I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Martin for about 20 years. From the outset of his involvement in the British Haiku Society, Martin was a naturally gifted haiku (and tanka) poet; then essayist, and, from 1996 when he founded Presence, the most generous and gifted of editors. I was - and will remain - in awe of his ability to notice the small things in life, to see beauty in the unlikeliest of places and to see the best in people. His body of work will, I am certain, be fully assessed in time as an achievement that is as rich and varied as any in the Anglophone haiku world.
But Martin always said that 'haiku', as we English-speakers know it, can never replicate the content of Japanese haiku because our cultural context is so different. Nevertheless, Martin's quietly beautiful poems, in which he always made every word count, are, arguably, as close to the spirit of Japanese haiku as anyone among us has managed.
Yet Martin had a profoundly English/British outlook on life: a Northerner by birth, schooled in London, university-educated in Canterbury, Lancaster and Cardiff, a supporter of his unfashionable hometown football club (Middlesbrough), brilliant birder, resident of Preston, with friends throughout England, the rest of the UK as a whole, and way beyond these shores.
What a wonderful, talented man Martin was. Rest in peace.