Last Flight from Chichen Itza

by Tom Sheehan


I have pulled the moon

from behind a hill,

and a mass of distant

trees, with the corner

of my eyes. It brings

landing lights with it,

clouds like gray-white

aggies opened upright

and a lonely honker

off course, out of timing.


The aircraft is penciled in

in this scheme of things,

a late addition to what’s

been going on since moon

made partners with us,


since Big Bang theorized

itself and waters parted

and grass seed dowsed

into new-born earth.

The Graceful Goose, of course,


will not make it this time.

She’s had her share, to be sure,

and is planned as obsolescent

any moment now. It’s the way

it goes, Expression says.


Sudden clouds, moon-streaked,

wind-worn and wet, move on

to new dimension, the silent

articulation of falling

toward the dowsing grass.


They too are planned for exit,

as are all things abundant

and diffused and slippery

from the very beginning.

As we are, darers and designers,


moon-walkers, intrepid thieves

of space, Kitty Hawkers

and Nighthawkers, wingmen

with the eyes of eagles.

Man was born to fly and die!


Who will argue now the votes

are in? Since rocks slid across

the earth, fire had its moments,

the great rain had its way,

we’ve expired imaginable ways.

This aircraft has red-tipped wings,

roars like the Bay of Fundy

at the big exchange, falls like

Newton’s apple. We wonder

where the next flight goes.



Bio note: Sheehan served in the 31st Infantry Regiment in Korea, 1951. His short story collections are Epic Cures and Brief Cases, Short Spans, from Press 53; and From the Quickening and A Collection of Friends, Pocol Press.  He has 18 Pushcart nominations, appeared in Dzanc Best of the Web 2009, has 276 stories on Rope and Wire Magazine, appeared in 4 issues of Rosebud Magazine and 8 issues of Ocean Magazine. His novels include Vigilantes East, An Accountable Death, Death of a Phantom Receiver (an NFL mystery). Milspeak Publishers issued eBooks Korean Echoes, 2011 and The Westering, 2012 and will be followed by 9 more collections in the series. His work is in Wherever It Pleases, Nervous Breakdown, Troubadour21, Stone Hobo, Faith-Hope-Fiction, Canary, Subtle Tea, Red Dirt Review, Nontrue, Danse Macabre, Nashwaak Review, Jake’s Locked-Room Anthology, Ray’s Road Review, The Best of Sand Hill Review, The Linnet’s Wings, Wilderness House Literary Review, Dew on the Kudzu, Blue Lake Review, Qarrtsiluni, and many more Internet sites and in print magazines.



photo by Dan Griffin


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