Thursday, 14 October 2021



                        by Carolyn Martin

The wastepaper basket is the writer’s best friend.
– Isaac Bashevis Singer

Scribbled on bank slips, grocery receipts,
and note pads from a dozen charities,
snips of words hide in dismissive dark.
Until, that is, they’re dumped into recycling
and escape with an errant breeze
prancing around the neighborhood. 

A divorcee walking her Cavachon
picks up –  uncrumpled and intact­ –
I thought of you today/but can’t remember why
She laughs to herself – her pet annoyed
by the sudden pause – How about
a hundred whys I never think?

Proud of her resiliency, she tucks the lines
into a neighbor’s cedar fence. 

Farther down the street, a therapist –
out to free his mind before his office turns
off birdsongs and wafts of wisteria –
grabs a scrap and frowns. Most things I say/
aren’t worth the air I breathe.
Depression, he suspects as he jogs in place,
memorizing words for tomorrow’s consult team.

With morning on the run,
the world is shutting down lands
on a dandelioned lawn with everything
that rises must – impatient for an audience.
While I want to tell the truth/
and already said too much
catches its breath beneath a flowering plum.
Proud of its profundity, it questions
why it’s lying here and not in the first
or last lines of a prize-winning poem.

* * * * *

"Resiliency" was first published in Carolyn Martin's new poetry collection, The Catalog of Small Contentments (Poetry Box, 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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