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I play the part of an earthbound
stone   you   the part of the moon 
in this silent   ceaseless   standoff
As a rock   an oversized pebble 
I’m kicked along some city sidewalk 
rolling into a ditch   from which
I see the curve of your shoulder 
turned away   high   beyond wispy clouds
If I could be a monument 
or stone floor   where bent knees bleed 
might I gain your notice? 
If I were bolder   I’d cry out 
complain of your inattention 
yet who am I to dispute?   You know
me   as well as you knew the hand
reaching for the fruit 
If I were a mountain   or craggy
coast   would you command me
to fall into the sea?   Could I dare pray
with your face full on me? 
Your distance is just a pose   mine
a fallacy   I think it mercy
that you feign to turn away

Photo by Kvnga 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.


  • Rena says:

    D.s.Martin’s poem has the true essence of Donne’s related poem. Such a pleasure reading his poems and seeing the words arranged on the page. The right words in the right place that enlighten our knowledge ofGod and ourselves as on our walk with him. Wonderful series

  • Susan says:

    Yes. This is the way the heart ponders the astounding aspects of salvation–the relationship between God and man…

    My heart was in agreement…

  • Laurie Klein says:

    To navigate relational distances as well as intimacy, in Donne’s day as well as our own—how constant (yet invitational!) the soulful journey.

    I especially needed this line today:

    “You know
    me as well as you knew the hand
    reaching for the fruit”

    AND then . . . that profound closing line!

    Thank you, D.S.; thank you, RJ, for this compelling series!

  • Susan says:

    How well this poem shows the relationship between God and man. No sentimentality, just images that give us a sense of things. It’s a one sided conversation, all about relationship without a word from God. Yet we get it. It rings true.