A selection of published work online

“Sinéad’s poems unsettle and make us wise”- Terry McDonagh, Poet & Dramatist


Sinéad McClure – Fox – Live Encounters

Each night we feed them dry kibble
frozen in blocks
big enough to fit the jaw

even though we saw what they did here,
how they silently attacked the muscovies—
ribbon-red on icy days—
How they gathered in groups
to take the chickens.
Carried them away without leaving a feather.

When we stopped keeping poultry
they still called around
waited by the back door
orange tails tickling the concrete

until we gifted a salmon head,
a chicken leg, a piece of bread
and now every evening after
they are fed
a complete mix
to keep their red coats shiny.

They don’t trust us
they still approach in parcels.
One keeps watch
as the others wind their way
through the long grass.

They still know fox haters,
corrugated people
who carry shotguns
when sheep are yeaning.
Set traps deep in the forest
with teeth sharper
than any creature’s bite.

A fox cry up here
strikes fault lines through the mist
leaves an echo hanging in the hollows.
A deep wound
we dress each day,
until it heals.

Sinéad McClure (c) 2021

The Commons

The Commons | stepawaymagazine.com

We changed our route
after the rose stealing incident
on Killiney Avenue
left us both out of breath,
red petals spilling.
I was used to keeping lookout
because we robbed orchards
in the same back gardens
but never the front,
Da you were braver.

Most nights we walked the rural turn
on a road the river fell below
before a row of tall houses,
wild gardens each side.
You often picked flowers here
it wasn’t stealing,
it was, you said, our land too.
No need to keep watch.

Poppies, daisies and buttercups,
no scent but strength in chains
and under-chin reflections,
petals to press into books.
I didn’t get the showy roses of Killiney.
I got doc leaves and nettles
and the sting of walking
the Commons Road without you after dark,
being chased by those who tried to claim me.
I got the sour stems of sorrel—we called Charlie—
to suck instead of sweets.

It made me harder than granny’s lavender borders
and more endemic than the hogweed that grew on Kilbogget,
softened only by the smell of stolen roses
and the memory of your laughter in the lane.




Sinéad McClure (c) 2020

In Nagoro village scarecrows outnumber people ten-to-one

Poetry – Honest Ulsterman (humag.co)

My father yearned for deserted islands.
People grow better in silence, music will follow.
He retreated from our world, climbed into Verdi
mouthing Woman is flighty.

Oh and yes we were wayward, cut from him,
and he was King among us.
As I age to pass his middle years
I crave a silence where music should grow.

Hear it out here among the trees, feel it cling
the way fruticose takes to branches.
I allow the hush to thread itself
along the outline of my shadow
tack in at the shoulders, latch the dark
and hold me together in its lockstitch.

In Nagoro village scarecrows outnumber people ten-to-one.
When they leave they are replaced by ragdolls.
A scarecrow gardener, farmer, flower seller,
an entire school of scarechicks in effigy reminders.

Aughris Village was a once busy clochán,
no longer any blacksmiths, no dressmakers,
no publicans, no teachers, no tailors,
no shopkeepers, no carpenters, no bootmakers,
not even a washerwoman.

Still, the ocean feeds its solid walls
with defiant music, and I cling on,
straw falling out at my feet.








Sinéad McClure (c) 2022