Tag Archives: Poetry

Eamon De Valera campaigning on January 1, 1948


Now is the time for complacency
Let us take our shoulders from the wheel
The road ahead is easy
The distant sunlit uplands real

Tús maith, leath na hoibre

And we have started very well
So now relax each muscle fibre
Await the peal of Victory’s bell.

John Moynes

Pic: getty

Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar at a Fine Gael Think-In, 2014.


The Great Trade-Up

It is written that the traditional,
wind-blown, mongrel
who herded us of old
would be traded in
for the one who calls himself
Lion; is in the gym
every a.m. by six, furiously
admiring his pelt
of pure gold.

That a man whose political base
was two elderly brothers who both ate
their excessively buttered spuds
off the same cracked plate
to save on the washing up;
would make way for a guy
who eats his artisanal
cauliflower and pickles
off a bespoke slate
his assistant happily carries
everywhere on his behalf.

And when the word was made reality
the people and their gods
saw it was progress to be rid
of a rural accent best suited
to pub chat about the match
between Galway and Mayo
and before this progress
we bowed and gave thanks.

Far better that next time the person in charge
is forced to broadcast from his (or her) life boat
to tell us that, sadly, we’re all dead,
it be done by one who in the womb
was already solving complex accountancy conundrums;
whose first words were “team of management consultants”
when, about half an hour ago,
he emerged to general applause.

Kevin Higgins



A free to download poetry journal from Poetry Northern Ireland.

Featuring three long-form works from A Limerick A Day’s John Moynes, including ‘The Waste Years’ (above), John’s meditation on pretentiousness in poetry.

In fairness.

Download here


Kevin Barrington – Love You Long Time

An Irish poet Live and UNLEASHED in Paris.

Kevin writes:

The last number in a set I did last week in Paris supporting Lydia Lunch. Realised the hip Parisian crowd was not picking on fast paced subtle humour.

So I thought I had better do some pure intensity (@2.13) – transpired it was laced with irritation at the people talking down the back.

But it worked. Thankfully. Exhausting though.

Caution: Some very saucy language.

Kevin Barrington

Free Sunday?

Joe writes:

Manchester poet Mike Garry returns to the Workmans Club [Wellington Quay, Dublin 2] this Sunday [August 13]. His last show in the same venue in January was nothing short of mesmerising.

Support comes from Dublin poet Lewis Kenny. Admission is €7.

Mike Garry

Previously: 24 Hour Poetry People

To A Troll Who Loves Me

More than the hard luck stories
you hold dearer than the mildewed pillow
you’ve clutched at every night since your teddy bear
escaped on a train bound for Luton or Mallow;

more than your favourite team
hitting first the post, then the bar
in the F.A. Cup final which defined
your shit childhood, you love me more even

than the no one who pays attention to your
poems; more than the land your father
didn’t leave you in his will; more

than the mediocre grades you got despite
having been sufficiently flexible
to sleep with your teacher;

more than all the little people
who, despite your fat
advantages, turned out far better
than you, more than all of these
rolled into one, you want me.

So tonight
you’re a giant sexless toddler throwing
dead animals out of its play pen
in the hope someone
will throw one back;

your mind a no bedroom basement flat
(with kitchenette) which you fill with manic ferrets
and badgers with psychiatric issues
to make the place smell better.

Each time you message me
I kill you by never
having heard of you,
or anyone who’s ever
heard of you

Kevin Higgins

Previously: Kevin Higgins on broadsheet

Former Tanaiste Joan Burton during the Jobstown protest

Irish Liberal Foresees Own Enduring Relevance

My words are smoother than the essential oils
the Taoiseach last week
had his parliamentary assistant rub
into his badly traumatised buttocks.
My psychotherapist insists
half the people who’ve taken
shotguns to their own heads,
during this recession, would’ve reconsidered,
if only they’d heard me talk for an hour
each week about the dangers of Sinn Féin,
or how I live in the hope of a woman Pope.

I’m all for the good people of middle Ireland
making their point in a dignified manner
with china cups of nothing stronger than tea in their hands.
But when thugs from the far parts start burning vans
and generally acting as if they owned the place;
and gurriers from the depths begin picking up bricks
and tossing words so terrible,
they’re not even in the dictionary,
at the Minister for Poverty’s hair-style.
(How would you like your wife,
sister, great grandmother,
kidnapped in her car
for two and a half hours?)

The world will not be changed by fools
banging on the bonnet of a BMW.
But by the likes of me talking
against social exclusion in TV studios.
And fundraising concerts organised
by former pop-stars.
And the well-meaning priest
with whom I regularly have dinner;
between the two us we’ve enough
concern for the poor to construct a second
Fergal Keane of the BBC,
as a back-up in case
the existing one breaks.

Trust in us. Pay no heed
to the sweary-mouthed crowd,
who if they’re not put back where they belong
will soon be eating pot noodle from scooped out skulls
confiscated from their betters
in defiance of international law.
By the likes of them,
the world must not be changed.

Kevin Higgins

Yesterday: Meanwhile, At Court 13

Leaving cert pupils from Trinity comprehensive school, Ballymun, Dublin 9 last week

The Leaving Cert

Your Leaving Cert results will not be etched on your grave.
So, if you end up with more Es than a nineties rave,
Don’t worry, it will be okay
Have you ever heard a eulogy that begins,
“That A he got in Geography was the making of him?”
The Leaving Cert is not nothing,
but it also isn’t everything.

And right now, if you don’t feel like a winner,
Remember, one day this too in time will pass,
like Donald Trump and fidget spinners.

Your success in life might hinge
on things you were not taught
Like dealing with your feelings
and sitting down to talk
(Because problems are like dogs
they will rip the shit out of your insides
if you don’t let them out for a walk.)

Build a life with someone
who will one day kiss your old, saggy arse,
and grade your farts
like an Olympic gymnastics judge
Like, “good one, that was a 4.6, my love.”
Do not accept anything less.
Bad love is a lot worse the than being by yourself.
And only have sex with people
who make your crotch go, “Rawr”
And later in life, who know CPR.

Being good at school in Ireland
means you were good at learning by rote,
But being good at life is about
your family, your friends and your vote.
And you don’t need a degree to know
that just because your TD wears a nice suit
doesn’t mean he isn’t a total scrote.
If you care about people,
don’t vote for some eejit
just cos he fixed a hole in your road.

Your age, your weight, your salary,
the cost of your home
How many likes and shares you receive
on your silly Facebook poem
We let these numbers define us
And it feels like they matter a lot
So, it might seem like the end of the world right now,
But I promise you,
You are worth more than the points that you got.

Aidan Comerford



Minister for Finance Michael Noonan

A poem to mark the imminent retirement from politics of Michael Noonan, who has spent his life in the upper echelons of Fine Gael.

Ode To Smugness

His head hairs are the thirty million maggots feeding on the carcass of creativity,

His eyes are x-ray beams burning holes through punctured public services,

His ears are oyster shells littered with the pearls of Christine Lagarde,

On the soft sand away from those drowning in the sea,

His bald head is the vulture at the “Everything Must Go” jumble sale,

His nose is an exhaust pouring black smoke on the children’s dreams,

His face is an Alsation keeping people from the truth,

His mouth is a swampy cesspit where poison splutters,

His tongue is a serpent that spits venom on the just and the poor,

His ass is a giant beach ball that Jean-Claude Juncker likes to boot around,

His heart is the army tank that drove on Bridget and her poisoned blood,

His arms are Graf von Faber-Castells writing off the debts of Denis at a stroke,

His legs are bowling pins as Cerebrus strikes it lucky again,

And his feet are roadside sweepers sucking up the crumbs,

The shivering homeless barely looking on

Ian Murlocks



Poet and satirist Kevin Higgins

A response to both Frankie Gaffney’s feelings about identity politics and the ‘disappointed’  reaction from ‘women activists’ about those feelings….

Death Chant of The Handmaidens: For Choir of 350 Identical Voices

We the underwritten do with great solemnity promise
on our watch Union Carbide, Johnson & Johnson,
Lockheed Martin, and the late Herrs Bosch and Braun
will all have penis and balls cleanly dismantled,
made safe, and exported to fortify the wall
keeping terrorists from Judea and Samaria out;

each have a working vagina installed
under a Chanterelle beige
plutonium-powered pants suit fit
to play rhapsodies in
for the safe delivery of the shells
Golda guided onto the outskirts
of Damascus, for Indira’s ‘Smiling Buddha’
one thousand four hundred kilogram bomb,
for Imelda’s closet of shoes too fabulous
for the likes of you, on a grand piano
your grandmother swiped
from departed refugees,

seconds after one’s typed
in the codes to end man,
plant, and womankind;

bequeathed the planet to the gender neutral,
and hence far more successful, bacilli
Deinococcus Radiodurans who unlike us
will waste not one moment working out
on their calculators
which Facebook comments
it would be a smart career move
to like.

Kevin Higgins


Identity politics is utterly ineffective at anything other than dividing people ( Frankie Gaffney, Irish Times)

Cop On Comrades (FeministIre)


Ah here.


Pic via Liberties Press