A Sound in the Eye
This midnight’s as thick
like listening devices
waiting for one breath
to find me out.
In the woodpile
I can’t see, a snake
settles where my hand
left a moment’s warmth
on a slanting of birch
plunging past white,
wound tight as bark.
Field mouse, beneath
owl’s infrared eyes
and sudden wing thump,
gathers into minutes.
The only flag
is pennant of skunk,
the tail-up streamer
recalling every vengeance
borne on mysteries
of abiding shadows.
and a collective of agents,
are pierced by peephole
of a nail-head star,
Burial for Horsemen
(For my father, blind too early.)
The night we listened to Temujin’s life
on records, and shadows remembered
their routes up the railed stairway like
a steppe’s presence, I stood at your bed
counting the days you had conquered.
The bottlecap moon clattered into your
room in vagrant pieces…jagged blades
needing a strop or wheel for honing,
great spearhead chips pale in falling,
necks of smashed jars rasbora bright,
thin flaked edges tossing off the sun.
Under burden of the dread collection,
you sighed and turned in quilted repose
and rolled your hand in mine, searching
for lighting only found in your memory.
In moon’s toss I saw the network of your
brain struggling for my face the way you
last saw it, a piece of light falling under
the hooves of a thousand Mongol ponies,
night campsites riding upward in flames,
the steppe skyline coming legendary again.
Sheehan served in the 31st Infantry Regiment, Korea, 1951, and
graduated from Boston College in 1956. His books are Epic Cures; Brief
Cases, Short Spans; A Collection of Friends; From the Quickening; and
This Rare Earth & Other Flights (poetry). He has 20 Pushcart
nominations and 360 stories on Rope and Wire Magazine. His work has been
published in Romania, France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Italy,
Thailand, China, Mexico, Canada, etc. Recent eBooks from Milspeak
Publishers include Korean Echoes, 2011, nominated for a Distinguished
Military Award and The Westering, 2012, nominated for a National Book
Award. His newest eBooks, from Danse Macabre, are Murder at the Forum,
an NHL mystery novel, and Death of a Lottery Foe, with two more
mysteries due for 2013 publication, Death by Punishment and An
Accountable Death. email@example.com