He walked this country with the eye
of a newcomer, showed us how to see
close up, take in the sweep of distance,
the shimmer on a paddock in drought.
Leaves us his long shadow striding
the slope, the sun always at his back.
I read, follow his footsteps, listen
to the accented lilt, the rise and fall
of his words, notes in a vast sound-scape.
He contemplates the notion of fire
loss and renewal, how a land left bare
flickers still under the seeming emptiness.
He stretches an image on a line
in a walking meditation across the page.
Brenda Saunders wrote “Walking man” as a tribute to Martin as a teacher/poet. She was in his poetry class at University of Technology Sydney in 2005.