Saturday, 11 September 2021


by Carolyn Martin

To those of you who will not die today:
walk through your home and bless the open doors,
the table set, the breadth of sun lounging
on the Persian rug. Catalog the small
contentments you have earned: eager words vying
for a poem, work you’ll never have to do
again, backyard squirrels that entertain.
Praise every squill, crocus, and bleeding heart
that dares subvert winter’s calendar.
Invite young mysteries in and seat them
between answers you have no questions for
and ponderables still unclassified.
It goes with saying: listen attentively.
Then tomorrow, if it arrives, repeat.

* * * * *

"Mandate" was first published in Yellow Arrow Journal and is part of Carolyn Martin's new poetry collection The Catalog of Small Contentments (The Poetry Box, August 2021).

From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her poems have appeared in more than 135 journals throughout North America, Australia, and the UK and her fifth poetry collection, The Catalog of Small Contentments, was released by The Poetry Box in August 2021. Currently,
she is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation. Find out more at

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