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I am a little world made cunningly
whose every element   spirals
downmirroring the world
outside where glistening

surfaces fadelike a tarnished
crownThe planet prophesied
when I wasn’t listeningthrough
sidewalk cracksthrough

the scuffswhich mock my new
shoes   & through hatchet blades
grown dullso I never heard
what was awaitingmy eye & ear

Though now I feelthe zeal in my
soullike a late-night campfire  
will fully burn outunless
wilfully stoked & stirred

Photo by Emilio Garcia on Unsplash

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.


  • Desmond Kon says:

    A beauty, Don. What a powerhouse project. My admiration!!!

  • Laurie Klein says:

    Dear Don, you render the little world within the larger one so deftly, in words: whimsical, then wistful as a sigh, then wise: “wilfully stoked & stirred.”

    And I am stirred to live likewise. Thank you.

  • Susan Cowger says:

    So much to glean from this. I was taken with the first line and the respect for Creator inherent in it and how the last stanza comes back to that through “feel the zeal”, though without direct address in either place. Masterful entry of role of the will in the end.

    Knowledge of the journey of the soul–well described.

  • Marjorie Stelmach says:

    A beautiful poem, reminding me of how it feels, that ‘zeal in my soul,’ and of how I might stoke and stir it by simply listening. Reading it aloud again, I need to add that the sound work in the poem is gorgeous, so skillfully done.