Tag Archives: Kevin Higgins

Peter Tatchell (second left) with Green Party members at the Dublin Pride 2018, including new Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration. Roderic O’Gorman (left)

Poet Kevin Higgins writes:

I am dedicating to all those on the far Catholic right in Ireland who are currently busy smearing Peter Tatchell. In this poem the statue of the Virgin Mary at Knock speaks their darkest fantasies.

What The Virgin At Knock Would Say If She Could Speak

We need to get back
to when confirmed bachelors
found their own kind through holes in cubicles
during untelevised All Ireland Finals.
To when there were no government funded
lesbians on display in public parks,
or self-confessed sodomites in the Senate.
To when there was no obscene use for
Vaseline, or sexual intercourse in Headford.

To when no one put Coke bottles
where they weren’t supposed to go.
And there were no automatic
washing machines for women to sit on
when Rock Hudson was unavailable.
To when the Irish people stood
at the end of lanes waiting
for nothing to happen,
which it mostly did.

To when young ones who forgot to cross
their legs at the crucial moment could be put
steam ironing curtains for the golf club, sheets
and pillowcases for your mother’s B&B;
still be safely there eight o’clock
in the evening having hot flushes
the hottest day of that century
to which we must get back.

Kevin Higgins

Yesterday: ‘A Small Group Of People With A Very Clear Agenda’

Galway’s Christopher Columbus monument in Spanish Arch was recently vandalised (top). Gifted by the Italian city of Genoa, People Before Profit said it ‘glorified slavery and racism’ and have demanded its removal

How to Get Rid of Christopher Columbus

Don’t get photographed presenting your
two thousand names to the Mayor,
looking as if you’re graduating
with a qualification you’ll never use.
Don’t ask the Church of Ireland or National Council
for the Advancement of Concerned People
to intervene.

Do it yourself.
But not explosives, no.
There’s always a mostly innocent
retired car park attendant with a limp
(or some such) passing at the exact moment.
He retired five years ago
but because of the limp
was still on his way home.
And now he’s in small pieces
or, even worse,
one piece;
and you’re the reason
he has that stutter
when the journalist talks to him
on the every o’clock news.

Nothing like a spot of terrorism
gone amiss
to make all that racism, pillage, and slicing
off most of a native’s thigh
just to test your blades
or a child’s hand
because their parents wouldn’t cooperate
with what was
an honest attempt to improve them
seem civilised in comparison.

Arm yourself with
no mere plinkety chisel
but mallet, kango hammer,
a couple of the like-minded,
and high vis jackets marked
‘City Council’ or ‘Irish Water’
and present the slow citizenry
with the fact
of his stone tribute
in the sea

Kevin Higgins

Previously: Glorifying Slavery And Racism

Pic 2: Kevin Higgins

Stephen’s Green Luas,, Dublin 1 yesterday

Poet Kevin Higgins writes:

I am one of what the government and health experts call the “specially vulnerable”, in the sense that I have sarcoidosis in my lungs and am on strong immunosuppresant drugs for the condition. Below is a new poem inspired by the feeling of being left behind, because of my status, as the rest of society gets ready to get going again.

The Vulnerable

I dream I’m watching the morning train
rattle down the platform without me.
Pale and panting from the chase, I sit
steaming on the floor which smells
of Euston, Liverpool Street, Waterloo;

realise that like
an ultra Orthodox Rabbi,
a Miners’ Union shop steward,
or a veteran of the Franco-Prussian War,
I’m what will be swept away;
my ticket sweating unredeemed
in a back pocket;

as the world rushes on to get
wherever it next must.

Kevin Higgins


Poet Kevin Higgins

Against Correctness

(A topical satire on the popular notion that, in the good old days, no one got offended by anything)

In the old days, if a woman casually
suggested of a morning on BBC Radio Four
that the old Queen Mum – Gawd
bless her and all who sailed in her – be taken
to a location on the Scottish Highlands,
and made lie back in a bath of sulphuric acid,
no one was in the least bit offended.

Back then, flaming transsexuals
in rocket fuelled hot pants
could flamenco dance
what they claimed were the bones
of Sir Edward Carson up and down
the Newtownards Road,
and receive only
wild applause.

Pranking students could happily
interrupt the Angelus on
Raidió Teilifís Éireann
to tell the nation
the Pope should be dragged
to the top of Carrantuohill
so the crows could peck
the flies from his balls, and even
the Bishop of Raphoe
would allow himself
to get the joke.

These days, if anyone so much as dares
bring in a law forcing mosques
to replace the call to prayer
with the music of Kate Bush,
or failing that, Ted Nugent,
the politically correct crowd
start making their fuss.

You can’t make a harmless
passing remark:
what a nice gesture it was
for the EU Commission to give
every homeless shelter in Greece
one of those Syrian boat children,
all chubby cheeked and oven ready,
so their drowning wouldn’t be
in vain; without someone
somewhere making a big
thing of it on the internet.
And a man can’t safely admit
in mixed company
that his favourite hobby, of a night,
is following random women
around dark car parks
to see how they react,
without some feminist calling him
sexist or worse. It has come to that.

Kevin Higgins

Yesterday: There’s Nothing For You Here

Protesters gathered in Dublin city centre yesterday to protest against the death of George Floyd in the United States before marching to the US Embassy in Ballsbridge

When Those Who Know What’s Necessary Get Here

“We’ve tried black faces in high places…the Black Lives Matter
movement emerged under a black president, a black attorney general,
and a black Homeland Security [Secretary]” Cornel West.

Fifty percent of meth stuffed
in the trunks of cars driven by people of colour,
who’ll plead guilty if they know what’s good for them,
will be planted by women of colour
promoted to Police Superintendant
or District Attorney.

Fifty per cent of CO2 emissions
will be emitted by women of colour
who dare dream of a world in which
fifty percent of children of colour
shot in the guts for throwing stones
at tanks will be shot on the orders
of women of colour of whom
you’re just jealous.

Fifty percent of weed-killer
dropped on women of colour with a disability
will be dropped by women of colour with a disability
told to do so by women of colour with a disability
who know what’s necessary.

Fifty percent of insecticide
used to abolish bees
will be manufactured by companies
in which women of colour have shares.

Fifty percent of police truncheons
put up prisoners of colour
will be put up there under the blind eyes
of women of colour who know what’s necessary
if you want that promotion.

Fifty per cent of jaws
punched in custody
will be punched by those answerable
to women of colour
who dabbled in Malcolm X at college
and are the change they want to see in America
and wherever America decides to go next.

Fifty per cent of evictions
of women of colour (and their children)
will be deemed legal by courts presided over
by men and women of colour in robes
for the benefit of the men and women of colour
who own fifty percent of the building
and the City Council.

Fifty per cent of missiles
seeking women of colour
who haven’t yet had the common sense
to move to Connecticut
will be fired by women of colour
and made by companies whose boardrooms
are at least fifty percent people of colour
(with or without disabilities)
who know what’s necessary
and are prepared to be it.

Kevin Higgins

Yesterday: Meanwhile, In Dublin



Green Party leader Eamon Ryan

A poem ‘dedicated is to all those in the Irish Green Party who think coalition with Micheál Martin might be just the thing to ward off the global apocalypse’.

Common Sense Climbed Out of the TV the Other Night

And sat beside me on the settee,
its shirt white, its manner mild
as an unsugared cornflake.

Confident as a New York Times Op-Ed
written by God.

Thought provoking in conversation
as a dinner party at which
the main course always tastes
suspiciously like Melvyn Bragg.

I could see from its resumé
it was well thought of by those that matter
like a Hampstead charity shop
in which Joan Bakewell
is now available free of charge.

Though it kept trying
to avoid catching my eye,
when it did, the shiver I got
told me it would be supportive,
when the going got hot,
as a crutch made of butter.

Later, it climbed into my computer
where its tweets against the turning world
looked like they’d been typed in the day room
of a care home for former provosts
of Queen’s College Oxford.

It expressed itself with such authority
I had to test its advice by taking it.
And it turned out to be as sensible
as running through a forest fire
in a grass skirt.

Kevin Higgins



Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2

Given my already compromised lungs – I have a condition called Sarcoidosis, about which I contributed this to the Irish Times health supplement, – I have now been told to cocoon which raises many issues, some of them comical…


The advisory booklet says,
because my rubbish lungs
and the compromising position
in which my immune system finds itself
put me among those most likely to expire,
my wife and I must, for the duration,
remain at least one metre apart
and I shouldn’t wander
beyond the front garden
except for my weekly safari
to put out the bins.

If she has an itch,
it’s okay for me to scratch
her back with the sweeping brush
without the written permission
of a Garda Sergeant.

But if she kills me
for talking too much, as she likely will,
the Minister for Justice
has signed an order requiring her
to do so with a twenty eight inch shotgun
(with which she will be provided)
or at the very least a regulation length
Samurai sword. It won’t be pretty.
But neither, the booklet assures me, am I.

Meantime, there are other possibilities:
couples such as us
are still legally permitted
to do things to each other
with a Marks & Spencer cotton dishcloth attached
to what looks like a mop handle;
or by making imaginative use
of a retractable ostrich feather duster.

I worry it could lead
in the long run to her coming
at my most vulnerable bits
with the hedge clippers;
and where would I be then?
Though the cat assures me:
I’m there already.

Kevin Higgins


Outside the Mater Hospital Dublin

Death Bed Amends

Long I’ve wanted to see you thrown
from a helicopter into a muttering volcano,
or have my people do things to you
with electricity and enthusiastic Alsatians,
but I never had the cash or necessary contacts
in South American governments of the nineteen seventies
to make it happen.

I contented myself with knowing
you’d one day come
because your conscience was gnawing the remains
of what, for argument’s sake,
we’ll call your soul.

I’d greet you,
once you were close enough,
with a scalding
pot of tea or cup of suspiciously warm
homemade “apple juice” across, hopefully,
the gob.

But now both you
and your conscience
can pop in to watch me cough –
though visiting hours are, naturally, restricted –
safely forgive yourself
through all that bastard glass.

Kevin Higgins


Newly-elected UK Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer

The Advent of Mr Nothing

All the messiahs safely crucified;
the choice again, as it should be,
between the Imp of All Lies
and Mr Nothing.

We’re again outside the padlocked gate.
Should anyone think of scaling the wall,
the garden is now patrolled
by wolves with orders to dine first,
be exonerated in the inquiry later.

Those who shouldn’t be in jail
are that bit more securely there.

Those who sleep in doorways
that bit more completely know their place;

those who own islands
are that bit more secure in theirs.

Celebrity paedophiles chuckle
to themselves in their graves.

And the Brigadier General
can unclench in the knowledge
his plans for the war after next –
nowhere you’ve heard of yet –
will be given a white-toothed
statesman-like Yes.

Kevin Higgins


Howth Harbour Howth, County Dublin looking toward Ireland’s Eye yesterday

The Survivor

When the last weather forecaster has died
spluttering live on air
and the TV’s just ads on a loop for things
there’s no longer anyone around to make;
I’ll appoint myself chief pathologist
for there’ll be no one else to do the job;

start slicing each of you open,
squash your lungs into a jar
intended for mayonnaise,
plop your eyeballs into one labelled
pickled onions, cut your livers out
like the butcher used to
when there were still butchers
and the liver wasn’t yours;
write down for my own benefit
my findings:
where you all went wrong.

Kevin Higgins

Sam Boal/Rollingnews