Tag Archives: Poetry

The Oireachtas Golf Society’s dinner, which took place last Wednesday at the Station House Hotel (above) in Clifden, County Galway, was attended by a host of senior politicians and notable public figures.

Who Runs Ireland?

Not the Deliveroo riders named Tariq and Omar
who Gemma O’Doherty is terrified will try to marry her.
Nor the taxi drivers from Togo John Waters fears will
make him go around the place wearing a veil.
Not the Hutch Kinehan wet squad The Sunday World keeps
telling you are coming to ruffle your dahlias.
Nor the puppets of George Soros
Jim Corr knows, from his research, are trying to put
a brown paper bag over his head.

But the Supreme Court Justices,
the Banking Federation chief executive,
the Ministers past and present,
the journalists who are meant to ask them questions.
These are the people who sign off on your life.
They go by the secret name ‘Oireachtas Golf Society’.

And for the sake of what Saturday’s Irish Times calls stability,
you must allow such people eat in peace:
the French onion soup, the seared king scallops,
and a selection of ice creams,
all from the one big bowl.

And if they wish to have a sex party afterwards,
to slither across each other, pink as piglets;
such eventualities are covered
in the terms and conditions
of the Oireachtas Golf Society.

For the sake of what The Sunday Independent calls
the national interest, such people must be let gobble
who and what they will.

Kevin Higgins

Pic via Twitter

Former US president George W Bush (left)  and daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres at an American football game last year

Poet Kevin Higgins writes:

it seems time I shared this which was provoked by Ellen’s friendship with George W. Bush…

The Continuing Confessions of A Daytime Talk Show Host

My catalogue of pals stretches beyond Bush,
Trump, and the Emperor Bokassa’s personal crocodile.
For I am everywhere, and always have been:
helped Claus Von Bulow rewrite his Tinder profile
the day they switched his wife off;
had the Cleveland Torso Murderer judge
my show’s inaugural belly dancing competition
which, it being 1938,
was only available on radio, but, hey,
I’m always up for a challenge;
celebrated John Gotti’s twenty fifth
successive acquittal by gifting him
a diamond crusted
knuckle-duster, and paying
Annie Leibovitz
to photograph him wearing it;
and, yes, tried to hire
the Zodiac Killer as my show’s
resident astrologer
but Letterman got there first.
People misunderstand.
It’s my job to talk
to the guy who tied
Sacco and Venzetti to the chair,
like two sad salamis,
so I can ask him which
has been his favourite
fry up so far.

The fact I shared a table
and chicken skewers
with Vlad the Impaler
at a mutual friend’s wedding
and found him
a delightful conversationalist
is no criticism on my part
of those he had boiled
in his giant copper cauldron,
or hammered giant
wooden spikes

I’ll be friends with anybody
as long as they’re somebody.

Kevin Higgins

Ellen DeGeneres’ show ratings plummet amid explosive claims of ‘toxic’ workplace (irish Mirror)

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

Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, England. June 1991

Dublin poet Fran Cassidy writes:

On what should have been the first day of Glastonbury 2020, below is a semi mythical tale from the mists of the early 1990s. It contains some mild drug references which are obviously neither big nor clever.

The Girl With a Crass Patch on Her Jacket

A Glastonbury Tale

I was hitching to mass
When this girl with a Crass
patch on her jacket pulled over
Her eyes they were green
Her dreads tangerine
And I thought straight away that I loved her

She flashed me a smile
Which further beguiled
And asked me the way to the ferry
Saying ‘we’re all going to Glasto
Which should be a laugh so
You’re welcome to come and be merry’

But I am no fool
So I kept my cool
And I said to her chiselled cheekbones
‘We’re in the middle of Dublin
And there’ll be some trouble in
Trying to get to the stones

And plus I’ve no ticket’
But she replied ‘don’t be thick it
Is easy to go on the blag
We’ll give you a lift
And you might get a bift
In return for some skins and a fag’.

And you know it would have been safer
To go for the wafer
But her voice was so soft and so pure
And such was her beauty
I abandoned my duty
And opened the van’s sliding door

And there in the back
Just having the crack
Was a motley collection of drunks
With a dog on a rope
Some squidgy black dope
And the strange dirty smell of old punks

Which was like damp wool and must
Pachouli oil and crust
Woodsmoke with diesel and feet
And these dirty auld rogues
They put on the Pogues
And gave me a cookie to eat

And that’s when I blew it
Because before I knew it
We were dismounting in Holyhead
And the punks had been dancing
While I dreamt of romancing
Crashed out by myself on the bed

But I couldn’t feel grumpy
As they fed me with scrumpy
While we drove through rosy green lands
And I asked the driver
Could I sit up beside her
And she said ‘yes if you hold my cans

But you’ll all have to get out
When we’re there and about
To park up in the traveller’s field,
And then find your own way
There should be no need to pay
Because the perimeter isn’t well sealed’

And in the farewell kerfuffle
She slipped me a truffle
And then I was out of my bin
So I got a bit nimble
And went on a bimble
To try and find a way in

And I managed to to get pally
With a tracksuited scally
Who said that he’d dug a big hole
And if I would stop being so dense
He’d guide me under the fence
For a tenner to top up his dole

And once in the fest
It was really the best
Place that I’d ever been
Creativity and love
That viewed from above
Stretched further than by eye could be seen

Marquees and tents
That smelled of incense
With colourful banners on high
And ravers were gurning
Around campfires burning
As sound-systems clashed in the sky

Then I got a bit tipsy
With a freewheeling gypsy
Drinking flagons of his own special brew
He promised world revolution
When he found a solution
To his own life which he said was askew

And to keep his old chin up
He started to skin up
And we lay there and worked on our tans
And we decided what is nice is
That the ecological crisis
Could be solved by our recycling cans

Then things went Pete Tong
When I had to follow the pong
And saw the absolute state of the jacks
But I hid in the loo
Over the river of poo
Because paranoia was seeping through cracks

And some generous druids
Poured me magical fluids
And I was ready once more for the lash
Until a bean field veteran
Shared some Ketamine
And then I just needed to crash

Next day midst the racket
I spied the Crass patch on her jacket
Out seeking some after dark thrills
So I sat down beside her
For a hot spicy cider
And she slipped me one of her pills

And buoyed up on love
I said enough is enough
Would you like an auld roll in the hay
And she stared in my eyes
And said I’ll tell you no lies
I’d love to my dear but I’m gay

And then who should come over
But her Diesel Dyke lover
In Doc Martin’s, dungarees and a mullet
And although they were sound
And welcomed me around
For a while I was sick to the gullet

But a wizard selling trips
In the surrounding apocalypse
Advised me to go to the stones
And there my jealousy was lifted
As my reality shifted
And something just changed in my bones

And in the green fields on Sunday
I had quite a fun day
Making baskets and carved wooden spoons
With blacksmiths and plotters
And radical potters
And a cheerful assortment of loons

And I saw Billy Bragg
Raise the red flag
By the Workers Beer Company bar
And the lesbian lovers
Bought me some covers
From Smokey Joe’s blanket bazaar

And as the festival ended
Through rivers of people we wended
And we stopped at the Tiny tea tent
And I thought if I don’t get some sleep
I will be in a heap
But that’s the best few days I’ve ever spent

And although I didn’t get my oats
I awoke next day with some goats
Outside in a horse drawn camp
As sick as a dog
With my mind just a fog
And the front of my trousers all damp

So you can take it from me
If you ever should see
A girl with a Crass patch on her jacket
And you’re looking for fun
Well she might be the one
And Glastonbury’s a place that won’t lack it

Fran Cassidy

Pic: Rex


Statue of Oliver Cromwell outside the House of Commons, Westminster, London, England


To The Statue Of Lord Cromwell

we cannot get through the bars to do what we would like to do to you.

we cannot pass through the cordon of armed policeman who aim to guard you

like a New Model Army, but blue, with silver-nippled custodians on heads.

ambivalently, the protector is protected by some who remember one head,

one neck, one life – how could such lush curls have been shorn by ax? –

but care nothing for six hundred thousand Irish heads, as collateral

as cattle. while Dr. Johnson keeps a cat, Lord Cromwell keeps a lion!

such a pet can’t be easy to feed when all you have is a sword and Bible

unless you recite from Numbers while tossing it Roundhead foreskins.

and ignoring its roar of rebuke in Gaelic: MALLACHT CHROMAIL ORT!

now you seem troubled by the latest debates regarding your own status.

what would I do if I got through? having thought about it long and hard

I’d like to confiscate your holier-than-thou book with immediate effect

and place in your hand another book, the First Folio of Shakespeare

for it’s what you tried to do to him that should most vex your countrymen.


your ghost hates stone, exhumed, cut-up and scattered

at Tyburn, the real you is barebones through and through

Niall McDevitt

Pic: Wikimedia

Earlier: Post-Colonial

Last night: Scatter Your Enemies


Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin (left) and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar

Two Cheeks of The Same Arse

Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael
Civil war parties,with one aim
To sell poets’ dreams to the highest bidder
Sworn enemies once,now cosy bedfellows

Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee
Selling to you the same old scam
Whilst selling the country to Uncle Sam
Traitors all, to a man

Traitors all, to dead men’s dreams
Overseeing homeless people on our streets
Covering up evil crimes, of church and state
A terrible beauty born, soon turned to hate

As they deny the people’s democratic will
The desire for real change they’ll ignore
They’ll watch more innocents shown the door
As their corrupt rich backers
demand more and more

You scratch my back,I’ll scratch yours
Tweedle Dee and Dumb, a pair of cute whores
Born of idealism, now resident in respective sewers
For what ails these corrupt, there is no cure

For Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael
Civil war parties with only one aim
Everything in Ireland is for sale
our common wealth, our hopes, dreams and desires

dreams that they, have long denied
Dreams of dead martyrs, they have failed
As with the greens they plot and scheme
In the septic isle ,dead babies still scream

As Fianna Fáil, and Fine Gael
Set out their stall,hear them call
Two soulless whores, Two cheeks of the same arse,
See them embrace and dance in this, a Machiavellian farce

Denis Kelleher


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


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Leo, You’re Right.

I’m not worth 350 a week,
how did I end up in a call centre
with scholarships and university degrees.

My friends are the same,
work in pubs, cafés, one has a PhD
and he holds the door open at BTs.

I’ve a few bob in the Credit Union
if you need a lend, I’m only paying rent.
Given up insurance, mortgage, having kids.

Listen, if you’re looking for someone
to write your next speech, I’ll do it for free,
us artists love that kind of thing.

Molly Twomey


Previously: Eamonn Kelly: Free Money Walks, Bullshit Talks