April 5, 2014

Two Poems by Martin Willitts Jr.

Painting by Georgia O'Keefe


Fragment of the Ranchos de Taos Church
1929 

Sometimes, all you get is a fragment
of time, space, love, kindness,
morning light of fresh coffee,

Sometimes, you get fragments of God,
and she is a potter of Zuni images
tumbling through space

Sometimes, she lets you into her church,
where the holy water never is dry
and burns if you are a sinner

Sometimes, she lets you look out her window
where constellations are still born
out of her womb, each with a special blessing

Sometimes, she sells turquoise jewelry
humming Mozart, or makes blankets
with stories of before time, before anything

She wears a shawl of prayers,
sits among all the other old Indian women
nobody pays attention to

But she is paying attention —
the ones that talk to her and smiles
she remembers, the ones ignoring, she curses.





Painting by Georgia O'Keefe


Pelvis IV
1944
"I like empty spaces. Holes can be very expressive."  

In a violent times
when wars fight over continents
because someone was not content,
blue is such a calm color

the world is being reduced to bone
I refuse to stay quiet
on the sidelines,
someone must speak out

blue has been here since the beginning
it will still be here
after men are finished with destruction,
like blue bonnets, or bluebells

the spirit resides in blue
like blue auras, blue mountains in haze,
cobalt shadows in skulls
when I lift one to the azure sky

all I can think of
is blue tea kettle steam
poured into a blue cup,
slices of blueberry jam in blue light

empty spaces are talking to me,
telling me, someday, wars will end,
men will stop their nonsense
be sensible as blue coyote fur

those days seem far away,
yet in relative time
close as blue varicose veins, or

blue beetles crossing blue shadows







Martin Willitts Jr. is a frequent guest at Poppy Road. He has 6 full-length books of poetry including national winner, "Searching for What is Not There" (Hiraeth Press, 2013), as well as recently, "Before Anything, There Was Mystery" (Flutter Press, 2014). He is also the author of over 20 chapbooks including national winner, "William Blake, Not Blessed Angel But Restless Man" (Red Ochre Pres, forthcoming).

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