The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Tim Suermondt


Everything is blooming
outside the open window of my study
in this small French village.

Paris has given me permission
to take some time off,
well aware that I’ll always return.

A few bugs fly into
the room and like a Chinese poet
I’m determined to put them in a poem—

More poems about bugs than politics
might be useful, far less harmful.
The sunlight squeezed between

the green hills shines on
my first line and the bugs
resting on the windowsill are putting

on their tiny glasses—leaning in
with their feelers on high, in anticipation
of where my poem might take us all.

Rembrandt Still Painting

Even the great artist
can’t always achieve the impossible—
his self-portrait
must be of an old man,
youth lost in the dark brushstrokes.
He contemplates giving himself a smile
to brighten the dourness
as he walks to the studio door,
opening it to survey the snowflakes
starting to blanket the streets and canals.
Two young women, arm-in-arm, pass by—
he salutes them
but they don’t respond. He closes the door,
forgetting that smile by the blush of nightfall.

Hotel Action

Rain denting the world this morning,
the sun in exile.

My love is getting dressed
while I stare down the avenue,

people and umbrellas parading past
the once modern cinema.

A man holding a bouquet of roses
twirls to music on his headphones,

my kind of man as the old song goes.
“I’m ready,” she says, slinging her purse

over her shoulder and I slip on my shoes,
prepared to follow her, anywhere.

Almost Next Door                
Maybe God has a house.
Theodore Roethke
The house slants
on a hill—

that’s His I’ll bet.
Sly of Him

to hide in the open.
If I bring over

a pie will it
mitigate my asking

Him why suffering exists
when He can

end it forever
with a forceful nod—

How neighborly can a deity
be expected to be?

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