Day 42 of 365 – Eileen Sheehan


My Father, Long Dead


My father, long dead,
has become air

Become scent
of pipe smoke, of turf smoke, of resin

Become light
and shade on the river

Become foxglove,
buttercup, tree bark

Become corncrake
lost from the meadow

Become silence,
places of calm

Become badger at dusk,
deer in the thicket

Become grass
on the road to the castle

Become mist
on the turret

Become dark-haired hero in a story
written by a dark-haired child


From The Narrow Way of Souls
by Eileen Sheehan
Published by Salmon in 2018
Copyright © Eileen Sheehan 2018



Eileen Sheehan is from Scartaglen, in the Sliabh Luachra area of County Kerry. She lives in Killarney. She is the author of two previous collections, Song of the Midnight Fox and Down the Sunlit Hall (both from Doghouse Books). She has read at festivals in Ireland and abroad including The Shanghai Literary Festival; the ACIS Conference in Davenport, Iowa; The Cork International Poetry Festival; and Writers’ Week Listowel. Anthology publications include The Watchful Heart: A New Generation of Irish Poets (editor Joan McBreen/Salmon Poetry); Best Loved Poems: Favourite Poems from the South of Ireland (editor Gabriel Fitzmaurice with photographs by John Reidy/Curragh Press); The Deep Heart’s Core: Irish Poets Revisit a Touchstone Poem (editors Eugene O’Connell & Pat Boran/ Dedalus Press) and TEXT: A Transition Year English Reader (editor Niall MacMonagle/ The Celtic Press). One of the poems from this collection is on the Leaving Certificate English Syllabus 2019 – 2022. For further information, please visit

Author Photo: John Minihan

Visit the Salmon Poetry Online Bookshop to read more about this collection, including more sample poems