Martin Willitts Jr
In late March, I will begin the first part of a three part community garden build. The first stage will be laying down cardboard to kill the grass. Two weeks later in April, I will be community building 20 raised 10' x 3' raised bed and a fence aroung a 55' x 35' garden, then on Earth Day, I will fill the raised beds with compost. We will also have a ribbon cutting. Also during April I will be sponsoring a countywide poetry contest to place poems inside local buses. I have 20 chapbooks including recent e-book "The Burnt-Over District" (http://www.icarusbooks.co.uk/), plus 11 full-lengths including recently "How to Be Silent" (FutureCycle Press, 2016)
As Christ Died
He said, it is finished; it never is —
this business of dying —
it is like a roofer missing a shingle
and then rain sieves in —
there is this incompleteness,
like land sloping many ways —
the world is not one way over another,
where land can rise or fall like feelings,
or islands can disappear, or a darkened sky
can peel open with the most amazing light —
sometimes during death
there is this embarrassed laughter from pain,
flickering, undisturbed, until grief empties
like a bowl of spoiled fruit —
even during a dismal rain over a funeral,
mallards could glance through the storm —
rescue from pain is on the way, breaking
silence, repeating: life is never finished!
Yellowstone Springs in Winter
The oozing bubbling steam appears corrugated
when it meets cold sub-zero air
the edges of the thermal hole are yellowish-green
straight down, seen through a blue-clarity
like a decision was made back in creation
and this view blows your heart wide open
where we are in this soft environment
while we carry the sun like a backpack
it is the quietness of a low frigid moon
smothered by gray clouds tossing our snow
like was confetti or milkweed spores
and there is enough copper to give color
to the hole and water unbuckling darkness
testing our souls shimmering on the reflection
o the lives we forged can be warped
can be clouded in a fog with no map
let our lives speak like wind
let the yellow stones of stars brighten
(A mint; its Greek root meaning is immortality)
Many of us might wish to live longer.
This is why the Greeks told stories about immortality.
Smelling this mint might make us want to live forever
in an never-ending greenness.
We might want to live as long as glaciers or permafrost.
However, we would see our great-great-grandchildren die.
Time scurries like ants. We live in contrary desires.
Maybe this is why we are short-lived and foolish.
Maybe we are supposed to notice how clouds move
as dirigibles, how leaves unmoor from branches,
how life is short as snowflakes. Mint reminds us
immortality is a forbidden fruit like holly berries.
None of us can live forever. We can only know
the impossible in order to dream differently.
©2016 Martin Willitts Jr