Martin Willitts Jr
I am a Quaker practicing silent meditation and trying to "see that of God in everything." I try to be attuned with everything and to listen within the silence for the hidden voices. I have over 20 chapbooks and I have a forthcoming one in England about the history of the Burnt-Over District in New York State. I also have 11 full-length collections including forthcoming in January called "How To Be Silent" from FutureCycle Press.
The Land Is Floating Away
I lived near the seaside, in a house on a hill,
overlooking fishing boats. I always knew
rough weather was coming by their sails,
nets lowering as prayers.
I worked at my bench fixing shoes,
tacking leather, heel to toe.
I always started a day singing,
but lately words are condemned.
Troops shoot lovebirds,
hunted the innocent, changed
the color of water.
Boats of sadness sank in the bay.
Troops leveled hills,
exploded fish into the sky,
water was agitated like a cheated customer.
The land I knew floats further and further away.
I carry this seed with me wherever I go.
I cannot plant it until I am planted.
As long as I float as a seed in the wind,
as long as I am sent here and there and nowhere,
as long as darkness and light are the same,
as long as brutality has many names
speaking many languages with anger,
I am less than a yellow envelope
with no forwarding address. As the wind
dies, I die; as the earth crumbles apart,
so does my faith, so does my family.
A long line of unsettled people are in a line
for one piece of rice, one drop of water,
one dust-covered plate, waiting to be fed.
We wait here, we wait there, we wait in sleep,
we inconvenience the news.
While you try to eat, we wait for passports,
for gates to lift, for help, for days of restlessness.
©2016 Martin Willitts Jr