New Life
D.S. Martin

New Life

            It will flame out . . .
            -Gerard Manley Hopkins

Try your best to imagine the worst  
a derelict   boarded-up   burned-out place  
overtaken by weeds & waste   where crumbling concrete
& rusted junk rub desolation into whatever dreams first flowered
before despair toppled & devoured them

Or look across a scarred landscape  
where wildfire   blackened & flattened forests  
leaving a few charred sticks   where faint fence lines
& random bricks   declare what once flourished
in this boom & bust hinterland

Despite the damage we do   through malice
or neglect   the doom & dust passes   the fireweed
blueberries & grasses thrive   the hopeless vacuum fills
with new desire   & amid all that seems irredeemable
innocence comes alive

D.S. Martin

is poet-in-residence at McMaster Divinity College and series editor for the Poiema Poetry Series from Cascade Books. He has written five poetry collections, including Angelicus (2021), Ampersand (2018), and Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis (2013). He and his wife live in Brampton, Ontario; they have two adult sons.