| Poetry || Fiction |

Poems the Iberian Left Behind

Francisco Pizarro and A Blue River

Desert travelers
had spoken of this,
how the oasis appeared in air

the nostrils
took no time in knowing,
as if a maid spilled olla podrida.

Off the horizon
this blue being leaped,
promising flesh its rebirth,

touching the ears
more claw than petal,
daring its surge upon Atlantic,

washing his bones
clean of the voyage.
His ship ached in anchorage,

gray sails soaked
with quick, bright dampness;
loins talking again the soft madness.

Upriver, clothes fresh,
Iberia quickly gone astern
the way the last falling star

had ceased to be,
he knew the blue of the Nile,
the endless reach of the Euphrates,

the dread musk
spilling out of the jungle
even the mid-Atlantic knows.


Francisco Pizarro and A Brown Face

On alien beach
the cabin boy
is put aside.

This dark-haired
catchall’s ripe
as the undertow,

reaches without
hands’ movement,
wears her breasts

slung as pennants,
her buttocks but
a journey’s end.

Her mouth puts
an end to treasure
hunting, old dreams

the sea is master of.
In the darkness
she is the puma

come down to drink,
brush of feathers
in the brush,

in his nostrils
the scaled scent
of weathered salt.


Late Night Guitar

I hear an odd wire vibrate
against a dark red wood.

It ripples along, hoarse,
talks a mountain to pieces.

All Iberia is elaborate
in string and lath;

peninsula of high heels,
ribbons dancing on the mane,

black hats horse-parading,
friar’s lantern honing swords.

A later moon of Pico de Aneto
dies in the dust of olive trees.

A forlorn SAC bomber, tailed,
falcons its way home silently.

When a bull is born
the earth shakes twice,

and an odd wire vibrates
against a darker red wood.


Tom Sheehan’s Epic Cures, a collection of short stories, has just been released by Press 53. A Collection of Friends, memoirs, was issued in 2004 by Pocol Press (nominated for PEN America Albrand Memoir Award). A poetry chapbook, The Westering, was issued 2004 by Wind River Press. His fourth poetry book, This Rare Earth & Other Flights, was issued in 2003, by Lit Pot Press. He has two mysteries in print, Vigilantes East, 2002 and Death for the Phantom Receiver, an NFL mystery, in 2003. His NHL mystery, Murder from the Forum, is being reviewed. An Accountable Death, is serialized on 3amMagazine.com. He has six Pushcart nominations, and a Silver Rose Award from American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century (ART) for short story. He has won a London non-fiction competition (Eastoftheweb).

His work has been in Projected Letters, Elimae, StorySouth, Foliate Oak, 3711 Atlantic, Triplopia, Melange, Prose Toad, Moonwort Review, Black Medina, SN Review, Megaera, Square Table, The Paumanok Review, 42 Opus, Snow Monkey, ken*again, Verb Sap, Copperfield Review, Literati Magazine and others. He has been a feature writer in Void Magazine, Nuvein, New Works Review, Void Magazine, Tryst, Seeker Magazine, Eclectica and others.

Copyright © 2006 Tom Sheehan