Publishers of Irish Poetry and Drama

February 2013 – Poem of the Month

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (Photograph by Brian-McGovern)Swineherd

When all this is over, said the swineherd,
I mean to retire, where
Nobody will have heard about my special skills
And conversation is mainly about the weather.

I intend to learn how to make coffee, at least as well
As the Portuguese lay-sister in the kitchen
And polish the brass fenders every day.
I want to lie awake at night
Listening to cream crawling to the top of the jug
And the water lying soft in the cistern.

I want to see an orchard where the trees grow in straight lines
And the yellow fox finds shelter between the navy-blue trunks,
Where it gets dark early in summer
And the apple-blossom is allowed to wither on the bough.

from Selected Poems (2008)
by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Gallery Books
€20.00 hardback
Published:  2008


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