And To Rust You Shall Return



St Patrick’s Church, Glenamaddy, County Galway where Lenten ashes are available to motorists as a drive thru service tonight

Nouveau Catechism
after T.S. Eliot

Because we no longer hope.
Because it’s been so long since our pews
caressed your tender rears
the one holy catholic and apostolic
church is forced to offer you options:

Drive-thru ashes in Glenamaddy,

Dial-a-Confession with visually unacceptable
seminarians scattered all over Lough Derg
ready to take your call,

Speed Baptisms in hot tubs full of sparkling Ballygowan
on the roof of a Travelodge near Cashel,

Gluten free pizzas with Communion wafers
hidden in them
in a Supermacs on the outskirts of Castleblayney,

A free Holy Orders with every second
curried chips
from an Archbishop operating from the back of a van
in the greater Wicklow Town area,

A complimentary Last Rites
each time you apply for a mortgage. Usual
terms and conditions apply,
though only to you.

drive-by exorcisms
whenever you buy petrol
in certain parts of Wexford.

Kevin Higgins

Kevin Higgins Poet

‘Drive-thru’ Ash Wednesday at Galway church (RTÉ)

Pic: RTÉ

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13 thoughts on “And To Rust You Shall Return

  1. Rob_G

    I thought that there would never be a contributor whose content I liked less than LJG…

    Yet here we are.

  2. Clampers Outside!

    Need a blessing in a hurry?

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  3. mildred st. meadowlark

    I’m just gonna pop this here as an antidote to the bitterness of that poem…

    When all the others were away at Mass
    I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
    They broke the silence, let fall one by one
    Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
    Cold comforts set between us, things to share
    Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
    And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
    From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.

    So while the parish priest at her bedside
    Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
    And some were responding and some crying
    I remembered her head bent towards my head,
    Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives—
    Never closer the whole rest of our lives.
    – Seamus Heaney

    This is how poetry ought to be done.

  4. And Social Justice For All

    Because my poems are absurd
    And don’t rhyme not one word

    They let me spew on here
    Oh dear oh dear



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