Country Crossing

Country Crossing
Poetry of Thomas Martin

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

crows watching
the maples redden
quiet for a change

(Published Sketchbook haiku thread - Sep/Oct 2010)

Copyright 2010 Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.
acorns underfoot
children raking leaves
to the wood's edge

Published "fall trees" Haiku Thread, Sketchbookk - Sep/Oct 2010)

Copyright 2010 Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.
autumn wind
the whipoorwill
calls the evening

(Published "autumn winds" Kukai Thread, sketchbook - Sep/Oct 2010)

Copyright 2010 Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.


"Be ye as wise as serpents" (Matthew 10:16)

you live long enough
everything runs together

like water and sand

the circle where the serpent
coiled at the edge of the sea

seems less than
stepping on moonlight
and holding a child

you live long enough
everyone stirs inside,
your father,
long dead
remembers your face,
your first love breathes softly
beside you in the dark

you live long enough
you'll know you loved
even when you thought
you were making love,
eyes open and unmoved
staring one way or everywhere
but mostly sandward

you live long enough
you'll remember to breathe
and wonder if you'll live forever
a grasping, almost lovely,
small-hearted thing

you live long enough
you'll slip into brightness
you'll know of incandescence
and the long memory of the sky

(Published Sketchbook, Sept/Oct 2010)

Copyright 2010 Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.

autumn wind
she sends some leaves by post

(Kukai Thread--Sept/Oct, Sketchbook)

Copyright 2010 Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

ripe tomatoes
a squirrel's cheeks
full of fall

(Sustainability Competition--2010 Seattle's World Fair)

Copyright 2010 Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

pine shade
the quiet sound
of a  stream

(Sustainability Competition--2010
Seattle World's Fair)

Copyright 2010 Thomas Martin, All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I have this recurring fantasy. I travel to northern Ontario and hire a bush pilot who flies me to the Great Slave Lake. It is a one way trip. I carry my trusty Ronco Survival Knife that I bought for $19.95 in a weak moment a few years ago after watching one of those late night infomercials. The top of the large serrated hunting knife is a compass, which screws off to reveal fish hooks, a bit of line, some matches, a folded up saw. I take one eighth of my ancestors with me, the Cherokee relations. I will survive the bitter cold and the bears and wolves. I will fish, find wild berries and rob honey trees. Lichen broths are supposed to be nutritious, even tasty, I understand.

filling the feeders
I watch for
the Northern Flicker

(Published Simply Haiku - Spring 2009)

Copyright 2009 -2010, Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Reading Gaol

Well, we spent a couple of nights in an all-night laudramat somewhere east of Marble Arch.   We had completely run out of money during that phase of our London experience.  At least we had shelter, and found some measure of companionship with the assortment of characters doing laundry during the wee hours.

There was the drunken gentleman, who never quite got around to reciting Oscar Wilde's, " The Ballad of Reading Gaol."  He went on for hours preparing to quote the poem, but never actually uttered a single word of Wilde. . .

foggy night
a cobweb catches
the glow of fluorescents

Copyright 2010 Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.

(Published October, 2010 - Contemporary Haibun Online)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

humid morning
we pick watermelons
ankle deep in dew

(published - Sketchbook (Haiku Thread - July/August, 2010)

Copyright 2010 Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hummingbird Summer

Morning glories light the morning
Hummingbirds bloom in every blossom’s breath
Flickering of gold dust shook from tiny heads;

Fairy magicians
Glistening the morning light,
A sleight of hazy wings,
A sudden quickening of the heart's delight.

That summer so much too beautiful to bear;
Flying, dancing, humming, being,
Quickening in the cathedral light;
And soaring on some liquor divine,
Divinely mad!
A fool with wings!
The anointed messenger of the gods of play;

For now is the time
Stopped and still in the golden air
I see myself shining everywhere.

(Published July/August, 2010 - Sketchbook)
( (also 1st Place in the Hummingbird Guide 2010 Contest)

Copyright 2003-2010 Thomas Martin, all rights reserved.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blackberry Picking

I see grandmother's bonnet moving above the bramble. My mother tells me not to keep eating berries. My little pail fills so slowly.

mouth drips purple juice
clothes torn, skin bleeding, itching
spill berries again

(Published Contemporary Haibun: Volume 10)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

eggs still warm
from the nest
spring planting

Published Mayfly, Summer, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Perfect Day

Some days are almost crystalline in the memory: they shine like diamonds in the blue perspective of the distant past,

winter wind
a broken branch lit
by gray-green lichens

New Year's day, 1981, was like that. I spent the day with my future wife, Joyce, wandering around the Eno River in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The weather was perfect for January in the South—clear with a pale, yellow sun and temperatures in the mid-50s. Chilly but pleasant.

We explored the oak and maple forests bordering the river, admiring its stark, wintry beauty, and happy with each others' middle-aged company. We pointed out birds' nests and the occasional larger, leafy squirrel's homes in the bare boughs. Always, the river was a strong background presence, winding through stone outcroppings and sandy shores.

winter evening
at home
with stars

(Published Contemporary Haiburn Online--July, 2010)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

moonless night
glow worms help me
up the steps

Published Magnapoets (Summer, 2010)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

camping alone
up all night
with the river

Published Spring, 2010 Modern Haiku

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Geri's Ninetieth

Old age, I suppose. Funny, I don't feel old. I want you to push me again, way up high in the swing. Nothing has changed except my joints, and you, who don't really understand that youth goes on and on.

first spring flowers
the same old song
brilliant and stirring

Published June, 2009 Contemporary Haibun Online

Thursday, February 25, 2010

churning day
the butter tastes faintly
of wild onions

(2nd Place, Moonset Haiku Competition (Spring 2010))

Saturday, January 2, 2010

spider in the house
is that you

Published Prune Juice Journal (2010)

[For those not familiar with the world of haiku, Issa, was a Japanese poet who often wrote about spiders, insects and other small creatures.]