Poetry from TOM MONTAG

 

______________________

 

 

EACH LINE

 

They tell the old man

he writes too much. Slow

 

down, they say. Easy

to say Slow down when

 

you don’t see the bus

rushing at you and

 

certain death at hand,

he says. You can’t write

 

too much when each

line is the last one.

 

 

 

 

______________________

 

 

OLD POET AT HIS DESK

 

He does not wish to make a plan.

Making a plan makes it work and

 

he won’t have it. He stutters and

stammers his way to it and lifts

 

his injured bird. He lets it sing

its one last song, that one last bird,

 

imagination. He lets it sing.

 

 

 

 

______________________

 

 

POET’S WORK

 

Here you put the noun.

And the verb goes here.

 

Preach God’s word after

you finish the poem.

 

The truth comes first.

 

 

 

 

______________________

 

 

OLD POET’S MORNING

 

Enough, he said,

and so it was.

 

The wind died down

and his demons

 

released him.

The sun came up

 

and was enough.

 

 

 

 

______________________

 

 

POET, TO THE STARS

 

No, he says to all the stars,

I am not ready to fly.

Please leave off calling me.


***

Tom Montag head shot

 Tom 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 at Hamilton Stone Review, The Homestead Review, Little Patuxent Review, Mud Season Review, Poetry Quarterly, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere.

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