ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Tim Suermondt


          …ships that sail our weeping

May the sailing be of short duration,
the sea getting calmer knot by knot.

May crowds flock to the pier of your destination,
the brass band striking up a rousing tune.

May children greet you with bouquets of flowers,
the mayor promising weeping will be outlawed
for as long as you will be staying.

May the night show you a simple paradise,
the crescent moon, the pen and paper on the wooden
table, the woman’s dress draped over the wooden chair.



The workers in the yellow vests
are arriving, almost ready for business
and strange looking birds with orange
bellies are flying from branch to branch.
I’m out walking a poem while neighbors

are walking their dogs—my muse
is being truculent, but there’s a quietude
for now, the day is young and the sunlight
is already flexing its force, auguring
the possibility of a beautiful, successful day.



I take off my cap
and go inside,

studying some recreations,
reading stirring words

on the walls, a humanity
that couldn’t be removed.

I go back outside
and put on my cap,

thankful I made it out
again, the air pure as heaven.



I pick up my pizza pie

and march down the street,

back to my apartment.

I feel like Caesar returning

from Gaul to a worshipful,

wildly cheering crowd in Rome.

This is all I and this poem want

to say. How radiant is that?


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, Offcourse and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.

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