Tag Archives: Poetry

Seven Point Manifesto for Irish General Election 2020

(after André Breton & Sean Canney)

We, as a party, cater for both
those who get it up
early every morning and those
who couldn’t be bothered.

Children under the age of eight
whose parents insist
on smoking in bed
will all be given fire extinguishers
so they can personally
put their parents out.

Your psychosexual malfunctions
are my policies.
We will make sure
there is sufficient
discreet parking
by Merlin Woods and at
Silver Strand
so you can do
what you want,
when you want,
to whom you want
for as long as it takes to reach
your version of mais oui!

The Angelus will no longer be broadcast,
replaced by one minute videos
of Shane Ross being tickled to death
by a variety of giant feathers.

Under our National Broadband
Peripheral Areas Plan
young black men will be piped
into the writhing minds
of mountain women
and elderly farmers
in the west Kerry Gaeltacht.

We will keep the pokey nose of government
out of people’s private business,
make it legal for tenants in arrears
under the age of twenty five
to pay their landlords quid pro quo,
as long as they use a recycled
plastic cup as protection.

The long term unemployed
and homeless people
who make themselves too fucking obvious
will be chased around
Malahide Cricket Ground
by seething greyhounds
who’ll be rewarded
with free Bloody Marys
and wild applause
at the club house

Kevin Higgins


Derry, Northern Ireland in October 2019

Tiocfaidh Do Lá

Dear great-uncle-in-law in Larne,
who secretly thinks people should cease picking on the poor
Duke of York. You punched the air so vigorously
the night Doris Johnson won his victory and proper
order was temporarily restored that your wife was about to
speed-dial the cardiologist when you finally drifted
on your latest new sofa to your recurring night fret: how will
the united Ireland the papers say all this
makes more or less inevitable
pay for my pension?

Short answer: it won’t. Though worry not,
there’ll be plenty of gainful work
for buck-eejits like you: painting road-signs in Irish
in the likes of the Shankill and Ballymoney with the giant
can of extreme green spray paint
that will be provided.

Your induction day task,
that first Monday morning, to daub
Liam of Oráiste* on the statue
of King Billy at Carrickfergus
under the bespectacled eye
of a trained Gaelgeoir, there to ensure
you restore – though a few centuries late – the fada
they stole off the ‘a’ in ‘orange’.

Kevin Higgins


* Gaelic translation of William of orange

Pic: Getty

Another Girl, Another Planet

The forests aren’t on fire on Planet B.

Sea temperatures aren’t higher on Planet B.

We can gaze on at our navels on Planet B.

There’s no need for reappraisal on Planet B.

The air’s fresh as you like on Planet B.

There’s no need to ride a bike on Planet B.

The wildlife is surviving on Planet B.

Terns and hedgehogs all are thriving on Planet B.

Each Christmas it’s still snowing on Planet B.

Let’s keep on the way we’re going on Planet B.

There’s the merest, slightest hiccup on Planet B.

A tornado in a teacup on Planet B.

The scientist are lying on Planet B.

And the coral isn’t dying on Planet B.

There’s no reason to rewild on Planet B.

Thunberg’s just a foolish child on Planet B.

Alan Murphy

Greta Thunberg ‘There Is No Planet B ‘Hoodie

Coats left for the needy last week  on Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin and later removed by Dublin City Council for causing ‘congestion’

Zip It

We ask you to kindly halt
leaving your parkas and jackets
to warm the homeless

for we cannot have tourists
distracted from their whiskey
lattes and Aran jumpers.

They’ll stop taking selfies,
we’ll have nothing left
to post on Lovin’ Dublin.

We have given your coats
to Oxfam for students
to buy, resell, repay their loans.

Your woollen hats and mittens
are a real congestion issue.
People are bumping

into each other like scabies
on a child’s elbow.
If they really want a home,

they’d apply for the HAP
scheme on their iPhones.
Look, we can’t build more shelters

or estates, we just gave 23 million
to a rafting course; kayaking,
water polo. We don’t mind

stags and hens pissing
down Camden’s Place, snorting
coke off Molly Malone’s tits.

At least they’re not setting up
tents like whack-a-moles
outside the church,

making it hard to stomach
our tuna melts. Feeling guilt
when we tuck in

the bathed skin of our children
under plastic moons
and glow in the dark stars.

Molly Twomey

Previously: I’ll Get Your Coat

Poet Colette Colfer

Ode To The Y Chromosome

(After David C. Page)

Picture a sun the size of a crumb
Bright yellow, translucent, the sphere of the ovum
In its nucleus heart are strings strung with beads
Making 23 chromosomes carrying coding for genes

A wriggly sperm reaches the egg, breaches its skin
It’s also carrying 23 strings
Their contents combine, a cocktail shake, a cellular fusion
A throw of the dice landing code for a human

The chromosomes are paired up as life-long lovers
One from the father and one from the mother
Each pair matches in pattern and size
Unless the X chromosome is paired with you – Y

You are only present in roughly half the population
And exist as the result of an ancient mutation
The 23rd pair is where you reside
Y do I love you, Y oh Y

You’re the only one who goes it alone
Out of all of the 46 chromosomes
The others all match in homologous pairs
So their genes in meiosis can cross over to be shared

Instead you’re mismatched with the magnificent X
And in germ cells you’re in sperm cells, never in eggs
If you were paired with just a Y the cell couldn’t survive
But your pairing with the X means you can’t recombine

So you alone out of all chromosomes
In cell division to haploid result in a clone
So the Y of the father is the Y of the son
And the father’s own father also had the same one

That Y can be traced to Africa, to scientific Adam
And every generation since Adam has had ’em
But your roots go back further to our reptilian phase
When you split from the X and went separate ways

Back when we were reptiles our offspring were eggs
It was incubation temperature that determined our sex
But you underwent a mutation with the SRY gene accretion
And took control of sex control for no apparent evolutionary reason.

You’ve been around and evolving for 300,000,000 years
And now some are saying you’re about to disappear
I’m here with this ode, I’m defending your honour
Against those who’re predicting that you are a gonner.

It’s true you’re short and stubby, a third the size of the X
Under a microscope you’re bushy while the X is like a hedge
You’ve been shrinking as a result of hundreds of gene deletions
But your acquisition of the DAZ gene was relatively recent

It’s unfair the way you’re depicted as a joke in cartoons
You’re the only chromosome who is ever lampooned
No, you don’t have genes for TV channel flipping
for reading on the loo, loud farting or spitting

There isn’t a gene for air guitar
For identifying aircraft or an obsession with cars
You go deep – to the molecular level
And when you’re present you’re ubiquitous in the body that’s assembled

You do carry the coding for the scrotum and the testes
And also for the penis which is surely the best bit
It can switch in just an instant from being flaccid to an erection
A daily living metaphor for death and resurrection

Some think your function is limited to the reproductive tract
But this idea is a fiction, it isn’t a fact
You’re in charge of spermatogenensis and you’ve cell-housekeeping genes
You play a role in the body’s health and susceptibility to disease

For example you’ve no hereditary protection against haemophilia or colour blindness
and your presence means a lesser chance of rheumatoid arthritis
The fertilized egg, the founding cell, is the printer for 10 trillion cells
With instructions for organ construction and for how they function as well

It’s not true that all humans share 99.9% of their genomes
That’s only true for those with the same 23rd pair of chromosomes
Bill Clinton’s code is 98.5% the same as a XY chimpanzee
That’s the same similarity he has to his XX wife Hillary

In the East you are worshipped in giant sculptures of the erect phallus
In the West we have the limp appendages of David and Adonis
I think we should celebrate you with an ithyphallic God called Y
Y I do love you Y oh Y

Colette Colfer


Free tonight?

Colette will give the first live performance of Ode To The Y Chromosome at Spokes poetry and open mic at Phil Grimes, Waterford City, County Waterford at 8pm.

Previously: Colette Colfer: How Do I Know?

Thanks John Gallen



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


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