Tom Montag – Five Poems

Tom Montag head shotTom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. He is a contributing writer at Verse-Virtual. In 2015 he was the featured poet at Atticus Review (April) and Contemporary American Voices (August) and at year’s end received Pushcart Prize nominations from Provo Canyon Review and Blue Heron Review. Other poems will be found atHamilton Stone Review, The Homestead Review, Little Patuxent Review, Mud Season Review, Poetry Quarterly, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere.


Wonder. It is all
miracle beyond our

understanding. The sun
comes up once again.

Love lights its fire.
We are here and all might

be right with the world.


Wind, water, and darkness.
The cold stars all night.

We know nothing if we don’t
know of stone being ground

down to sand and sand
to soil the wind can lift.

We know nothing if we don’t
know the folly of holding on,

the folly of letting go.


A small scream,
the reaching for release.

We’ll never know
what she saw.

Some days you wonder.
And some days you know:

this is what it comes to.


I have reached the age
where I recognize
crap when I see it

and I’m not afraid
to say so, he said.
He is tired of it

passing for beauty.
Dew on the grasses,
the grasses themselves,

his old friends the trees —
these are all lovely.
The sky at evening,

lengthening shadows,
and the cooling breeze,
these are lovely too.

What some poets pitch
at him — not so much.
The difference between

what they say and the things
he loves is too great,
he thinks, to be bridged

by their posturings,
their slick trickery
their games for game’s sake.


was feeling poorly, a head
cold that had dropped down
into his chest. He thought of
his mortality. He thought of
his wife’s tenderness. Death
was not something he feared.
It’s just that he wasn’t done
doing what he was here to do.

The last word was not the last
word he had meant to write.
Each word was a blessing
and blessings gave him hope.

And now he flies from here
among all the amazing stars.



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1 Response to Tom Montag – Five Poems

  1. mfinley98 says:

    I knew Tom in the 1970s when he edited a frantic small press reviewing journal. He kept track of a thousand different writers and wrote mostly generously about them. So much to process! Now look at him — a pleasant older poet, just staring up at the stars. Is this what we all will come to?

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