Tony Martin was born in central Kansas, in 1940. In a land that
was often described as plain or boring by tourists passing through,
he found the prairie was anything but dull. The prairie, and the Smoky Hill River which ran past his back door, offered entertainment and adventure. From these two came his love of solitude and the outdoors. His mother, with her frail health and uncertain disposition, taught him that love may masquerade as many things—need, desire, and possessiveness. She also shared with him her love for cats. Louise, a maiden aunt who became his surrogate parent after his mother’s early death, was the model for kindness and compassion he tried to emulate all his life. His grandfather Philip taught him that real love may be too familiar to recognize, and simply abides. Here are the threads that weave his poetry together.