Poems by Eileen Sheehan
Sexing the Eggs
As she had no use for a glut of cocks
she filched the new-laid eggs from underneath
the squawking fuss of hen. Slipped from her pocket
a wooden peg, threaded through with string.
She held it still, above each egg in turn,
until it told, through movement, what she
was there to learn. Clockwise circles marked an egg
as female, a straight line back and forth condemned
an egg as male; if the peg held firm,
unmoving in the air, the egg was dead.
She tossed the cocks and gluggers to the brace
of hounds that waited eagerly outside:
their glossy coats and sparkling eyes
were admired the parish wide.
House of Recurring Dreams
Come and stay in my house of cats,
where the walls are whisper-thin.
The bed's unmade, the door's unhinged,
there's scribbles in the dust.
Spiders work the ceilings,
The floorboards tend to speak;
the eyes in all the photographs
will blink while you're asleep.
The stairs go up but also down,
the queen cat will lick your hand.
The TV wakes when no one's home,
the windows all look out.
The door is open, the door is closed,
the address is Here Nor There.
I'll serve you tea and pretend cake
in my garden of thin air.
Eileen Sheehan is from Scartaglin, now living in Killarney, County Kerry.
Her collections are Song of the Midnight Fox and Down the Sunlit Hall
(Doghouse Books). Anthology publications include The Poetry of Sex (Ed
Sophie Hannah/ Penguin/ Viking); The Watchful Heart: A New Generation of
Irish Poets (Ed Joan McBreen/Salmon Poetry), and TEXT: A Transition Year
English Reader (Ed Niall MacMonagle/ Celtic Press). Her third collection,
The Narrow Place of Souls, is forthcoming.
Eileen Sheehan at Poetry International Web
Review of "Down the Sunlit Hall" by Frances Devlin-Glass / Deakin University
Review of "Down the Sunlit Hall" by Jennifer Matthews in Southword Journal