We are pleased to present our next Poet to Notice: Martin Willitts Jr. 

We hope you enjoy these three poems as much as we did.

At Sunflower’s End



A goldfinch is after

a drooping sunflower’s black-oil seeds.

The flower bends with its slight weight.

The finch flinches,

noticing a feral cat’s intent

on getting its fill. The sense of danger and

risk are weighing the same

as a small bird. There is a twitch

of anticipation, a rain of yellow feathers.


“– gaelic for vision, imagining”

Aisling is a spell to bring a person you desire to you


This is how to get the one you love

without working at it. First,

get a spell-book. Find one that talks

if you want a shortcut. One that smells

of rotted toadstools. Newts are better —

the more evil the intent,

the stronger the spell.


Next, get a white candle.

If it is stolen from a church

during a service

in front of shocked witnesses,

it will add a little spice to the wax

as it bursts, incessantly.


Get a picture of your intended one.

If the picture blurs being developed,

you will know

nothing will develop from the relationship.

Time is the best developer,

but you have no time for this.


Expedience is the goal of a watchful mind.

Watch the one you desire

when they are not aware;

it adds goosebumps to their flesh

and will increase the spell tenfold.


Find something they like

and put it next to their picture.

Focus on these two items

as the candle melts into desire.

In between the flame,

chant the name of the person

even if you do not know their name.

It doesn’t matter.


All this will add up immeasurably.

Your spell will be accepted.

That person will have no choice

but to be in love with you.

They will not know

magic holds you together.

Open the spellbook of their heart.

It will burn as a white candle.


Driving through thick sheets of snow,

far from anywhere he needed to be, far

from on time, his mind a blizzard of activity.


He never saw it coming. The next he knew,

he was jet-propelled

into a wall of whiteness, like honking geese.


He felt heaviness lifting, a great pressure,

like heavy-duty snow tires. Like a gentle kiss

from a demon. There was nothing below.


He never felt the landing. Never felt

his body lunge through glass in a swan dive.

The last thing he saw


was a man swimming in snow to get to him,

snow smacking that man with fists.

The nothingness came to his rescue,


late as usual.


martin willitts
Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian living in Syracuse, New York. He was nominated for 11 Pushcart and 12 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 ; 2013 Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest; 2013 “Trees” Poetry Contest; 2014 Broadsided award; 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest; and Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2015,Editor’s Choice.
He has 20 chapbooks including “Late All Night Sessions with Charlie “the Bird” Parker and the Members of Birdland, in Take-Three” (A Kind Of a Hurricane Press, 2015). He has eight full length books including National Ecological Award winner for “Searching for What You Cannot See” (Hiraeth Press, 2013) and “Irises, the Lightning Conductor For Van Gogh’s Illness” (Aldrich Press, 2014). Martin Willitts Jr forthcoming poetry books include “How to Be Silent” (FutureCycle Press), “God Is Not Amused With What You Are Doing In Her Name” (Aldrich Press), and “Dylan Thomas and the Writer’s Shed” (FutureCycle Press). 

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