Rain Patterns by Martin Willitts Jr.

800px-guillaume_vogels-ixelles,_matinée_pluvieuse

The mysterious eyes of rain had concentrated,
purple and distant in the high branches like plums.

Not one drop, but a multitude. Not a grace note,
but a symphony where none of the musicians
have the same sheet music. Not an ending
spread out like a tablecloth,
but the disappointment of a supper
cold and forgotten when someone is late.

But it rained, nonetheless,
a temperamental child kicking and screaming.

 

 

Martin Willitts Jr has 24 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 11 full-length collections including The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madres Press, 2018) and Home Coming Celebration (FutureCycle Press, 2019).

 

Painting by Guillaume Vogels.

Unexpected by Martin Willitts, Jr.

_Crane_with_Setting_Sun_-_Totoya_Hokkei Unexpected Martin Willitts jr

Stubbornness must be that crane late
to leave, trying to push its large body
against strong artic headwinds.
The wings’ desire is stronger,
for what the crane will find when it lands
will be another chance to love,
where the sun practically crawls out
of the ocean, and it inquires of the crane,
will you come and join me? And it does —
but not before producing a hatchling
who will learn the art of flying, the art
of spontaneous joy, the touch of excitement.
What appears as containment is really release.

 

 

Martin Willitts, Jr. has 20 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 11 full-length collections including The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madres Press, 2018), and Home Coming Celebration (FutureCycle Press, 2019).

 

Art by Hokkei Renyodo. 

Soundless by Martin Willitts, Jr.

There has to be a word for the unexplained —
a word for the sound of a nightingale
changing to whatever that bird heard last.

We have better words to describe a chasm
eating all sound dropping in
or a trellis of roses wrapping upwards.
When unobscured light reaches its destination,
it does not make a noise. I never heard
a spider tiptoe on its web as it gives or sways,
nor when dawn congeals into greying darkness.

We can hear despair, the accumulation of sparrows,
the blinds opening their clatter, the blink of traffic lights,
the hizz of florescent bulbs.
But not once, did I hear a sound
the minute after people died, separating out
of their body, into a final silence, not even an Ah.

 

 

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian living in Syracuse, NY.  He is a poetry editor for Comstock Review, and a judge for the New York State Fair Poetry Contest. He won the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award and Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June, 2015, Editor’s Choice. He has over 20 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 11 full-length collections including Dylan Thomas and the Writing Shed (FutureCycle Press, 2017), Three Ages of Women (Deerbrook Editions, 2017).

Winter Wind by Martin Willitts, Jr.

Contents of snowflakes spill out of her apron pockets.
I have to listen between the snow-dust to hear
whatever she is telling me in her sub-zero breath.
She writes on my window with frost fingerprints,
words crinkling at the edges.
She left behind excuses in an empty brown paper bag.

The wind is a cello solo afterwards.

 

 

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks and 10 full-length collections. He has 3 more full-length collections forthcoming including The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madres Press), News From the Slow Country (Aldrich Press), and Home Coming Celebration (FutureCycle Press).

Channeling by Martin Willitts, Jr.

The heat is hissing, and the lake is lower.
If rain ever comes to the rescue,
will it be too late? A few murmured sentences,
not offering relief? There’s a weariness to this
silence, just a stone’s throw away, a ghostly,
eerie light — hovering, a damselfly
barely making noise. This is channeling; but what,
we do not know, and we do not like the unknown.

We may not know restraint. We question.
We may not appreciate it if we do not get answers.
The lake is emptying with heat, hissing.
It’s light at its cruelest. It’s a damselfly whisper.
Like a thread unraveling, it’s the soul-light
emerging from a skull at death, I’ve seen it.

 

 

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks and 10 full-length collections. He has 3 more full-length collections forthcoming including “The Uncertain Lover” (Dos Madres Press), “News From the Slow Country” (Aldrich Press), and “Home Coming Celebration” (FutureCycle Press).

Four Poems for Christmas Sharing

Pressed Pansies by Victoria Crawford

A mother’s gift to make for Christmas day
in the book, Pressed Flowers, from a thrift store.
A Eureka! stretching a teacher’s pay.

My pansies were blooming in bright array.
Cardboard and string press pansies galore,
a mother’s gift to make for Christmas day.

I made backing and frame from an old tray,
gilded for flower picture Mom would adore
a Eureka! savings for teacher’s pay.

Pressed pansies, picture framed, artful bouquet,
glossy glitter made it cleverly shine more
for mother’s gift handmade for Christmas day.

December, the present and I on our way
hit potholes before we reached Mom’s front door
and that Eureka! moment for teacher’s pay?

Bumps, glue, and gravity ruined the display:
ruined pansies and glitter weren’t much, for
a mother’s gift made for Christmas day
or Eureka! stretching a teacher’s pay.

 

 

Winter by Martin Willitts, Jr.

silence and cold expectations
speak thinly
translating
with deep pain
into new fallen snow
through the determined
darkness
among blue hazed trees

wind moves slowly
wearing snowshoes

 

 

Andy Williams by Kenneth Pobo

Aunt Gwen plays his albums while
pushing a splintery mop
over crabby kitchen tiles. Andy
sings that he hears the music
from across the way. Gwen thinks
maybe she hears it too—only oak
leaves against a screen. She wishes

that just once Tree would have taken her
to see him at the Moon River Theater
in Branson. Last Christmas
he promised, but his job got busy
and Delia Anne came home broke.

As Gwen pours gray water down the sink,
Andy sings “Moon River”–
We’re after the same rainbow’s end,
the album turning in endless circles, Gwen

stopping suddenly when a tuxedo’d man
leaps out from worn grooves
to offer her one red rose.

 

 

The Captive Fire by Wren Tuatha

She tosses the yarn
and the kittens roll with it,
hitting the wall at the
propane heater,
its grill a cage for
the captive fire within.

She lets out a smile
but it swings back to her,
on a pendulum,
like a good smile,
contained in quiet play.

In the span of a sigh
the kittens will leave, cats,
echoes of the children
who fell, men and women,
from her breast.
She would give a breast
to be needed
that way again.

She snatches the yarn
and the kittens
settle for her shoelace
as she finishes the fringe
on her fourth grandson’s afghan.
Muted shades of
red, orange and yellow.

 

 

Victoria Crawford. From Monterey, California, Victoria is a poet passionate about connecting nature and the human experience in words to share with readers. She has been published in Peacock Journal, the Ibis Head Review, Wildflowers Muse, the Lyric Review, Eastlit, Penwood Review, and other magazines, as well as having upcoming work in Canary and Pacific Poetry.

Martin Willitts, Jr. is a retired Librarian. He is the winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award and Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June, 2015, Editor’s Choice. He has over twenty chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus eleven full-length collections including Dylan Thomas and the Writing Shed (FutureCycle Press, 2017) and Three Ages of Women (Deerbrook Editions, 2017).

Kenneth Pobo has a new book of poems out from Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City. His work has appeared in: The Queer South anthology, Caesura, Colorado Review, Mudfish, and elsewhere.

Wren Tuatha (Califragile Editor). Wren’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Pacific, and Bangalore Review. She’s also an editor at JUMP, the International Journal of Modern Poetry. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.

 

 

Painting: Night on the eve of Ivan Kupala (1892) by Henryk Slemiradzki (1843-1902).

Herons by Martin Willitts, Jr.

herons take off
like white sheets after making love
stirring ancient machinery
making a haunting sound
delivering reams of light

I find abandoned nests
like drawers
empty of silverware

 

 

Martin Willitts, Jr. is a retired Librarian. He is the winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award and Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June, 2015, Editor’s Choice. He has over 20 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 11 full-length collections including Dylan Thomas and the Writing Shed (FutureCycle Press, 2017) and Three Ages of Women (Deerbrook Editions, 2017).