Begin Empty Handed celebrates the abundance of a world rich in loot: loyal dogs, reliable fathers, long marriage, trees and peepers and lakes and moons and water birds. At the same time, it explores what it means to bear witness to suffering, both ordinary and extraordinary. How do we look at this directly and navigate that uneven ground? How do we contain it? How do we release it? How do we continue to live our lives in a full and open-hearted way knowing that everything we love will be taken away?
The Hourglass Heart
"If the landscape of Gail Martin's poems is a domestic one, then it is Emily Dickinson's wild domesticity, where innocuous-looking teapots contain tempests, where lemons stacked in a white bowl imply grief. If these are the poems of a mother, of a wife-which they are-then they make the claim that motherdom, wifedom, is the kingdom of God." -- Diane Seuss
"Restraint and skill merge with genuine anguish to create poems that are sure to hold and move us." -- Conrad Hilberry