Martin Willitts Jr.



Villanelle based on the painting by Roboef Koets

Life deteriorates over time.
Something you see is already vanishing.
Life is never still. Things are dying.

During the time paint dried,
apples in a bowl became less ravishing —
life deteriorates over time.

A pear contemplates the orange rind
peel curling down. Declining
life is never still. Things are dying,

light softening on grape vines,
unbearable loss. While I’m negotiating,
life deteriorates over time.

The unkindness of aging we cried
over nearing end of life. No denying
life is never still; things are dying,

the un-stillness is closing
vanishing light. Last light is vibrating.
Life deteriorates. Over time,
life is never still. Things are dying.



Martin Willitts Jr.

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 16 full-length collections including the Blue Light Award 2019 winner “The Temporary World.” His recent book is “Unfolding Towards Love” (Wipf and Stock). He is an editor for the Comstock Review.