Sheena was born in a small town in Northern Ireland and went to University in Dublin. She spent five great years in Liverpool and has now lived in Nottingham, longer than anywhere else. She worked as a Radiologist in Grantham, Lincolnshire for 22 years, and since retirement has been writing, mostly poetry but really anything – except radiology reports.
She completed her BA in English Lit. with the OU in 2016.
She loves words and images, but also mountains, bogs, beaches, (she goes to Kerry in the West of Ireland for all those) birds and clouds, which luckily she can get anywhere, and all sorts of natural things.
Her eldest son lives in Japan with his family, and before travel restrictions entered our lives, she visited that country regularly and loved their rich history, culture, traditions and poetry which inspired her Dissertation for her MA in Creative Writing completed at NTU in 2018.
Many of her poems have been published in Sarasvati, Dawntreader and Reach, (The Indigo Dreams Press). Her work has also appeared in Orbis, The Beacon, As It Ought To Be, (AIOTB), Poets’ Choice and in Dear Reader.
BBC Late Night News Northern Ireland 1970
Where the shootings? Where the bombs? What has happened, in whose name, under what flag and how many dead? Every night, my mother refuses to go to bed until she hears about the latest atrocities. She sits sideways on her easy chair, cup in hand, cigarette smoking in the ashtray, waiting, listening. It is a small country, names of towns, rivers and mountains roll like comfort on her tongue, friends and relatives in every county from Derry to Fermanagh. Mammy, go to bed. There’s nothing you can do. But they’re my people, she says, they’re all my people.
Spear of Izanagi
I stand with you Izanami, on this dark bridge between earth and heaven, a red gold halo of moonlight burnishes your hair. The jewelled Spear of the Elders glitters in my hand, entwined in the other, your small fingers, warm and comforting. Sibling Gods, we gaze with wonder upon earth’s blue-black velvet ocean – now ours. The gate through which we passed, closes behind us, fades in a flurry of mist as we falter on the swing and sway of slats beneath our feet. Ahead, the challenge of our future life, to create order from chaos. Taking strength from your smile, I grip tight the naginata, reach across the rail and swirl the blade in brine, turn a whirlpool to turquoise. I raise it high from the water, call loud to Elder Gods for creation of order, watch viscous drops fall from the tip and spread to form eight great islands, mountains, rivers and trees. A blazing orb crests the far horizon, colours shine red, green and gold in that sun-reflecting sea. The bridge dissolves in mist as we descend together and kneel to kiss the soil of our home – Our Land of the Rising Sun. A Shinto creation myth holds that sibling Gods, Izanagi and Izanami came from heaven to create Japan.
Black Magic Woman
Singing Winds and Crying Beasts wind around my skull as Santana’s Abraxas spins on the turntable, sounds mingle with the swirl of sweaty smoke across the pillow. Not my boyfriend, but hers. He has the music, hash, beer, flame red hair and a black Mini Cooper to transport us to imagined raptures in the mountains and sorcery of the Hellfire Club. Next day, I won’t remember his name.