Two Poems by Martin Willitts Jr

Unlimited Love

The narcissus flower’s everlasting promise to return each spring
does not include lasting forever. There is a limit to love.

Every living object cannot last. It is terrible to know tulips
only last a few days, yet we go on our daily habits,
never noticing if they were red or yellow or white.

It seems foreign to miss those opportunities,
their absence, their intensity,
their souls leaping out of the dead.

We wait for birds to sing in morning mist,
their brushstrokes like chamber music.
We do not want to miss noticing those moments —

not even in the precision and evenness of rain.
The slow death of the orange narcissuses
proves absolutely nothing with life lasts forever.

The heart travels into endless searching,
like a thousand geese
tugging the sun across the velvet sky by long red ropes.

The sky blurs so we don’t have to see
the stupefying numbers of galaxies trying to contain
all the names of the missing,

or the ones found dead,
bodies loosening
into dragonflies skimming a pond.


When Prayers Form

Sometimes, I walk to where the world has not yet begun,
and wait for it to catch up to me. Sometimes, I can’t wait —
I’m so excited about starting I begin without the light.
Then, sunlight splits the ground from the sky
into a slow unraveling. But I can’t wait for a beginning or
its dramatic flair. I keep moving, dragging the day behind me.
I keep time in motion. And, when I wait by the entrance of light —
its ooze and flash, I bristle with anticipation.
There is no boundary between start and finish.


Martin Willitts Jr, edits the Comstock Review, judges New York State Fair Poetry Contest. Nominated for 17 Pushcart and 13 Best of the Net awards. Winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest; Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, 2015, Editor’s Choice; Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, Artist’s Choice, 2016, Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize, 2018; Editor’s Choice, Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, 2020. His 25 chapbooks include the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, “The Wire Fence Holding Back the World” (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 21 full-length collections including Blue Light Award “The Temporary World.” His new book is “All Wars Are the Same War” (FutureCycle Press, 2022).

Leave a Reply