All Stories, Writing

Fall-out from a Workshop Where Words Rise by Tom Sheehan

Ultimatums arise, spread wings and words selected by energies:
Listen; The mercury is resolved. Beneath my hand Earth passes
a quick shadow, recollects the distinction of breath. New feathers
find warm wing to grow from. Cup and juice, Earth and seed, are
one. The secret is the grip. By the finger nails if need be. Mostly
by one corner of the mind, an edge where roots strike, curl like a
rattler. Sometimes the heart’s enough.

Later, past the next tense of mind, we will think of now: grass clearing its throat, ground cover ballistic ripe, your hands at introduction.
You will be a poem, a voice on a page, a leaf rising from ashes of a
winter tree. If never comes to us, we shall never forget: grass ripe,
you rich, me urgent.

What happens on a round smooth stone is hand, fingers of old voices,
dust, bones, May sunlight falling, terrible heel December has, talents
of witches. In the night cry and oblivion of dark winds, what happens
on a round smooth bone is loam-eat, the rushing waters and effluvium
that decay spreads and stars at their outset, bite of blue-gray hardpan
tougher than promises.

When hands and Earth are trussed, what melts away begins. We share a universe only where fences fall down, where continents spread their flimsy gear, where small ponds, trout dancing their lives away, stagger, reel and die. Ants, whole civilizations of them, near Asiatic, ravage greenery and flesh and fur. A sound begins, subtle as a snake. Mountains teeter into one hundred and twenty-thousandth century. Finally, tiring of it all, an egg in a tree fork begins to open, its early cracks at benign degrees.

My hand flings a rock a thousand times older than thought, skips neatly
on water recycled three billion times, then some. Where Pluto has been, careening on an absolute edge, outermost as mind will allow, refined to powers numbers expend, shadows start. Beside my back door, where the robins hustle time, and early worms till tired soil, where daisies dare root dowser-deep, my son starts his memory.

Oh, the initiation.

He will remember moments rare as wins in a marathon, the mile never mastered nor a particular minute, the evening sun crushing him with today’s possibilities gone down the drain, where midnight becomes an unseen divider between then and now, here and then, today’s train on a track heading down-hill so quickly he will only feel it leave the rails the way today says hello and adieu almost in one breath.

It will be like a loose football in a future award game, a trophy game; grab the fumbled ball and run with it into yon forever, carry that simple goodness in your arms the same way the next father carries the next son, so imagined, is soon on his way. Proof has it that arrival is much like history, one more page in the book, one more car on the rail, one more memory gathered to the bosom.

Make the memory stick, like it belongs with you forever, because it will slide away at an unknown moment, where terror, too, will lose fallibility.

And so, what difference does it make then?


Tom Sheehan

Banner Image: Nik – Image of Hemingway’s desk.


3 thoughts on “Fall-out from a Workshop Where Words Rise by Tom Sheehan”

  1. Powerful meditative writing. I like the descriptions of nature and the garden. Reminds me of wild writers like Faulkner in its style. The part about the son very poignant. I remember skipping stones. Rage, rage against the dying of the light…. Write it down, time is the fire in which we burn.


  2. Hi Tom,
    I think the first comment emphasises what this is.
    You have instigated personal ideas and memories from everyone who reads this. They hear your words and they take them back into their own imagery and recollection.
    Hypnotic and beautiful. You could market this as relaxation reading!!


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