Holy Things: Three Poems by Tom Montag

By Tom Montag

All things glow as with inner light. One who pays attention and who speaks clearly of what he sees, that luminosity, might often sound as if he is praying. These are psalms then.

Don’t Say Tree

Don’t say tree —
say maple

locust treeand locust
and oak. Say

red-breasted
grosbeak and

indigo
bunting. Say

cumulus
and horsetail.

The river
has a name.

Say it. Each
green thing does.

Don’t say weed
or flower —

say creeping
charlie. Say

peony.
Say maple

again, oak,
locust, elm,

and jackpine.
Say beauty

by its name.

 

Every Spring

Every spring
is proof again

we are all
going to die.

Smell the earth.
Just smell it!

 

Not So Much the Night

Not so much the night
and not full daylight.

trees dawnDawn, the changing edge,
the moment, the ledge

from which all things leap.
Wind is brushing sleep

from my eyes. The trees
are rustling their leaves.

This, the moment when
holy things have been

lifted up. What stays?
All these brimming days,

each so beautiful,
so luscious and full.


Tom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. 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.

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