A bit of Seamus Heaney

Sheep's Head Food Company

I found this whilst looking on the web for stories about husbands who may have been slapped by a mackerel.


Man to the hills, woman to the shore. (Irish proverb)

I have crossed the dunes with their whistling bent
Where dry loose sand was riddling round the air
And I’m walking the firm margin. White pocks
Of cockle, blanched roofs of clam and oyster
Hoard the moonlight, woven and unwoven
Off the bay. A pale sud at the far rocks
Comes and goes.

Out there he put me through it.
Under the boards the mackerel slapped to death
Yet we still took them in at every cast,
Stiff flails of cold convulsed with their first breath.
My line plumbed certainly the undertow,
Loaded against me once I went to draw
And flashed and fattened up towards the light.
He was all business in the stern. I called:

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