DS Martin Profile Picture


1. Pietà

2. White Chagall

3. Memphis, 1968

4. Line & Colour


See also biographical and bibliographical information further down this page.



St. Peter’s Basilica

How young she looks   to have a full-grown son
draped across her knees   Comprehending   we pity

all her face conveys   though the corpse shows
little evidence of his manner of death   Every

vein bulges with life   his muscles maintain their tone
so that his merely human form reflects the divine beauty

in which it was made   & Michelangelo may add knowledge
to skill   from all of those late nights studying anatomy

How young she looks   & how large   but the mountain
of cloth   the genius in the fabric folds   so delicately

shaped from stone   holds our attention & maintains
the pyramid-like balance   We sense the tragedy

of a mother losing her son   & consider all that’s known
from scripture   The sculptor expresses his piety

using this most-perfect piece of marble   & his considerable
gift   to speak of love & loss   humanity & deity

How young she looks   as young as the artist’s mother
would have been when she slipped into eternity

            © D.S. Martin
………..from Ampersand




Oil on canvas, 1938

Christ   ever the suffering servant   serves Chagall
in this depiction   looking down from his sad height

with arms stretched like the wings of a gull
or an albatross   frozen in flight

Flames rise from the synagogue   & the emptied stetl
as soldiers charge to the fight

A man escapes clutching a Torah   & a careful
woman holds a child in her arms   tight

While echoing images of the persecuted   circle
the central figure   awash in heavenly light

his nakedness is wrapped in a prayer shawl
& his halo is discrete    despite

the winds that blow from the scroll
toward the cross   with prophetic insight

The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all
for perplexing justice will be proved right

            © D.S. Martin
………..from Ampersand




I’ve been to the mountaintop   & from there
I’ve scanned the distance   as far from myself
as the Promised Land

I’ve been to the motel balcony   over-looking
the parking lot   only able to see dark skies
overhead  the shadow of God’s hand

I’ve seen beyond dark smudges of newsprint
beyond bricks & bottles & broken glass   beyond
mere reactions to reactions

beyond the distractions   & game of turning
cameras from the faults that make you squirm
despite my own infractions

I’ve seen beyond   to the need for a name
not a man   a voice detached from the sin within
a Moses to lead you   but not enter the land

I’ve been to the mountaintop   & found
that in secret I’ve smashed
the tablets to the ground

I’ve been to the motel balcony   I’ve lifted my eyes
beyond the hills   to the skies  & seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord

            © D.S. Martin
………..from Ampersand




The first map you saw   was
mere line & colour   before
you knew to multiply it out into a world
before a blue curl   could be a river
& a straight thread   your street

You gradually heard three little squares
declare themselves houses   & three little trees
go further   & suggest a whole forest
& the forest   to suggest the wild   where lines
lost & overgrown   no longer meet

where things you cannot own
never lie down    confined to a legend
& the mysteries of darkness
& light   remain unknown
where those trees   those same little trees

rise high above two-dimensional paper
to be blown   in the uncharted wind
just as we   will be shown
how the landscape   too   in all its line & colour
reveals far more than itself

            © D.S. Martin
………..from Ekstasis magazine




D.S. Martin is a Canadian poet who is Series Editor for the Poiema Poetry Series from Cascade Books, and is Poet-in-Residence at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. His books of poetry include: Angelicus (2021), Ampersand (2018), Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis (2013), Poiema (2008), and the chapbook So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (2007, Rubicon Press).

So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed - Poetry by D.S. Martin








Learn more about D.S. Martin from his 2 main websites: (1) https://dsmartin.ca/ and (2) https://kingdompoets.blogspot.com/

His books are available from his publisher, Cascade Books, and from amazon.comamazon.ca and amazon.co.uk.


Start typing and press Enter to search