Sinéad McClure – Walrus

Sinéad McClure LEP&W V1 Dec 2022

Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume One December 2022.

Walrus, poems by Sinéad McClure.


Sleep soundly, Freya.
Better to euthanise than apologise
when a walrus suns herself on a yacht.
Who took the wrong channel in this sea?

When most are floating through discarded plastic
beneath container ships, weighted with the under-ripened
fruit, over-ripened cheese, built-in obsolescence.

Freya did not know our world is dire,
she saw beneath the waves fish are dying,
how water is grey like damp skin.
She surfaced to sleep in the sun.

She surfaced to sleep in the sun.
How water is grey like damp skin.
She saw beneath the waves, fish are dying.
Freya did not know our world is dire.

Fruit, over-ripened cheese, built-in obsolescence.
Beneath container ships weighted with the under-ripened,
when most are floating through discarded plastic.

Who took the wrong channel in this sea?
When a Walrus suns herself on a yacht
better to euthanise than apologise.
Sleep soundly, Freya.


Ever bright these scorched yellow blooms.
Not the penetrating glare of spring,

the valley’s heat in high summer
rising as tall as its tallest stalk.

Hot-yellow plates of light, orange at their core
as if the sun had spread itself among these fields
and here in my ochre room along this vase.

Fields of flowers are also fields of bones,
someday soon, sunflowers will bloom again.

How to divide the remains of an alder

No weather warning                           prepares me
for my felling                                          no foretelling
no fronts                                                  to dip below
no low                                                        east winds or high
warmth steaming                                in from the south

I am dry                                                     yet I have held
wood weary                                            I die from the top

Killing me                                                 is the replacement
you plant                                                   in my shadow
that sapling                                             oak

I will fall                                                      as you sleep
silently                                                       When you carve my remains
stack                                                           my many years of

neat round                                                rings
know this                                                  a dead child lies
in pieces                                                    beneath me

© Sinéad McClure

Sinead’s poetry and prose have appeared online, in print and on radio. Most recently her work can be found in The Stinging Fly, Ink Sweat & Tears, Live Encounters, StepAway Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, and RTEjr radio. Sinéad won the 2022 Cathal Bui Poetry Competition. She has work forthcoming in Howl Magazine & Southword. She is the 2022 recipient of the Roscommon Chapbook Award with her book The Word According to Crow. Her chapbook The songs I sing are sisters co-authored with Cáit O Neill McCullagh is available from Dreich Press. For more details

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