Tom SheehanTHOMAS F. SHEEHAN   (1928 -     )   is the consummate local poet. Beginning with The Saugus Book (Francestown NH: Golden Quill Press 1984), and continuing with poems about, among other locations, Lynn Woods and Nahant, Sheehan has consistently written poetry about places in Essex County. He is a lifelong Saugus resident, a graduate of Boston College, and served as a war correspondent during the Korean War. Since his retirement from Raytheon in 1990, he has devoted himself to his writing, winning prizes for his short fiction and nonfiction and garnering eighteen Pushcart Prize nominations. He has also edited A Gathering of Memories: Saugus 1900 – 2000 and its sequel Time and the River. Master of many genres of writing, Tom Sheehan has for years used the Internet to effectively attract new readers to his work. To see, go to: Recently Korean Echoes (poems) and The Westering (short stories) have become available from MilSpeak Books, a non-profit independent literary publisher of electronic books written by military people. To learn more, go to:

In 2000, Tom Sheehan read "Cold Night Thoughts Beside an Empty Cave in the Lynn Woods" as part of the Celebration of the Poetry of the Lynn Woods cosponsored by the Lynn Museum, The Friends of the Lynn Woods and North Shore Community College.  The poem shows the deeply personal way Sheehan experiences the woods. It appears in a revised version as "Cold Night Thoughts Beside an Empty Cave" in his 2003 poetry collection This Rare Earth and Other Flights (Fallbrook CA: Lil Pot Press).

Hear and see Tom Sheehan recite his poem Sleeping Under Pines in Lynn Woods




The reservoir is hammered
into one whitened piece.
An owl, darkly buried,
carries half the night
away like a canyon
carries an echo down.

When the final touch
is carved on water,
intimately the mouse
knows the owl, and I
am left to the last
enterprise of imagination,

the Christ tree enters
all the linen shadows
that here bear me in.
I am what the Christ tree is,
an upright man at no arms,
a swimmer vertical
in time, elusive saint,

a descendent of Abel
second in the clubbing.
But night and the cold charge
live where the rim hangs
between Saugus and Lynn
sunset and sunrise,
halfway into my eyesight,

halfway into the echo
night carries in its mouth,
a mouse at odds with destiny.



courtesy:  Tom Sheehan