Poetry by Tim Suermondt

  WE DO AND WE DID

>

>

We grew up in the village of peas,

exchanging vows in the smallest

>

city hall ever built by man.

On a train we ran away to the city,

>

forever. Skyscrapers guarded over us

and our bookshelf always had room

>

for more books—the erotic, intelligent

moon determined to read every one.

>

We watched an entire decade wish us

well, dancing like quicksilver along

>

the daunting edge of the suspension

bridge, holding the future as close as

<

we held ourselves—tilting the streets

and our queen bed slowly skyward.

.

.

  ALONG THE YELLOW RIVER

  THE POETS DROP IN

.

.

                   A writer is like a worker with a toolbox.

                                             –Charlie Smith
>

The fish, large and small, leap up

and land on the plates of the people.

The army marches, carrying flowers

and speaking kindly to the subversives.

The blue birds nearly blanket the sky

and couples commandeer catamarans

to the ends of the earth. Behind curtains

rustling in the cooling breeze the poets

just write, unaware of what it is they’ve

just done, turning the screws on their

stanzas to make them sturdy and if lucky

beautiful enough to be of use, anywhere.

>

>

  PROMPTED BY BEAUTY

,

,

I’m beginning to believe we and the world

have a chance after all, everyone and everything

>

feeling a wholeness at the same instant.

I watch my wife enter and leave the room,

>

unaware of her beauty, just like beauty itself.

I think of Paris and I don’t think of Paris—

?

I’m at home anywhere now, giving my wife

a bouquet of assorted flowers again, and forever.

.

.

  INCHING TOWARD LOVELINESS

.

.

                      Keats wanted to write great poetry

                      and I am in the orchard all day.    

                                            –Linda Gregg

 

I’d like hanging out in an orchard,

though all day might be excessive.

Truth be told, I’m much more at home

on a city’s street, even a mean street,

the kind I never shied from. As for Keats,

he did write some great poems and all

I’ll say about mine is that I did the best

I could, believing each one was bringing

me closer to a sense of the sublime, almost,

if not yet akin to the loveliness of a peach

orchard, a pizza pie at any establishment

named Luigi’s, a squadron of birds flying

smartly in the sun between the skyscrapers.

                      

Poetry by Tim Suermondt

Tim Suermondt is the author of five full-length collections of poems, the latest JOSEPHINE BAKER SWIMMING POOL  from MadHat Press, 2019. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, december magazine, On the Seawall and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.

About the contributor

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