2 Poems  

By Tom Sheehan  

Late Voices

1. Daniel Shanahan 

That night when you found my war poems alive,
My still retreat from the Korea hills,
Chinese who spoke with brass banging clamor,
When my voice went down in ravines like cairns
Hollowed in the old country, we tied roots
Blue eyes, blood type O, alliterations
That roll like candy off our Irish tongues,
God images that ply from sea and bog.

Whatever it is that pervades your voice,
Gives gunfire to thought, answers upright stone,
Soars over Benbulbin's head, rolls down Rs,
Is flaked with a megalithic laughter,
It rings as true as bells in that hallow place
Where song and poem find their sanctuary.

2. Michael Hood 

We share such dogged difference, or is it
the other way around, different doggedness?
Our tenancy at poet's bare retreat or dark
rooms where we dream proper echoes,
is never lonely, but nobody's there.
What's over your shoulder is not my eye,

but I would be there by choice. The music
of your gearing up, shift of syncromesh,
piston pop of words, sounds through your letters
like a magnificent engine's full hum. You drive
through half the counties of the state, alert,
absorbent as green neoprene, finding dark 
corners and dim passages. You touch them 
with your words, give life, nee poem.

Arrangement by Tones Silence is the color in a blind man's eye, his red octaves screaming two shades of peace in sanguine vibrato, a purple strike lamenting rivers and roads lashed in his mind, like a crow's endless cawing of blackness anticipates nothing. And now, for all my listening, it is your hand on my heart, the mute fingers letting out the slack where your mouth reached, your moving away, a pale green evening down the memory of a pasture.

Tom Sheehan, retired for 12 years, has work in or coming in The Paumanok Review, Tryst, Comrades, Literary Potpourri, storySouth, Small Spiral Notebook, 3amMagazine, Eastoftheweb, Stirring, Samsara, Three Candles, Kudzu Monthly, Megaera, and Dakota House Journal, Burning Word, among others. He was cited with a Silver Rose Award for Excellence in the Short Story by ART (one of 12 awards out of a 1000 stories reviewed), nominated for Pushcart prize and for inclusion in The Zine Yearbook and E-2-Ink. He won Eastoftheweb's 2002 non-fiction competition. A novel, "Vigilantes East," was recently issued by Publish America and a second one, "An Accountable Death," is serialized on 3amMagazine. He is co-editor of the sold-out issue of "A Gathering of Memories, Saugus 1900-2000," for which he and committee borrowed $60,000 to have the book printed and paid the loan off in five weeks.

Contact Tom Sheehan at: tomsheehan@attbi.com

October 31, 2002
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