Three Poems

by Tom Sheehan

It Might Not Be So Bad Living Here             

Each room in this house

aches with yesterday

under wallpaper and wainscoting,

but its beat winds as deep

as termites you never see


          the talcum sawdust they leave,

          thin as vapor trails, across

          planking, on studs).

Front hall, airy, secure behind

the great studded door,

proves me vulnerable to old songs,

some whispered,

                    some not.

Stair treads, oversize piano keys,

plink and plunk past Februarys

and Junes.

                    Each advance upward,

plays hellos and good-byes

into my pockets curves,

into erogenic darkness.

Stair nails, off a monger’s                           

dream, still syncopate

squeeze box music

as they shimmy

out of wooden suits

two hundred years old.

Stair rails, fashioned by

a ripsaw, have been longer

guitared and mandolined

than playground fences,

strings played in frequent rhythms,

more going down dawn

than going up bed.

Sons Matthew and Timothy

boiled in my arms

in the witchery of

two childhoods,

                    their fevered

cries spiked into beams

bridging the long kitchen.

I can                                                                

hang my hat on them yet,

or herbs, random as straw fetishes,

to dry above the fireplace.

Daughter’s bad news at fifteen

fell from her lips at dinner

in the same room.

                    It was too near

Christmas for tears. But subway

straps of laughter hang from ax-

hewn beams in these rooms, where

knocked-down, flat, sad, lonely days

get pulled upright, just the way

a postman snaps up a rural red flag

helloing the house.

Bare fall bespoken

Ballerina leaf in my driveway

on a single toe my favored

maple let go of the night


Moth announcing October

at my window pane. Is that

a gasp I hear, or a sigh?

Follows six points of a compass

or snowflake pointing out

winter is just north

of me. Or do I

say, winter is just,

north of me?

All This Earth and Light

…and I shall always touch you,                                                                                                                        

Mother Earth, Rare Earth,

from all vantages in these

flights of uncounted time;

your heart-shaking tempests

against the incandescent eye,

silent reach of sequoias

for your partner in space,

soft jangle of roots no swifter

than any of blood, struggle

of moth at October’s light,

vulture toss incredibly high on

a cross-wind and tumble-wait,

the welcome mat at the foot

of all these surroundings,

the pain that’s all done

and that yet to come:

and an image in my ear

as soft as a poem left

in an old Latin diary

three tiers of lava

once took to bed.

Bio: Tom Sheehan served in 31st Infantry Regiment, Korea, 1951-52, and graduated Boston College, 1956. Poetry books include This Rare Earth & Other Flights; Ah, Devon Unbowed and The Saugus Book.  He has 20 Pushcart nominations, 350 stories on Rope and Wire Magazine, work in Rosebud Magazine (5), The Linnet’s Wings (6), Ocean Magazine (8), and many internet sites/print issues/anthologies including Nervous Breakdown, Eskimo Pie, Faith-Hope-Fiction, Subtle Tea, Danse Macabre,  Best of Sand Hill Review, Best of Frontier Tales, Wilderness House Literary Review, MGVersion2Datura, Literary Orphans, Eastlit, and Nazar Look, etc. His work has been published in Romania, France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Italy, Thailand, China, Mexico, Canada, etc. His latest eBook, an NHL mystery, is Murder at the Forum, released January 2013 by Danse Macabre-Lazarus-Anvil Fiction in Las Vegas, which treats of the Boston Bruins-Montreal Canadiens long-time rivalry in a distinctively new slant. Two mysteries are scheduled for 2013; Death of a Lottery Foe and Death by Punishment. Other eBooks at Amazon or B&N or Smashwords include the collections Epic Cures (with an Indie Award); Brief Cases, Short Spans, Press 53; A Collection of Friends and From the Quickening, Pocol Press.  His newest eBooks from Milspeak Publishers are Korean Echoes, nominated for a Distinguished Military Award, and The Westering, 2012, nominated for a National Book Award by the publisher (with 7 collections completed and in the publisher’s queue). Now in his 86th year, Sheehan writes 1000 words a day.


Post a Comment

Tell us what you think.



Passionately Ran, Compassionately Fed.

Follow by Email


Belle Rêve Literary Journal is a southern literary experience. Our mission is to capture everything that makes the South and its residents unique through the best contemporary literature we can find. We publish new works weekly.