Meet Mary E. Martin

Trying to remember when I first met Mary and there is no ‘then’, she’s simply always been. Her positive outlook and upbeat personality make her a joy to be around; her knowledge of various forms of art, current events and sense of humor assures time spent with her will be interesting. Her passion for life is evident in everything she does – whether for the arts, her students at Winthrop University, or the feral cats she watches over in her neighborhood

Mary is also a dancer and that sense of movement carries through her poems in her just-released collection, Turning Air into Gold. There is the movement of the body as she pays homage to the inner thigh in Dance Class, or the power of the ballerina’s en pointe in Balance. There is the rush and swirl of water, the unknowing to knowing in the loss of innocence; the movement of time and space in death and relocating from one part of the country to another. Mary reminds us that nothing is stagnant, that even in the stillness, we and the world are in motion.

With Mary’s permission I’m sharing two poems from her collection. (Titles are bolded).

So here’s Mary!

  1. Do you remember the first poem you wrote? How old were you? What was it about?

Not really. But in high school for awhile I wrote a poem a day. I remember in math classes I would often write poems based on animals who were always engaged in strange, other worldly situations.

  1. If you could share a cup of coffee or tea, or lift a glass of wine with any poet, living or deceased, whom would it be?

Can’t choose just one, so here’s a few I would love to meet:  Stanley Kunitz, Lisel Mueller, Audre Lorde, Jane Hirschfield, Keats, and Rumi

“How can we know the dancer from the dance?”

William Butler Yeats

How can we know

the whirling leaf

from the wind,

the ocean from the wave?


from the mover,

words from the writer?

We are always

in medias res,

restlessly part

of everything,

how taste is what

our tongue stirs in us,

how sound shivers

through everything.

Trying as hard

as we can

to feel or

think apart,

the air reminds us

of our sharing,

how our bodies

are joined without

fault or reason,

how the tree

thrives seamlessly

with the earth.

Falling into Place

Ribs settle

from a deep, long

journey of breath;

arms lull shoulders

closer to the unplumbed

current of the heart.

At this point our well

traveled bodies


like the eye

of the peacock feather

we are the radiant

place where

an ocean of night

turns blue then green

then gold.

Mary E. Martin ~ Turning Air Into Gold

Available through Main Street Rag Publishing Co.

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