Believing is not the same as Being Saved

Lisa Martin’s new poetry collection seeks the kind of lyric truth that lives in paradox, in the dwelling together of seeming opposites such as life and death, love and loss, faith and doubt, joy and sorrow. Here readers will find a range of moods, tones, and subjects, as well as both traditional and contemporary forms—from sonnets to prose poems. This is a collection imbued with the light of an enduring, if troubled, faith. With its focus on spirit, ethics, and how to live well, Believing is not the same as Being Saved offers a tender meditation on the moments that make a life.

There’s a way of speaking as if the difference
matters, as if the road home is finite—everything
begins and ends somewhere, like your hand
in mine, or how last light fractures in the limbs
of pine—while beyond my window, a coyote
follows a trail into the dusk that only it can see.
— from "Map for the road home"

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Front cover 1
Title page 4
Copyright page 5
Epigraph 6
Contents 8
Believing is not the same as being saved 10
I 12
One hundred ways to build the world 14
One thing 15
Firsts and lasts 16
Pool 17
Map for the road home 18
Memorial at Horseshoe Lake 19
The Ascension 20
Perspective 21
Sonnet for what we resolve into— 22
A solstice is an astronomical event 23
Story 24
Return 25
River 26
Bill of Rights 27
Singing in the spirit 28
The song of the spirit drawing near to the body 29
A small sigh, a hard thought, enters 30
Individualism 31
Bearings 32
Survival and all other possibles 33
If we understand the laws at all 35
Still life with white roses 36
Easter at the zoo for agnostics 37
Learning to speak and not to speak 39
Things I can and cannot do 40
Preserve of the useful 41
Sonnet for the distance between us 42
Lightening up 43
Birth weight 44
Lessening 46
Stories are for transforming ourselves 47
Some of what we know about airports in the 21st century 49
Vanity 51
Conversions 53
What I believe now about us then 55
II 58
Dog years 60
The opposite of the heart 61
Expiration 62
Separated 64
I-Thou 66
Adultery 68
Argument 69
On being in love 70
Fidelity 71
Weeping birch 73
Theology 74
Biology 75
The fine thinking 76
Heart 78
Friendship 79
Sonnet to myself and a stranger 81
Incandescent light 82
Elegy 84
Ecstasis 87
Circles 92
Dancing the path to understanding 93
Breathing in the northern forest 94
Acknowledgements 96
About the Author 97
Other Titles from The University of Alberta Press 98