem we’d never grow out of it.
and that would be a shame, wouldn’t it?

But we did get older, and when the colder
Decembers came, who would blame us
if secretly we kept that joy to ourselves.
Then came this epiphany (as if any was needed).

If I had a chance to return the favor,
a moment to savor the warmth of giving
that for as long as I’ve been living has burned,
I’ve learned it felt so much better to give it.

So I wonder, “What do you want for Christmas, Santa?”
If you could so receive it, I believe it would thrill you
to know you were not forgotten. You would top
your own list if humility would allow it just once.

You have access to all the toys and games,
and the names of the good girls and boys,
but your choice of gifts would be kept hidden
as if you’d be forbidden to reveal it.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward all, would surely fall
within your thinking, but without blinking, what would it be?
If I could be that Santa Claus (as I see myself),
there would be nothing on my shelf that would fit your benevolence.

The prevalence of the good you do lasts the year through.
But, maybe if we take that pause and think, it would sink in.
If we could all be Santa Claus’ for even one day, I’d say
it would give a rest to the merry gentleman you are.

If everyone went around with Christmas in their hearts
and on their lips (without being boiled in their own pudding),
you’d be doing flips. A gift for you would be knowing
we are growing with love for the season, and the reason of One’s birth.
And then maybe you’d get your peace on earth.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018


Here is another theme-based form (er, I mean “genre” – Thanks Barbara) for you to try.  An Epithalamium is a poem usually written in honor of a bride and groom. But we’ll expand the thought in a way for this re-introduction of the Epithalamium. Write a poem to celebrate the marriage (joining together) of two somethings. Reese’s Cups are the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Could be ham and eggs, comedy and tragedy, Lewis and Martin (for those of us that know better). Let’s toast the happy “couple.” Toast and jam? Another great combo!)

A (bonus) poem written for the union of our incredibly talented poets in the garden with each other and Marie and me:


Will you, won’t you join this dance? .
Won’t you take this one last chance?
Would you, could you use your words,
write some poems (quite absurd)?
Will you take the steps you need?
Won’t you join us? Plant your seed?
Will you? Won’t you?

© Walter J. Wojtanik




O’muse forgive me.
You were always there,
like light, like air.
When thoughts reveal
all that I feel, you provide
a voice for the words I choose.
Never failing, sending these
word kites sailing; soaring
into the atmosphere for all to hear.
I take you for granted here, o’muse
sometimes, and at times I abandon
my sensibilities when you give me
the ability to paint life onto a blank page
as if some sage had possessed me.
But, I owe all I am to what drives me.
A pursuit of poetic perfection,
a direction that joins us; a marriage.
Like melody and lyric, this empiric
connection is God-sent, meant
to express all that you suggest.
So muse, forgive me.
For all you share,
my light, my air.

**Inspired by “Farewell and Thanksgiving” by Mark van Doren 

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018


William Wordsworth was another outstanding English romantic poet. He and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature. Their joint publication Lyrical Ballads was published in 1798. Here at #16 is one of his most loved poems.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud, by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


For Thanksgiving, we served up a word cloud for you to use in your poetry. So it is only fair that Christmas takes center stage, a mere nine days away. There are two sets of words provided. A set to satisfy a secular look at Christmas (Santa – Red) and a more dedicated reason for the season (the birth of Christ – Green). Choose one or the other OR mix them up a bit. Use the words as you see fit. Christmas does not show in the cloud but was in the list – it wouldn’t fit the shape.

Created with Word Art cloud maker.

WORDS USED: Santa, North Pole, elves, reindeer, sleigh, toys, snow, wrapping, workshop, gifts, children, list, night, naughty, nice, Christ Child, manger, Bethlehem, mule, Magi, shepherds, angels, camel, Savior, reason, season, star, gold and Christmas (does not show in the cloud but was in the list – it couldn’t fit the shape).



In Bethlehem, did silent snow
fall soft upon a crèche,
that holy night when star aglow
announced God in the Flesh?

Although the chances may be slim
snow graced the Christ child’s birth,
it oft adorns Yule’s art and hymn,
as we fête Peace on Earth.

Perhaps it speaks of Spotless Lamb,
on silent, holy night —
Redeeming Gift of Great I Am,
reflecting Love’s Pure Light.

And though I may project snow dreams
on this most sacred eve,
I honor Babe whose love-light beams –
this One whom I believe.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018




I stand in the clearing and I am hearing a sound most celestial. Not anything extra-terrestrial, but a haunting song of angelic origin. Up here where the snow covers the ground, I’ve found that the reindeer pull my sleigh easier because of it. But, I do not deny the cause of it, this need to celebrate. It is the birth of One in a lowly manger in the town of Bethlehem. The Christ Child is the reason for this season.

This Christmas, as always with every Christmas I’ve seen, provides this patch of green amid the drifted snow. For in the light of that first star I am given a wonderful gift. There is no list to ponder, for the wonder of this moment lingers and I clench my fingers and kneel. Here in the North Pole, my soul is healed as the Baby Savior is revealed to me. I see Him and feel Him in my heart. Before I start my journey, I yearn for all mankind to feel this peace. It is nice to take this blessed pause. I am a humbled Santa Claus.

The first gift is love.
Given to all who believe
Each Christmas. Always.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018




In view of the Haiku’s popularity in the West, and the rising interest in Asian poetry, it’s surprising that the Than-Bauk is not more popular. Than-Bauk, conventionally a witty saying or epigram, is a three line “climbing rhyme” poem of Burmese origin. Each line has four syllables. The rhyme is on the fourth syllable of the first line, the third syllable of the second line, and the second syllable of the third line.



Through the dark night
I just might sleep.
I fight to dream.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018




Man in red cap,
jolly chap, can
gift wrap “merry.”

(C) Marie Elena Good, 2018


An Irish born writer and poet, Oscar Wilde wrote in different disciplines in the 1880’s to emerge as a successful playwright in the 1890’s. His novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a well known work of his, and he is remembered for his plays and epigrams, as much as for the circumstances of his incarceration and early death. Poem # 22 in our ranking, this is “The Dole of the King’s Daughter”.

The Dole of the King’s Daughter, by Oscar Wilde

Seven stars in the still water,
And seven in the sky;
Seven sins on the King’s daughter,
Deep in her soul to lie.

Red roses at her feet,
(Roses are red in her red-gold hair)
And O where her bosom and girdle meet
Red roses are hidden there.

Fair is the knight who lieth slain
Amid the rush and reed,
See the lean fishes that are fain
Upon dead men to feed.

Sweet is the page that lieth there,
(Cloth of gold is goodly prey,)
See the black ravens in the air,
Black, O black as the night are they.

What do they there so stark and dead?
(There is blood upon her hand)
Why are the lilies flecked with red?
(There is blood on the river sand.)

There are two that ride from the south to the east,
And two from the north and west,
For the black raven a goodly feast,
For the King’s daughter to rest.

There is one man who loves her true,
(Red, O red, is the stain of gore!)
He hath duggen a grave by the darksome yew,
(One grave will do for four.)

No moon in the still heaven,
In the black water none,
The sins on her soul are seven,
The sin upon his is one.


Build a better mouse trap, they said. Think outside of the box, they said. There has to be a better way to…

We’ve heard it all before. Someone always comes up with a new way to see an old stand-by. Most times it’s an improvement. Sometimes the disaster that results puts you back into the middle ages.

Re-inventing the wheel … there’s another saying that applies here. So let’s do that. Take an object and give it new life as something else. We all have a drawer full of butter knife screwdrivers, for example. And don’t limit yourself to inanimate objects. There’s a whole great big world out there. Explore its possibilities. Have some fun, and re-invent the wheel.



Toast in the toaster
Ham in the roaster
Hot tea or coffee
Cinnamon toffee
Soup in the stockpot
Ribs in the crockpot
Cheesy potatoes
Fresh-canned tomatoes
Bread in the oven …

Smellin’ the lovin’?

Foods meant for eating,
Scents for love’s greeting.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018




Security comes in all shapes,
and the size may matter, but
the latter doesn’t make it safer.
Losing the key is a disaster,
and the faster you come to a solution,
the quicker you’re in. Begin
with a twenty ounce hammer,
and slam her until the latch breaks.
That’s all it takes to unlock it.
(But make like a rocket to get a new one!)

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018


**COMMENT: “Foods meant for eating, Scents for love’s greeting.”

Wonderfully re-purposed, Marie!