Tom Montag

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Rain from the west,
against my going.

A poet's task,
listening to an

old man tell his
story. The sun

should break through
at the sound of

his voice, but
nothing comes easy.


is the source.
Without stillness

nothing comes,
nothing holds us here,

nothing pushes
the darkness off.

Not There

Not there in the thousand books on my shelf.
There in the green woods beneath the great oaks,

among the tiny grasses, all the small
crawling things, dark and armored, unafraid

of what I know. Unafraid of any
thing. Open to all the world carries -- life, death,

decay, and resurrection, a thousand
million generations, as many as

there are stars, as many as are needed.
It goes on, whether we choose to, or not.


Tom Montag is the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. In 2015 he was the featured poet at Atticus Review (April) and Contemporary American Voices (August), with other poems at Hamilton Stone Review, The Homestead Review, Little Patuxent Review, Mud Season Review, Poetry Quarterly, Provo Canyon Review, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere.