• Broadkill Review

Five poems by Tom Montag


After Han-Shan's Poem #3


Lovely, the road to Cold Mountain

where there is no sign of traffic,


where valleys blur

and streams twist and tangle,


where ridge upon ridge

climbs even higher,


where the thousand grasses

bend with dew


and the pines

moan and murmur in the wind,


where, when you lose your way,

you follow your own shadow home.





After Han-Shan's Poem #4


Give me this solitude where

I am free of the world's


dust and noise. Let me tramp

my lazy paths into the grasses


and greet the clouds like neighbors.

If I want to sing, the birds


will help me, no need for

preaching. I am an ancient


like the cedar: eight thousand

of your years is just one spring.





After Han-Shan's Poem #9


People ask the way to Cold Mountain.

There is no way. Even in summer


there is ice. The morning sun stays lost

in fog. Could you get here as I did?


Our minds are not the same. If yours were

like mine, you would be here already.





After Han-Shan's Poem #17


The seasons turn and keep turning.

One year follows another.

The thousand things die and are reborn.


The universe stays steady and certain.

When there's light in the east,

it grows dark to the west.


Flowers fade, yet they bloom again.

Only man, the weary traveler,

goes into the darkness and never returns.





After Han-Shan's Poem #18


The new year has ended

the old one's sorrow.


Spring comes now with

all its colors.


Mountains streams and flowers

laugh together


and the trees keep

swaying in green wind.


Butterflies and bees

flutter and buzz.


And the fish! The birds!

With such companions


who can sleep past dawn?


Tom Montag's books of poetry include: Making Hay & Other Poems; Middle Ground; The Big Book of Ben Zen; In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013; This Wrecked World; The Miles No One Wants; Love Poems; and Seventy at Seventy. His poem 'Lecturing My Daughter in Her First Fall Rain' has been permanently incorporated into the design of the Milwaukee Convention Center. He blogs at The Middlewesterner. With David Graham he recently co-edited Local News: Poetry About Small Towns.

65 views

Recent Posts

See All

"Wait" by Raymond Byrnes

If you hope to see a deer in wet, leafless woods, do not look for deer within the woods. Gaze at the brown and grey expanse filled with shadows. Remain quiet, calm, and still. Absorb the silence, embr

Three poems by Kelley Jean White

Oak Bench Seat and back each a single 2” thick board, curved armrests at ends and mid-bench, Enfield, NH, c. 1830, 40″ at back, 33″ seat width, 18’ l. $16,800 I remember the tree. As a child I playe

From "Nocturnes" by J.T. Whitehead

Nocturne No. 11 She went to the clinic before the Sun came up, making day, before the protesters came out with the Sun, simple hunters, & not knowing which of those stars had died, so many years befor