March 12, 2015

Two Poems by Martin Willitts Jr.

The Morning Refused to Arrive
It was hung-up in traffic, bumper to bumper 
in low-moaning cloud cover.
The sun was absent. The smoke of evening
was thin remembrance from all-night crooning.
In the distance, a furtive wildness glares
with eyes of red tart cherries,
smoldering with distrust. 
Tree branches are so brittle 
they snap at slightest wind.
The moments that you cannot count on 
worry you the most.
The day must begin somewhere. 
The problem is 
somewhere is never wherever we look for it.
For all anyone knows 
stone birds fly overhead.
There is no guarantee darkness will dissolve
like a problem between lovers.
There are no promises that travel is possible
or the headlights will find their way
in these disappearing roads.
Assurances are only as good as the person believes.

The Mind Is an Unlit Porch Light
When acres fade as memory, 
it is never a good sign. When we forget
where we are, where we are going,
why we move in determination,
with or without light, trees
and mountains are indistinguishable
as a language no one understands. 
Loss of memory is a different darkness:
sharp edges of names are blunted,
days shredded, dimness in the eyes
are two red dots in a wilderness
where the washed-out sun recedes 
like a black bear.
When the mind becomes an unlit porch light,
like a person packing and leaving one item behind,
fragments are gravel spinning from a tire.
Traveling in these conditions is never good.

Martin Willitts Jr is the winner of the International Dylan Thomas Poetry Award. He has 20 chapbooks and 8 full length books including forthcoming full length collections “How to Be Silent” (FutureCycle Press), and “God Is Not Amused With What You Are Doing In Her Name” (Aldrich Press).

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