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for the Sons of Korah (Psalm 84)

Swallows swoop across the courtyard
well above the notice of those alone
facing stone robed in black

They flit & fly & loop back
disappearing into gaps in the wall
well above the reach or concern
of those pushing paper prayers
into every crack

Before Mohamed’s people built their dome
before his Jerusalem dream Rome
had destroyed the temple not one stone
left upon another
Before Herod built on the rubble
Nebuchadnezzar had knocked
the temple flat It was before that
that Solomon’s appointed poets noticed
swallows nesting in the cracks

The crevices & crannies still provide space
as swallows swoop across the courtyard
& the observant seek a holy place

D.S. Martin

D.S. Martin is the author of five poetry collections, including Angelicus (2021), Ampersand (2018), and Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis (2013) — all from Cascade Books. He is Poet-in-Residence at McMaster Divinity College, the Series Editor for the Poiema Poetry Series. He and his wife live in Brampton, Ontario; they have two adult sons.