Faith Hope & Fiction

Quality Online Fiction, Poetry, and Essays

I Walk Toward Myself

Tom Sheehan


A Recall for Seamus Heaney

I name myself
walking through the house
before I get there.

On birch floors my shoes
sound dull as wood pulses
an ancient drummer

marked time with.
These dead trees are full
of sassy talk.

A stratum of air,
corporeally chilled, moves
a cubit wide in the kitchen,

a polar exercise
taking place.
I have been

other places before,
before I got there:
banging a curragh

against the Atlantic
the long watch
of a day,

wind full of slam
and salt and voice
of the seal;

blackening spuds
in a field fire,
chatting rain alive

on slow coals of sticks
like hiccups, hawthorns
for roofing and stone

markers for walls;
pressed foul as fish
in subterranean passage

with the metallic Atlantic
telling me all its
old stories,

icebergs and whales
and the loan sharks
waiting in the new land;

scavenging a city dump
for furniture, books
and bedding,

waging private wars
against prejudice, hunger,
Roscommon calling me home;

this kitchen, now,
dark-cornered, remote, out
of which I walk toward myself.

I walk Toward Myself | Poetry by Tom Sheehan

Burial for Horsemen

(For my father, blind too early.)

The night we listened to an Oglala life
on records, and shadows remembered
their routes up the railed stairway like
a prairie 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 stabbing,

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 horse ponies,
night campsites riding upward in flames,

the skyline coming legendary.

I walk Toward Myself | Poetry by Tom Sheehan


Tom Sheehan is a prolific, award-winning writer and a great friend of Faith Hope & Fiction. Among I walk Toward Myself, his many accomplishments are: 33 Pushcart Prize nominations, five Best of the Net nomination (one winner), short story awards from Nazar Look for 2012-2015, and a Georges Simenon Fiction Award. He has published 32 books and has four books in a publisher’s production line.


Share this: