Martin Willitts Jr is a Senior Librarian in New York. His work has recently been published in Pebble Lake Review, Hurricane Blues (anthology), Hotmetalpress.net, Haigaonline, Bent Pin, 5th Gear, and other journals. He has a fifth chapbook "Falling In and Out of Love" (Pudding House Publications, 2005), a online chapbook "Farewell--the journey now begins" (www.languageandculture.net in 2006), a full length book of poems with his art "The Secret Language of the Universe" (March Street Press, 2006). Willitts Jr's new chapbook "Lowering the Nets of Light" is forthcoming from Pudding House Publications.
Learning to Fly
we desire most to fly: soft
floating movements, sipping
as the Paper Kite butterfly
into yellow bands
and red spots instead of liver spots
as the composer's hands
the scent of the keyboard,
an Mandarin's robe,
of black filaments.
This kind of flight
take us closer
(Based on the life of St. Frances of Assisi)
A Red-Spotted Cattleheart butterfly whispered
in Giovanni di Berardone's ear.
Perhaps I have consumed too much wine from the calf-skin,
he admonished himself, perhaps I should flagellate myself
until I hear nothing except the church bells from Assisi, Italy.
I should set aside my garments, my name,
and restore ruined churches.
The scent of the Cattleheart drove him delirious
until no one understood him except the crows,
stretching wings of crucifixes, or cardinals giving penance
wearing feathers of red miters, or pigeons in the tapestries.
Everything was telling him: renounce, renounce, renounce.
His metamorphosis into Francis reminded him
he was only mimicking being totally human.
Giving, giving is truly the only way.
© 2007 Martin Willetts Jr