May 24-30, 2021: Poetry from Tom Sheehan and Kendall Hoeft

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on email
Send us your poetry. Click here for submission guidelines.

Tom Sheehan

Tom Sheehan, (30 years retired), now in his 944th year, (31st Infantry, Korea 1950-52; Boston College 1952-56), has published three books with Taj Mahal Press in India,. He has multiple works in Rosebud, The Linnet’s Wings (Ireland-100), Copperfield Review, Literally Stories (UK-137), Frontier Tales, Green Silk Journal, Rope & Wire Magazine in Oregon. He has 18 Pushcart nominations, 6 Best of Net nominations (one winner). Latest books released are The Grand Royal Stand-off and Other Stories; Small Victories for the Soul VII; and Poems and Reflections for Proper Bostonians, His story, “The Tale of Trot and Dim Johnny,” recently won the Ageless Writers contest.

The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Tom Sheehan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In Cold Fields

They left us then,
we in our sneakers
and innocence
of those bright summer days,
to go away from us
with our big brothers,
left us lonely and miserable
on corners, in cold fields
with all the long ball hitters gone,
the Big Sticks of the neighborhood,
and the Big Wood of the Majors,
and we cried in dark cells of home
for our brothers and
bubble gum heroes,
a community of family.

Oh, Eddie’s brother not yet home
from someplace in World War II,
Zeke’s brother who owned the soul of
every pitcher he ever caught,
a shortstop the Cards owned,
Spillane, I think, his name;
and in that great silence out there
Billy centerfield left his arm in
Kwajalein debris.

Oh, brotherless we played our game,
no deep outfield, no zing to pitch,
no speed, no power, loveless
without a big brother
to show our growing.

And then, not long after the Braves
rode that mighty crest,
our turn came,
and we left our brothers on
corners, in cold fields,
we long ball hitters.

Kendall Hoeft

Kendall graduated from the University of Tampa’s Creative Writing M.F.A. program. She currently teaches writing and speech courses for FIDM. Kendall was awarded the 2nd place prize in the 2020 Stephen A DiBiase Poetry Contest and was a Semifinalist in the 2019 Hillary Gravendyk Prize poetry book competition. Her recent poetry can be viewed in Bad Pony Magazine, Patient Sounds, Occulum, Anti-Heroin Chic, Leveler, and Driftwood Press. Visit Kendall on Facebook here.

The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Kendall Hoeft and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Around We Go

After William Blake’s Elohim Creating Adam

You still had that snake 
                            wrapped up your thigh
      when I breathed       
                your dust         body, 
      my glory 
                      feathers 
        flowing in light.
I laid on you
                       like a dove, moved to make      you 
more than flesh.

I left you awake,
longing upward,
the snake curled at your 
feet.

 

Hidden Lady

My mama is from Missouri cornfields and ceaseless labor.
My mama is from grits, molasses and Baptist virtues.

My mama is from her mother,
edifice of self-martyrdom,
a woman who believes God loves you
as much as you’ve suffered,
who always sits in the hard chair,
who took her comb
while she was brushing her hair,
who misquoted the Bible,
vanity of vanities,
who taught her the wallflower half-life.

Now, when someone tells my Mama she is smart or charming,
she looks to the ground—
her weather-worn cheeks melting into a deep cinnamon.

I wonder
how long her hair would grow, if she knew
the glister of moon in her irises—
that she is the luminescent point
in a prolonged strangulation of sky.