In apt darkness chasing him,
in mountains where great gorge,
lake and river give up daylight
with deep regret, his shadow hangs
itself forever, the evening hawk
gliding mute as a mountain climber
at grade, leaving in our path
the next hiker's awed-quick silence,
stunned breath, second look upward
on frozen eyes and drifting wings
caught forever. From Yesterday he
comes, from Far Mountains only Time
lets go of, under wings steady
as scissors as thermals gather,
not sure the joy is his, or ours.
So much light falls down from him,
from wing capture, from his endless
fleeing of the globe's universal
gravitation, and our genuflection,
we feel prostrate. World-viewed
incandescence, sun under his wings
with quick volley, slipping through
a hole in the sky, lilting the
soon-gray aura without a sound,
the evening hawk performs above us.
To look in his eye would bring
back volcano, fire in the sky,
a view of the Earth Earth has
not seen yet, Krakatoa lit
a second time, or one wayward
comet turning inward on a dime
just for performance sake.
Thomas Sheehan’s latest books are Brief Cases, Short Spans and From the Quickening. A collection of cowboy stories, Where the Cowboys Ride Forever, is now in the hands of a western publisher. His work has also appeared in many print and online publications. Sheehan has several Pushcart nominations and won the Georges Simenon Award. His web site is here .