As Much As Some People Try To Destroy the Earth and All of Its Inhabitants, There Is Still Some Small Hope
Many shadows go to the edge of a sheer drop-off
and never jump.
I always approach the mysterious as a lover does.
The troubling is always quiet, like a stone soaking heat.
I am not at home with the easy way about life.
One has to lift those heat-stones now and then,
feel their heft, look for traces of fossils or rattlesnakes.
As the few in power try to eradicate all wildness,
they do not notice the deep well
of interconnected and interdependent species
and how it might lead to their eventual downfall eventually,
and how it is an increasing countdown.
There is such a thing as too much timid caution —
it’s not good for you. In this high heat, shadows undulate
and flow, like blue honeysuckles on vines. Time
has its own pace as if it was a whisper of tomorrow.
It does not do any good to be impatient for stars to appear.
Soon there will be too many to count.
This Unquiet Life
There is a loss which plunges.
It increases all illness
sitting in the phases of dissembling bones
as a threshold of more unendurable pain.
Each time memory appears, it detonates.
And when there is a mortuary
in the stilled grey artifacts of a person’s eyes
hauntingly drifting away,
the weather sharply turns
almost on the urge of break.
A barn could lose all struts, it roof loose pieces,
barn swallows flying through the empty gaps,
the walls could tumble into the mid-field,
fading and recollecting when animals were fed,
and we witness our own disconcerting feelings —
it is long-term and failing, knowing it’s not ours
to correct. We are helpless as distant stars.
Still, that is cleansing. And this other loss
continues, disturbs, drags down our heart,
wondering if it will ever bottom-out.
Some pain is common as closing a silverware drawer.
This is not some light descending stars. Pain is not
an empty rocking chair moving after the person dies.
Each momentary return tells a story of what it is like
in the Other place, always saying there is no pain,
It is not until we are near natural habitat
can we hear the tree frog climb its music
into the sky, each note a branch,
do we understand any cautionary tale
begins the day where nothing can be quieted.
Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian living in Syracuse, New York. He was nominated for 11 Pushcart and 11 Best of the Net awards. He provided his hands-on workshop “How to Make Origami Haiku Jumping Frogs” at the 2012 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Winner of the 2012 Big River Poetry Review’s William K. Hathaway Award; co-winner of the 2013 Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest; winner of the 2013 “Trees” Poetry Contest; winner of the 2014 Broadsided award; winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest.