MDC’s Poet-in-Residence, Don Martin, is part of a unique art exhibition happening in Toronto this Easter. Crossings is an outdoor art exhibition available free to the public and allows one to make a “pilgrimage” to the various stations of the Cross. The artwords are created by 16 Canadian artist in response to the Scriptural Stations of the Cross and are uniquely relevant expressions capturing both the Passion narrative and its implications for our world.
The sites will be available from March 2 to April 14, 2022 across locations in central Toronto. Each location will have an outdoor art display, and a QR code will lead you to the relevant scriptures, a poem prepared for each site, and other content, including video presentations of the poetry. As the curator of the poetry, D.S. Martin has brought together 16 poems by 16 Canadian poets.
More details can be found by visiting the Crossings website, including the walking route.
Part of this exhibition is the following image by Michael David O’Brian, for the station “Jesus is Denied by Peter”. Following the image is a poem by D.S. Martin, for the same station “A Servant Girl” which considers the same story from a different perspective.
A SERVANT GIRL
The courtyard’s cold as bone & the porticos provide
no shelter as the day’s warmth
slips into the star-speckled sky
The servants of those in the Sanhedrin shiver & wait
Some soldiers fetch fuel after they instigate
the building of a fire & eye
me with their predatory stare I’d rather be alone
but we gather nearby & stretch wide
our hands to where heat radiates
Male laughter echoes from stone to stone I turn
to investigate a glint within a dark archway
where orange light touches something metallic
One of the Galilean’s followers who had spoken
with me at the gate has brought his friend inside
& now this friend watches the fire burn
Below thick brows his eyes dart as though he’s scared to death
exposing his brokenness his rabbit-like desire to hide
I ask Were you one of those with Jesus of Nazareth?
He flees for the cover of words pretends not to know
the name That’s when other servants of Caiaphas
discuss what had happened to Malchus
When some came to capture their lord one of the disciples
had whipped out a sword blood pain & a missing ear
soon restored I’ve heard the voice of this Jesus
He’s inside now facing pious interrogation & this disciple’s voice
with its sonorous quality to us sounds the same
murmuring like waves splashing a northern shore
A distant rooster crows & hooves clatter beyond the entranceway
In the ensuing chatter we ask him about Jesus again
but he tries to stress I am not one of them
Weapons clink as soldiers sway & shuffle to keep warm Beyond
the firelight some dark shapes move about & as the Sanhedrin
lets out a few servants are called away
For the third time we confront him & he calls down a curse on himself
if he lies A rooster once more is heard He looks up
into the face of Jesus cries & flees to outer darkness
(from D.S. Martin’s poetry collection Ampersand (2018, Poiema/Cascade)
Join us to pray that Crossings will be a fresh opportunity to unify diverse communities of Christians, to publicly declare our living faith, and to engage in the sacred practice of prayerful pilgrimage. Please pray for and visit Crossings 2022. To download the brochure, including QR code, click here.