a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
the story of your life, its great unfolding,
so that you can notice all the fine details,
opening your owl-like eyes
like hoarfrost melting. Do not be surprised
if the spirit of questioning silence enters you.
In the slow world, you have plenty of time
to enjoy your unfamiliar surroundings,
whispering about you, lurching your heart
forward like the red roots of a cedar
reaches out to another. Do not be surprised;
it’s supposed to be like this in the slow world.
In the slow world, you will hear this mystery
of your life, the way it opens like ice melts
on a pond until only a small patch remains
before sinking out of sight. You will see this
with the same binocular vision of an owl
using its depth-perception to see.
In the slow world, the air holds the sound,
and we can feel its braille language.
Do not be surprised if you understand
what it is telling you. Do not be shocked
if words are watery to the touch, touching you,
or feels like wind between small feathers
gliding through the silence like a heart,
slowing and landing on a cedar branch.
These are the sounds of your life,
the near-distance and far-sight of your life,
chickadees repeating your life in a lovers’ voice,
in its slow, reassuring voices.
Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Senior Librarian. He is an organic gardener living in Syracuse, NY. As a Quaker, he was a volunteer Field Medic in Vietnam. Martin Willitts Jr edits the Comstock Review and 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 National Ecological Award winner for “Searching for What You Cannot See” (Hiraeth Press, 2013) and 2019 Blue Light Award “The Temporary World.” His forthcoming book is “All Wars Are the Same War” (FutureCycle Press, 2022).