Tom Montag – Five Poems


Morning Walk

The long ago call
of the sandhill crane.

The mourning dove coos
lost love. Here we are,

flying towards nothing.
I know it. They know it.

And still we sing.


Night Plowing

Roar of the tractor.
Silence inside the noise.

Up the field and back.
Light inside the darkness.

The smell of earth
rising. When you go,

you always go home.


Still There

Still there: the fence,
the tree-line, the far

horizon. The world
comes back at us

with longing, silence,
an unbearable

sadness at sunset.
A small wind pushing

when the darkness
moves in; then the stars,

all the swarming stars.
When you leave the place,

it tears your heart apart.


This Last Evening

The trees like songs
in the air, sighing.
Like a green blush
to evening sky.

The grasses, common
as the fading light.
Like dream-catchers.
Like God’s other home.

And stones. The hard-
hearted ones lit
with love, like diamonds
big as melons.

Ah, friend death,
let us walk out
among them now.

Hurry up, please.
It’s time.



Sun behind me.
Long shadow

on the ground.
One of us

wants to go,
the other wants

to stay. So —
should I say

Good-bye, friend
as my soul

tears loose and
gets set to fly?

Can you hear me
say God’s name?

Can you hear
God call mine?


Tom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013 and This Wrecked World. He is a contributing editor 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. More at his blog: