Author Archives: Kevin Higgins


Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary

For Michael O’Leary

(after Primo Levi)

You are everywhere and, when it matters, nowhere
oh Lord of this cancelled flight.
All across a continent the bodies pile up
at Ryanair help desks while you are home
talking to your horses who are grateful
they, at least, will never have to travel
Ryanair. I don’t want you taken to the termination chamber
some here are building for you, or pulled apart before
a jeering crowd by the four of your own racehorses
with the most unresolved anger management issues.
May you live to be a thousand years old
and spend your remaining nine hundred and forty two
years sweating in a queue to speak to a red faced girl
at a Ryanair help desk. Let your every night be Sunday
and it always be December. May you be late
to the death bed and cremation
of your favourite uncle and his remains
be delivered to you
while you’re still here in this queue,
in a clear plastic bag with a hole in it,
for which you will, naturally, be charged.
And when you open your mouth
and a complainy word shoots out
may the Chilean secret police instantly appear
and tell you with their eyes,
and their drooling Alsatians’ eyes,
to cut that out or your slug tongue
will no longer be yours to wiggle.
And when your time here is done
may you be peeled, tied,
and spread-eagled across your own help desk
and two fat blokes from Chipping Ongar
be paid to sprinkle pollen
all over you, and then release
the bees.

Kevin Higgins


BBC’s Mock the Week (top) and Have I Got News For You (above)

(inspired/provoked by UK-based comedians, who used to be edgy, savagely lampooning Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s British General Election campaign)

If you piss on the frail
red-petalled flower
just now nudging its way back up
from presumed extinction,
with your cynicism and your sneers;

the day of your funeral
I’ll pay a team of loudspeakers,
town criers, and dogs to howl
at the few mourners about
how useless you were
when it really mattered,
until it’s the one trait of yours
anyone remembers;

then call the Union of Worms, Death Beetles,
and Incinerator Operators out
on an official strike that will apply
only to you, so your sour carcass can sit
forever lodged in the world’s gut
as a warning to future others.

Kevin Higgins

Pics: BBC

Independent TD Noel Grealish (above) has been accused of “racism” for asking whether the Government is satisfied billions of euro being sent abroad from Ireland are not the proceeds of crime

Alternative Uses For Noel Grealish

(after György Petri)

Having spent most of this century saying so little
the Collected Speeches of Noel Grealish TD
could be transcribed on the back of a parking ticket
a friendly Sergeant expunged from the system,
you’ve now appointed yourself leader
of the Blame-The-Black-Guy-Party –
so when one of your constituents finds
wife (or husband) impaled on their
personal trainer or a crisp bag blows
into their garden from next door’s bin,
they’ll know whose fault it is,
even though it isn’t the black dude doing either
their bank account or spouse,
and it definitely wasn’t him who blew that Tayto bag
into number fifty seven’s azaleas.

In light of this, scientists suggest
you be pureed into a paste
which, with water added,
could be served in tiny droplets
as a protein drink to malnourished baby hedgehogs;
or that society employ
a butcher’s apprentice to detach
your suddenly wagging tongue and hand it over
to a witchdoctor flown in
from the Congo Republic
by the Department of Social Protection
to do with as he sees fit;
or that we have a visiting Polish granny
dice you into a traditional Cracow stew
wasting not so much as an eyelash
and feed you to the pike in the Corrib
to see if they can stomach you.

Kevin Higgins

Previously: “It’s Up To Him To Clarify His Intentions”


Iain Duncan Smith (right), former British Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is facing a severe challenge in his Chingford, Essex constituency from Labour candidate Faiza Shaheen (left) in the forthcoming UK General Election

Ode To Iain Duncan Smith
for Liam

Oh Minister for Worry and Work.
Your head is a perfect egg
waiting for the teaspoon
to come crashing down on it.

You’re on the side of hard working
arses who haven’t stopped to take
a wipe since Maggie were a lad,
men in white cars who know
there’s nothing up with the youth
of today that having pointless orders
screamed in their ears before
five in the morning wouldn’t quickly cure.

You’re delighted to this afternoon
announce that every home in Britain
whose curtains remain drawn after eleven a.m.
this coming Monday will receive
in the post a leaflet outlining the cheapest
possible methods of unassisted
suicide for the terminally work shy:
the advantages
to both themselves and the taxpayer
of a quiet razor blade
over jumping from footbridges
onto motorways
hardworking families are busy
driving up and down.

Kevin Higgins

Remainer Alliance targets Iain Duncan Smith for ‘unseating’ as Green candidate pulls out of election battle to give Labour clear run (MailOnline)

A tender to provide a Direct Provision centre at the Connemara Gateway Hotel in Oughterard, County Galway, has been withdrawn

Oughterard, a definition

Pronounced ewk-ter-árd.
See also: Little Rock, Smethwick,
Enoch, Port Elizabeth…
A good place to illegally ditch
old fridges, huge yellow couches,
detached wardrobe doors,
mattresses with the springs
poking out of them.
Locals will know why you’ve done it
and a few will privately accept your verdict.

The perfect location to toss
brimming colostomy bags
out the windows of speeding vehicles
in the hope some member of
the County Council will think
it’s free curry sauce and drown
their chips in the contents.

And the old lady in the charity shop
will snap your hand off
to take all the World War Two
Germany army helmets you have
because there’s some who blew through here recently
who like to put them on
while making right-handed
love to themselves
in front of the unforgiving mirror
with the overhead lights blazing
like their own private
torch-lit procession.

Kevin Higgins

Earlier: Free Tomorrow?

Yesterday: A Clear Plan

Previously: Withdrawn

Climate change activist Greta Thurnberg accused world leaders of stealing her childhood at a UN Climate Summit last week


(for Greta Thunberg)

Let surgical saw and a team of scalpels strip naked
the entrails of their hatred.
These are people who if they haven’t been fired
for lying, or don’t live mostly on gin,
at the very least can’t perform
basic bodily functions
without the help of nuclear strength coffee
and the kind of plunger traditionally used
to clear the pipes of obstreperous kitchen sinks.
Journalists whose greatest life achievement
is once being inappropriately groped
by a former Secretary of State for Defence.
People so sad, when the machine stops beeping,
their adult children will rush to book
foreign holidays to dodge the ew
of having to attend their funerals.
And what really gets the acid
of their compromise-times-failure multiplied
rising is your implacable yes
to that thing called tomorrow.

Kevin Higgins

Pic: Getty

Galway city’s  busking bylaws will come into effect from January, banning “any use of amplification from use before 6pm, restricting where acts that can attract a crowd from performing, and require performers under 16 to have a parent or guardian present.

“A street performer shall not act, say, do or sing anything likely to cause alarm, distress or offence to any member of the public, business owner, the Council, or any memberof An Garda Síochána.”

Galway City Council bylaw (as of  September 1, 2019)

Deliberately Offensive Song

Despite the Alderman, his head a sweaty pink moon,
who wanted travellers castrated,
or at least kept behind an electric fence.

Despite the former Mayor who liked to taste
the thighs of teenage boys in a local pub’s
musty meeting room and wore
his ceremonial robes while doing it.

Despite the motion you passed overwhelmingly
against contraceptive devices and students
engaging in sensuality without responsibility.

Despite the fortune one of your number got
from coffin ships his grandfather
profitably fed to the starving
Atlantic sharks.

Despite the “dastardly” Rising
at whose failure you rejoiced and the diamond
welcome you gave Edward the Seventh.

Despite the lines of white powder expertly
inhaled off a professional lady’s
clavicle which none of your number
knew anything about.

You are inoffensive as a fairground
run by defrocked priests in grey raincoats;

as a former Mayor owning
a seafront casino that took
the pensions of passing widows,
the disability benefits
of bald guys with the shakes;

as a line of giant white puddings
who’ve calamitously been
let talk.

Kevin Higgins


Kevin writes:

I am offering the words of this poem to any busker who want to turn it into a song and sing it on Shop Street….

Busking bylaws stripping Galway of its culture say PBP (Galway Daily)

Galway buskers say new street performance by-laws are ‘disgrace’ (BBC)

Pic via You Tube

Masjid Maryam Mosque, in Ballybrit, County Galway following a vandal attack last month

To The Boys Who Carried Out The Ballybrit Mosque Attack

You wish you could waddle
up the Monivea Road like Lord Haw Haw
wearing a scar the length of your jaw
you got fighting communists
but cut yourself shaving once
and didn’t like it.

In the absence of a girl who’ll let
you between her legs
you’d love to invade Russia or Iran
but can’t afford the air fare
so instead smashed some glass.

All you want is a part-time job
in the local concentration camp
but there isn’t one around here
yet, so instead you broke a window
and heroically chucked some books out it.

You once thought of reading a book
to find out why you’re where you are
instead spend the hiatus between
wanks listening to the voices
in the videos on your phone tell you
whose fault your life is.

You needed to be someone
so wrecked a guy’s framed family photographs,
fled sniggering up the hill,
still no one.

Kevin Higgins

Pic: Galway Bay Fm

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and his Home Secretary Priti Patel

Priti Patel’s Denial
I just wanted to hear [them] deny it.”
Lyndon Baines Johnson

It is not true that at our meeting today
I forced the Foreign Secretary and
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to bathe
in piping hot custard and gently
scrubbed their backs, bellies, balls
with my bristling, steel wire-brush
until they were strip-loin raw
and roaring to God
for me to stop.

The whole thing was their idea in the first place.

Nor do I make
the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
wear a gimp suit to all day
meetings, during which I only unzip the mouth
to feed it occasional morsels
of uranium washed chicken kebab
with my long hot fork.

She turns up dressed like that entirely of her own volition.

And the rumours I ram
an electric hair straightener
with a loose connection
up parts of the Secretary of State for Wales
not designed to take
an electric hair straightener
with a loose connection
have been vastly exaggerated.

Said implement was in excellent working order.
I even took care to wipe the remnants
of the last guy off it.

Nor is there, for the most part,
any reality to online accusations
that at our most recent
meeting I covered the Attorney General
toe to forehead in cats’ blood
and locked him in a closet
to be fought over by my pet
Staffordshire bull terrier, Enoch
and a one eyed East African wild dog
called Field Marshall Idi Amin
I keep around the place
just in case.

The closet you speak of remained unlocked
during the entire process
which my Right Honourable friend appeared to
thoroughly enjoy.

He was still telling what I think were jokes –
it was difficult to make out fully formed words –
as I drove him slowly as possible
to hospital.

Kevin Higgins

Pics: Channel 4

Minister for Foreign Affirs Simon Coveney and then UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson in Dublin, November 2017

Waiting for Boris
(after Constantine Cavafy)

What are they waiting for,
the archbishops and casino owners
clutching their bags of cocaine,
the barman at Wetherspoons eyeing the clock,
and the little people who live
in Jacob Rees Mogg’s top hat
who’ve been watching things
go slowly downhill
since thirteen eighty one?

Boris is to arrive today
in a chariot driven
by a man with syphilis.

Why so few new laws
up for debate in the House?
Why do the Lords seem happy
to lie about the place waiting
for aneurysms to take them,
without even the energy
to pay their assistants
to give them one last beating
with Daddy’s bloodstained walking stick?

Because Boris arrives today
wearing an eye-patch he borrowed
from Madonna.

Why should the Honourable Member
for Cambridgeshire South bother
crying her usual tears?
Boris, when he gets here,
will have everyone except himself in tears.

Why do the Chairs of Select Committees
race up and down Whitehall
wearing only ceremonial dicky-bows
quoting passages from the Magna Carta
and the new Ann Widdecombe cookbook
into the surprised faces of tourists?

Why have the Speaker of the House
and Lord Privy Seal exhumed
from Westminster Abbey the bones
of Alfred Lord Tennyson
and dragged them to a cheap hotel near Waterloo
to engage in a rattly threesome?

Because Boris arrives today
and approves of such things.

And why doesn’t the Office for National Statistics
give us the latest disastrous news?
Because Boris arrives today
and is bored by people who can add and subtract.

What does this sudden outbreak
of accountants and High Court Judges
vomiting on each other mean?
How grey their jowls have grown.
Why have all the escalators stopped moving?
Why all the red buses crashing into the Thames?

Because the clock has rung
and Boris is not coming.
Some journalists formerly resident in Hell
but now working for the Telegraph
have been sent from the frontline to confirm
there is no Boris.

And now what will we become
without Boris?
We must urgently set about inventing
some other catastrophe
to rescue us from ourselves.

Kevin Higgins

Sam Boal/Rollingnews