Monday, September 28, 2015

Martha Serpas

Martha Serpas grew up in Galliano, Louisiana, takes seriously the wetland habitat of southern Louisiana, and is active in seeking it's preservation and restoration. She has taught at the University of Tampa (Florida) and is now a Professor of English at the University of Houston (Texas). She has also worked as a trauma hospital chaplain.

She is one of the poets to be included in an upcoming anthology of contemporary Christian poetry, which I am editing for the Poiema Poetry Series (Cascade Books), and which I hope will appear in the Spring of 2016.

Martha Serpas's third poetry collection, The Diener (2015) was published by LSU Press. The following poem is from her 2007 collection, The Dirty Side of the Storm (W.W. Norton).

Fais Do-Do

A green heron pulls the sky behind it
like a zipper. Sharp rows

of clouds fold into themselves, erasing
the framed blue tide.

Barrier islands disappear into
the Gulf’s gray mouth.


Everywhere something strives to overtake something else:
Grass over a mound of fill dirt, ants over grass,

the rough shading of rust between rows
of sheet metal frustrating the sky.

Boats breast up three deep in every slip
and as soon docked are waved away.


The only music’s crickets and lapping,
happy bullfrogs on slick logs.

A rustling skirt of palmettos
around the roots of a modest oak

that appear after hard rain. A fiddle,
or idling motor, moves away.


Go to sleep. God will come
in an extended cab for all of us:

the children, the dogs, the poets.
That old Adversary, the Gulf,

our succoring Mother, having given
everything, will carry the whole of us away.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.