Martin Dickinson


First you take one rounded stone.
Beside it you place one more
and another until they make a circle.
This is your chimney.

Scouring for dead branches
your hands black with decayed bark
you snap twigs for kindling
leverage a branch on a dusty
rock and step on—its crack
rings through the woods.

Flames are spirits. They grow
with the aroma of smoke
as it bends and rises. Their glow
lights the forest’s underside.

Your fire occupies space and time.
Warm inside your bag, you imagine
this scene through the eyes of a Celtic
ancestor. Your spirit feels
at home as you gaze after sparks
disappearing upward into darkness.

Martin Dickinson
Martin Dickinson was born in Pittsburgh and spent his childhood in Pennsylvania and southeastern Massachusetts. He studied at Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin and over his thirty-year career has worked in the labor movement (through 1989) for nonprofit groups and as an environmentalist. His recent work appears in Potomac Review, Clamshell Broadsides, and the Federal Poet. He has read Emily Dickinson at the Library of Congress for the Favorite Poem Project and led poetry events commemorating William Stafford. He lives and works in Washington, D.C.



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Contributors' Notes

Carol Ashworth

E. Louise Beach

Sandra Beasley

Anne Becker

Mel Belin

Rick Cannon

Nancy Naomi Carlson

Norma Chapman

Christopher Conlon

Michael Davis

Martin Dickinson

Jehanne Dubrow

Moira Egan

Sean Enright

Perry Epes

Lillian Frankel

Martin Galvin

Rachel Galvin

Bernadette Geyer

Patricia Gray

Laurie Hurvitz

Tod Ibrahim

Bernard Jankowski

Lisa Kosow

Michael Lally

Hiram Larew

Michael H. Lythgoe

Ebby Malmgren

Dan Masterson

Ryan McAllister

Judith McCombs

Miles David Moore

Daniel Abdul-Hayy Moore

Heidi Mordhorst

Yvette Neisser

Judy Neri

Bonnie Nevel

Barbara J. Orton

Eric Pankey

Jacklyn Potter

Ellen Sazzman

J.D. Smith

Rose Solari

Alan Spears

Gary Stein

Adele Steiner

Mark Tarallo

Colette Thomas

Doug Wilkinson

Rhonda Williford

Terence Winch

Rosemary Winslow

Kathi Wolfe

Anne Harding Woodworth

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