David Martin

Stone Boat

The window moans of wind
hewing a church hull-skin.

No mortar needed for
crow-beak stones,

only poise between
angles to vault a roof:

capsized keel
set to air breakers.

Starboard stiffened,
its arc more cautious

after a thousand years 
of berating currents.

No one comes here to pray,
but if I could crawl

out this window, I would find
myself washed clean.

Elk River Crossing

Cage drowns sound. Hoof-test
cold grills, streamlined over time
by the song’s abrasion. Inside

I’m captive to a concrete-flood’s
ceaseless tantrum of endless present.
Foam nooses my neck; six-point

satellites seek out steel’s rim. 
My glass eyes urge herd to heave
off winter chains, bury fur’s nap

in the liquid block’s bread-
and-water hunger. Don’t give
in to fetters: you’ll tread a life

of reflections ripped under lip,
ending with a mirror on rocks.
At cell’s edge, lunges pry

open a gap in last gasps.
I hinge-leap my fores and backs
into montanes gusty probation

and a tiny grey’s applause.
Styled under snow’s welter,
pine stumps and blade whiskers

are charmed from brush rubble:
these guards aloof to my hooves
shaking off their annual sentence.

David Martin works as a literacy instructor in Calgary and as an organizer for the Single Onion Poetry Series. His poetry has been awarded the CBC Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Vallum Award for Poetry and PRISM international’s poetry contest. David’s work has appeared in journals and magazines such as The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Event, CV2, and Alberta Views. His first collection of poems, Tar Swan, was published by NeWest Press in the spring of 2018.