Nocturne by Daniel Patrick Sheehan


Into the darkening woods we followed
Tommy Lynch, whose blonde head dipped and darted
At the front of the pack like a hay bale
Lashed to a broomstick. It was big and square
Like that, perched indelicately atop
Sloping shoulders and spindle arms that led
To vessel-webbed hands chapped as a codger’s.

He’d promised to show us where the devil’s own
Rose after dark in a circle of pines,
Under the wolf moon, the blood moon, or no
Moon at all, which was especially dire.
We all knew better than to buy it, yes,
But went along, for what boy wouldn’t love
To hear a buried rumble, soft at first,

Then see the carpet of needles stir
And the putrescent, peagreen dead erupt
To snatch at our fleeing backs with claws
Like Nosferatu’s? Tommy Lynch, you come
To memory now, your eyes bulging white,
With stories hypnotic as the firelight
That flickers in the pines and can’t go out.

by Daniel Patrick Sheehan

Twitter: @ByDanSheehan

Editor’s Note: This narrative poem uses imagery and alliteration to spin a tale of boys and their ghost adventure that will delight even the most imperturbable reader.

Thaw by Daniel Patrick Sheehan


The morning brought snow-mist and the piping
Of chicks in a bower. The eave-drips hit
The roof slates like a typewriter typing –
Sixty words a minute, a thousand words
A page — the manual of spring, as it
Unfolded past the ledge. In all the yards

Along the street, in the yawning houses
Emerging from dreams, passions flared to life.
Marvelous the way the brain unfreezes,
Stutters, thumps, and at last begins to hum,
Off-key, the melody of stem and leaf,
Written, by God, in the delirium

Of sun-glare and pollen. The clotheslines bloomed
In the afternoon, and if a boy dreamed
Of flight he was sure to fly, wings be damned.
Picture his flawless arc across the sky
In the twilight of the day, when it seemed
That every voice of nature joined to cry

Hosannas unending: O Lord, they sang,
O thinker, O author of everything…
What more could they say? When the half-moon rose,
Every weary eye began to close.

by Daniel Patrick Sheehan

Twitter: @LVStories

Editor’s Note: Precise imagery and delightful sonics drive this poem from start to finish.