Saturday, March 2, 2013

Three Poems by Martin Willitts, Jr.

Black-Locust and Honey-Locust Trees

Black-Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia Linnaeus)
Honey-Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos Linnaeus)

The Black-Locust survived the locust borer.
It lasted in areas where it was not expected.
It flourished among root suckers searching for survival.

It communicated its strategy for success
to its relative the Honey-Locust
who listened with its knothole,
and vibrated the news
in its zigzag twigs
down through its blackish ridges
which curved outwards.


You can feel the cold with braille fingertips.
Listening is a bird threading through white-out.

What you want to know, you can’t.
The land diminishes into solemnness of no-sound.

A killdeer’s speckled egg blends into the shush.
The grey hibernating land is unsettling in the loss.

How long will this last? A coyote sighs in the thicket,
small breathes of curious light, no two alike.

Fishing In Silence


We launch out on a row boat
before the sun floats out of the lake.

Prayers begin of the unspoken,
fishing for something to say.


A drunk fisherman falls out
of the boat, into silence.

Divers in wet suits, splash back-
wards, wordless,

down blackness, thick with silence.
Weeks later, a body bobs up.


Bait in a bucket is punctuation —
leave that behind, we do not need it.


Fishing for what to say,
nothing is caught.


In the lake, the reflection of pines,
stillness of shadows,

the meditation of poems
drunk with caught fish.

But I tell you, there is nothing bigger
once you catch it.

Martin Willitts Jr retired as a Senior Librarian and is living in Syracuse, New York. He is currently a volunteer literacy tutor. He is a visual artist of Victorian and Chinese paper cutouts. He was nominated for 5 Pushcart and 3 Best Of The Net awards. He has three full length books "The Secret Language of the Universe" (March Street Press, 2006), and “The Hummingbird” (March Street Press, 2009), and “The Heart Knows, Simply, What It Needs: Poems based on Emily Dickinson, her life and poetry” (Aldrich Press, 2012). His forthcoming poetry books include Waiting For The Day To Open Its Wings” (UNBOUND Content, 2013), Art Is the Impression of an Artist” (Edgar and Lenore's Publishing House, 2013), “City Of Tents” (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2013), “A Is For Aorta” (Seven Circles Press, e-book, 2013), and “Swimming In the Ladle of Stars” (Kattywompus Press, 2013).

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