February 4-10, 2019: Poetry from Wilderness Sarchild and Tom Sheehan

Wilderness Sarchild and Tom Sheehan

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Wilderness Sarchild

Bio (auto)

Wilderness Sarchild is an award winning poet and playwright. She is the author of a full length poetry collection, Old Women Talking, published by Passager Books, and the co-author of Wrinkles, the Musical, a play about women and aging that will go into its third season of production in the fall of 2019. She has won awards for her poetry and play writing from Veterans for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Chicago’s Side Project Theatre Company, and the Joe Gouveia WOMR National Poetry competition, judged by Marge Piercy. Her poems have been published in several anthologies and literary journals. Wilderness is also an expressive arts psychotherapist, grandmother of six, and a worship associate for her local UU congregation. She is a social justice activist and is a consultant / teacher of skills in conflict resolution, consensus decision making, mediation, meeting facilitation, and empowered aging. Wilderness lives in a cottage in the woods in Brewster (Cape Cod), MA, with her husband, poet Chuck Madansky. They are surrounded by wild neighbors that include turkeys, coyote, fox, deer, squirrels, giant snapping turtles, and birds. Visit her on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Wilderness Sarchild and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Old Women Talking

We’re talking shyly about
how we still enjoy orgasms.
We’re talking about having no interest
in sex,
never have.
We’re talking about how rough he is.
How gentle he is.
How he is too fast and it hurts.
How he keeps asking if it feels good.
How loud we scream with pleasure
and later worry if the neighbors heard.
We’re talking about how much better
it is with a woman.
And we’re glad we found this out before
we passed through this life.
We’re talking about how wonderful
love is, no matter who you love.

We’re talking about our wrinkles,
how each line is a sign
of wisdom earned.
We’re talking about our wrinkles,
how it will cost $16,000
to look ten years younger.
We’re talking about feeling invisible,
how people look past us
as if we have something catching.
We’re talking about how excited
the grandchildren get to see us.
And how the children love
to paint with us,
dance with us,
sleep cradled in our arms.

We’re talking politics.
We’re worried about the environment
and immigration, and human rights.
We’re telling jokes.
We’re praying to the ancestors.
We’re singing show tunes, jazz, hip hop.
We’re crying about the little boy
in our church
who got diagnosed with cancer.
We’re celebrating because
now he is cancer-free.

We’re talking about being friends forever
and how forever goes by too quick.
How we have already said goodbye
to too many forever friends
and it’s just so damn sad
to have to die.
We’re talking about how every day
is a good day to die
and that dying will be a new adventure
in a life full of adventures.

We’re talking, old women talking . . .



Tom Sheehan

Bio (auto)

Tom Sheehan, in his 91st year, has published 37 books, today receiving his author’s copies of Alone, with the Good Graces from Pocol Press (the 38th is near, “Jock Poems for Proper Bostonians,” (from Pocol Press) as is “Small Victories for the Soul, VII” (from Wilderness House Literary Review), with hopes for Beneath My Feet this Earth Slips into the Far-side of Another’s Telescope 29 stories, 67.996 words, in submission mode. He has multiple works in Rosebud, Literally Stories (UK), Linnet’s Wings (Ireland), Serving House Journal, Copperfield Review, Literary Orphans, Frontier Tales, Rope & Wire, TQR Total Quality Reading, etc. He’s received 16 Pushcart nominations, 6 Best of Net nominations with one winner, and other awards., He served as a sergeant. in the 31st Infantry in Korea 1951-52, and graduated from Boston College in 1956.

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Tom Sheehan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Backyard Heiroglyphics

I spoke to myself in the rain barrel. My face was blue where
oil swam. Barrels are like bodies with poisons coming to the
surface of lives. Under a six-foot two-by-eight that had fallen
on October earlier,  night crawlers, earth worms and
centipedes left their maps In corners of a nest fallen
from lesser hands of maples, a spittle white as old cheese, gathered
strength, new angles. Some bird had worn itself away, a
summer heaved overboard, quick candle flicker in the limbs.
You wonder how “it” comes back. In the odd thousand days a
crow lives, in this time span, he once must come under my
window scavenging more time; territorial claw marks mark
the thefts. In a chunk of wall, a piece of wall vibrates its
hyperthyroid eyes. As winter heaves self toward us, a frog
takes one last glance. The sun gets buried in his eyes at the
moment a last leaf moves, grass throws one final greeting, and
I watch the year’s embers  cool down at the base of a wall.
The whole arena of the backyard  turns gray and neutral and
numb as I draw a ruler across bare limbs.

All this talk, all these signs dictate to my skin, hunch my back,
make my hair grow longer, quicker, send serious thoughts to
spare gaps, bring into play the calculators we wear on our
nerve ends, operate faithfully every weather change, August
darting towards October. A maple pulls up its skirts to walk a
four-month walk in snow, the pine shrugs its shoulders under
gray skies, the frog and I assume the January bite


The Hour Falling Light Touches Rings of Iron

(at the First Iron Works of America, Saugus, MA)

You must remember, Pittsburgh is not like this, would never
have been found without the rod bending right here, sucked
down by the earth. This is not the thick push of the three
rivers’ water hard as name calling; Allegheny, Susquehanna
and the old Monongahela, though I keep losing the Ohio. This
is the Saugus River, cut by Captain Kidd’s keel, bore up the
ore barge heavy the whole way from Nahant. Mad Atlantic
bends its curves to touch our feet, oh anoints. Slag makes a
bucket bottom feed iron rings unto water, ferric oxides, clouds
of rust. But something here there is pale as dim diviner’s
image, a slight knob and knot of pull at a forked and magic

You see it when smoke floats a last breath over the river road,
the furnace bubbling upward a bare acidic tone for flue. With
haze, tonight, the moon crawls out of Vinegar Hill, the slag
pile throws eyes a thousand in the shining, charcoal and burnt
lime thrust thick as wads up a nose. Sound here’s the moon
burning iron again, pale embers of the diviner’s image loose
upon the night. Oh, reader, you must remember, Pittsburgh is
not like this.

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