So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild

<i>So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed</i> - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild
A poetic journey with the poet's missionary grandparents to the China they served in between 1923 and 1951. CHECK OUT THE REVIEWS OF BOTH BOOKS (below)

Saturday, June 5, 2010


The following poem is the first poem in my award-winning poetry collection Poiema. It is about the earliest poet, whose name we know, who wrote in the Anglo-Saxon that eventually evolved into English. I am posting this here, because on my new blog — Kingdom Poets — I have written about Cædmon, and want to make this poem available to anyone reading that blog. You may visit Kingdom Poets here.

----a poem for the first poet of English

There are certain times you're as comfortable
as the babe settling down in the sweet hay of the
& others----when you see the harp being passed----
to hand----getting closer to you----song
by song----& as the music continues to swell
the hands that are sure upon the hay fork----
wet & tingly----so you wipe them on your breeches
& swallow a little of the monks' warm ale
but it doesn't steady you----or do anything for your
languid tongue----& still the harp moves closer
so you slip out to the stable to be sure everything’s
right with the horses----though why wouldn’t it be
you’ve already rubbed them down----& picked their
clean----although fresh clumps steam in the stalls
as a large shape shivers in the darkness
recognizing the way you move----As his tail
--------swishes----& hooves
clomp on the clay floor----you reassure the beast
& tell yourself----as you settle in the straw
you’ll return to the glaring lamplit clamour of the
as soon as you find your breathing
But that’s when the angel appears----lifting
you from a sleep you’ve fallen into----like from a
--------dark well
& he calls you to sing
You stammer a protest as Moses did
but he calls you to sing
a song of the creation of all things
& that----is the beginning

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: