Tom Montag – three poems

Look, Tricks!

Look, tricks! they say

their wares. I don’t
listen. It is not

a puzzle. For me
it is sky swallowing

the night; it is
a child asking

for milk; it is
the turn spring

makes to summer.
Put those in!

I say. But they
don’t listen.

The Poet Listens

He cannot hear
God’s whisper.

He listens, but
no — he cannot.

The wind, yes,
wind in the trees,

he hears that well
enough. The birds

singing behind
the leaves, he hears

them too. Yet not
God’s whisper.

All around him
they are shouting,

who think that
shouting at God

will make God
speak to them. No

wonder silence
then, at the end,

when we are taken.

The Turn

As if only falling
through the darkness,

falling through August,
towards autumn. The dry

scratch of loneliness,
and evening deepens.

Everything depends on
something. What I need

are these Perseids, these
fading streaks of hope,

this tearing up of sky,
these last Ahs and Ohs.

Tom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013 (MWPH Books, 2014), This Wrecked World (Bitterzoet Press, 2016) and The Miles No One Wants (a free PDF download from Otata’s Bookshelf, 2016). He has been a featured poet at Atticus Review, Contemporary American Voices, Houseboat, and Basil O’Flaherty Review, and has received Pushcart Prize nominations from Provo Canyon Review, Blue Heron Review, and The Lake. With David Graham, he is editing an anthology of poetry about small town America.


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