July 19, 2014

Two Poems by Martin Willitts Jr.

The Lawrence Tree
            1929
                At D.H. Lawrence’s house in New Mexico
  
I would lie for hours on a wooden bench
under a tree, looking up into sky
until it blinked first.

Leaves were spiritual poems
telling of deep longings
how the world came to be.

How this wooden bench was made —
each swirl, knothole, every smoothed edge —
life is measured precisely.

The tree tells me the sky was made for me,
ingrained inside me
like water inside nowhere.

Tonight, there are so many stars,
distance and closeness do not matter,
perspective falls apart miles from here.

If I reach up, I can pull down everything —
loneliness; poems; spiritual stars;
leaves; bird wings; beautiful space.




Summer Days
            1936


The landscape in New Mexico
has colors waiting to be painted
until you try to paint them.

A part of the far-away
and near-by,
elusive as light,

fragile as lung or spirit.
You have to open wildflowers in the sky
to find a skull more alive than the living.

There is no middle ground
between foreground and background.

Nothing to claim.






Martin Willitts Jr. has 6 full-length collections of poems including national eco-poetry contest "Searching for What Is Not There" (Hiraeth Press, 2013) and "Before Anything, There Was Mystery" (Flutter Press, 2014), plus over 20 chapbooks including contest winner: William Blake, Not Blessed Angel But Restless Man" (Red Ochre Press, 2014).

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