This week, we venture into a writer’s sacred space – the library. Been spending time researching (and seeking a quiet place to fill my days). Head to the stacks and write of something associated with a library. Be it the shelves of books, the silence, a specific section or the atmosphere. It’s an inspiring place and not used nearly as much as it used to be or should be.
I find a table in the back room,
across the way a woman waits,
studious and refined. Exchanged
smiles and a nod, a recognition
of each other's condition.
Both on a mission to discover
and uncover our truths.
I delve into my notes, random lines
and quotes of poetic potential,
a vocabulary as a credential.
She primps and organizes,
text books and journals, pages
put forth by sages of knowledge
and education, her trained station.
Shortly she is joined by her charge,
a student of adult age, unsure
and uncertain, shrouded by a curtain
of doubt, out to prove detractors wrong.
Treading on trepidatious feet
he meets the one who will guide him,
a black man wanting a better life,
an understanding in undemanding tones.
Grasping small bits of truth far from
the youth of his days, he plays slowly
with words a struggle undertaken.
He battles the language valiantly,
stepping cautiously from word to word.
Yearning for a chance to better himself,
willing to learn what she offers.
I look over again and we all smile and nod.
(C) Walter J Wojtanik - 2023
We’re in for a nasty time weather-wise over the next few days here in the Great Lakes area. A mountainous amount of snow the likes we haven’t seen in a few years. Using a form of weather event, write your poem! (Example – A Flurry of Activity, A Storm of Decisions, A Blizzard of Thought…) Stay safe and warm!
Memories come flooding in,
a deluge of thoughts that haunt
my heart. I start to reminisce,
that first kiss, that last caress.
This pulsing in my chest
that tells me I am still alive
because of you. It is true
that you had revived this sorry soul,
and I lose control of emotions.
And just as fleeting, you are gone
again, to linger in my heart and mind,
waiting to emerge when least expected,
flowing unimpeded as memories can.
(C) Walter J Wojtanik - 2022
Summer is ready to slip away quietly. Not with any parade or marching band. It just beats a hasty retreat. And with its departure, we herald in the autumnal equinox. So we will write autumn poems. But…Your poem will present the essence of autumn, full of descriptive language and imagery. Replete with the colorful sights and aromas. However, your poem will NOT contain the words Fall or Autumn anywhere in your verse. Not in the body and not in the title. We will know it is an autumnal poem by your words alone (as long as none of the words are Fall or Autumn – or any derivation of either!) Take us into the season which is upon us… whatever it’s called.
Smacks of death, say some. But I smell Mom’s pies. Hear Dad’s marching band pre-games.
Feel crisp air against my sometimes still-a-bit-tanned- from-summertime skin.
Marvel at the sky’s puffy white and charcoal clouds in deep blue setting.
Relish the jewel-tones gradually gracing trees, begging wonderment.
Enjoy leaves crunching beneath the tires of my bike, or cute-boot-dressed feet.
Experience leaves raked in a pile over my head, then jumping in.
Savor the taste of a hardy stew with biscuits, or bowl of chili.
Memories bring smiles, like the Robbins Avenue Pizza (a rare treat),
enjoyed on our porch after walking home from a nighttime football game.
Smacks of death, say some. But my senses are filled with what I’ve fallen for.
AS THE DAYS DISSIPATEThe sun's glow doesn't last long past seven,
and all the splendor of Heaven descends
in a rapid cascade of color and shadow.Archangel's wings stir the winds of change
and coolness becomes the shroud that engulfs you
in hues of crimson, and rust, and brown decay.
The scents fill your nostrils; burning leaves, stew
brewing, and you wish you could capture it all
in your imperfect words. Birds prepare to head south,
without much to carry but their songs.
Before long, winter will approach, encroaching on all
who mourn her sorry demise; her eyes, vacant and sad.
(C) Walter J Wojtanik - 2022
Every day we inch toward the edge of a precipice. Summer is on the downward spiral. Daylight is a waning commodity. It seems we’re living on the edge of something. We’re looking over the edge to write our poems this week. Edge of sanity, edge of reason or the edge of a ledge, what fuels your poetry? Give us a view from your lofty position. It’s true. We’re living on the edge.
Think the Simon and Garfunkel mega hit of the sixties. Silence has a sound. It is up to us to describe that sound. What do you hear as the sound of silence? Is it eerily strange or quietly cacophonous? What sounds do you consider silent? Take the challenge and make us hear the noise!
Sitting on our shore and watching a solitary sailboat navigating the Lake Erie waters. Made me wish I were manning the rudder and unfurling the sails for a trek. In lieu of a boat, we’re writing a sail poem (or a sale poem). That’s a bargain for sure!
SAYLES HALF OFF SALE
They’re there at Sayles
selling their sails,
sail sales always prevail!
From here to there
they sell their ware,
so the boats can go
from here to there.
You can see them
lined up in a row,
but without a sail
that’s the only way they’ll go
merrily, gently down the stream.
(c) Walter J Wojtanik - 2022
Apparently you notice Marie’s absence. She’s taking a poetic pause to spend some Nona time with her beautiful granddaughters. She’s earned a Sunday off, so I’m going it alone.
Last week, I fenced you and your neighbors in. By the end of the coming week, I will have earned my freedom from the work force. June 3rd is retirement day. So whatever you perceive as freedom, make it the impetus for your poem. Freedom is not free. It carries quite a cost. Tomorrow, honor those that won that prize for you and remember their sacrifice as payment for the freedoms we enjoy!
She drips eloquence, but her needs, desires, and core are not free to speak.
FREE AT LASTHidden in the darkest reaches
of a mind bursting with plans
and schemes; dreams that you never had the heart
to start expressing, lest you show your hand
and your soul. Lest you lose control.
In the end you stayed within.
Over the years, it was a sin
to really deny your true vision, wishing you could reach
the masses without being an a$s or classless dolt out of control
of emotions you never felt comfortable showing. Your plan
to stay silent failed miserably when your hand
took pen to page, opening a vein directly to your heart.
You had the words and the heart
but weren’t sure where to start; where to begin.
Your decision to ply your hand
with the brand of poetics that would pull you out of the breech
sounded like an outrageous plan.
But it was a salve to soothe an aching soul.
So, you were given control
to dispatch your words as sparks of the heart,
an inferno brewing, stewing within this man
and releasing the man within.
No star too far, no meteoric rise out of reach,
no thought held too long within hands
longing to be free of the burden. A poet’s hands
holding the power to move and cajole,
to elicit a smile or groan, any guttural moan, to reach
someone else’s senses. To touch their hearts.
And so it starts. Words are merely words when sequestered within.
They become the guiding light when allowed to shine. Any man
or woman seeking to be free must first release these fears as this man
has. Take your words and destiny into your hands
and disperse every wild notion of thought, the din within
your own expressive mind. Find your voice and take control.
Rip open your soul and rend your heart.
Shout “Free at last, free at last…” to all within reach.
The plan has always been to reach
every heart with a tender hand
by wresting control of the poet within.
(C) Walter J Wojtanik - 2022
We’re looking off into the near distance, searching our horizon for the next big thing. Every adventure is out there for our taking as long as we’re making a concerted effort to reach for it. Of course, writing a horizon poem will work for you here as well. Or take a new look at an old thing and make it new (relatively) again! We stand on the cusp of that brave new world. Where will it take you?
Fog may blur your view
of hope on the horizon,
but it’s no less there.
Walt here. So, I stand on the cusp of a new adventure in my life. I will be retiring in June (June 3rd to be exact). And being within the month, I’ve been keeping silent count of the remaining days. I figured that’s a good point to use as reference, so here’s what I propose..
A COUNTDOWN TO ______________
Write of the anticipated something in your life in a countdown to that momentous occasion. That’s the theme, but you can word it however you wish to convey your thoughts. I’m counting on you all to do me proud (you’ve never let me down!) I don’t anticipate you’ll start now.
Money cannot buy happiness,
even the misery it buys isn't that great.
But for the sake of this debate
I'd take that million and buy a million people's dreams.
silly as it seems, I'd replace their dreams with a new reality
foregoing life's banality and offering
a better life than whatever strife they may possess;
turn their failure into great success, and I confess
I would be happy to oblige their whimsy
just to show them how flimsy their wishes would be.
Maybe they'll see that they never needed more than
they already had. It's not that bad to have just enough.
Life is rough enough without the added burden.
It would be absurd to think otherwise.