Tag Archives: Poetry

Kevin L Higgins writes:

Taken aback by your news but understand the reasons. Since I’ve been around a lot longer I have always been amused by a namesake [the esteemed Kevin Higgins] publishing poetry..The joke is that as a nipper I dabbled. Here is something well-aged as my send off…

I walked into a Dublin Pub (1969)

I walked into a Dublin pub
To silence a thirst from Dublin streets
Steeped in atmosphere
And literary décor
Plastic bark from plastic trees
And in the corner suppin’
The best from James’ Gate
A genuine jackeen, called Joxer
The bloody tourist’s dream.

Kevin L Higgins

Earlier: Kevin Higgins: Avoid Causing Offence

Pic via Rare Irish Stuff

Kevin writes:

A poem I wrote specially to include in our census form, in the section where you were invited to pen a message which will be opened in a hundred years time.

Not To Be Read Until 2123

Things abolished by their own internal discrepancies
since I typed this:

my friend Trevor who insists nothing ever changes;
the European Union;
videos of Cliff Richard dancing on YouTube;
what we used to call society,
which at this point is mostly
vaccination programmes and the military;
Facebook, Twitter, and the Episcopal Church;
the United States’ eastern sea board;
and all references anywhere to Chiang Kai-Shek;
the British Broadcasting Corporation;
the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
and, in all likelihood, the north Atlantic;
all evidence of Noel Edmonds;
though the EastEnders’ Christmas Special
will continue to be shown
in abandoned hospital waiting rooms,
nobody will be there to not watch it;
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
the print media, the Saudi Royal Family,
and all the people
I pretended to be;

now you’ll have to look them up
on whatever Wikipedia is called these days,
if indeed the internet.
not to mention the world,
still exists.

Though in our time these
were of great importance,
and we used the word always
when speaking of them.

Kevin Higgins


Ukrainian refugees arrive in Poland this week

Riddle of Reality

Did you know the internet use to be a fun place for watching animal videos?
Instead of watching humanity’s real time demise.
I sit and I scroll through Facebook.
No longer laughing at family anecdotes.
Rather I’m watching this game of chess play out between our world leaders.
The bayonet sings,
As little toy soldiers stain the ground.
History awakened in a denied collective crime.
It started with a virus but it’s ignorance that clogs our veins.
Photographs on my timeline that capture a horror no worse than Stephen King.
Peace menaced by a tyrant.
I can not comprehend this.
Make sense of the senseless.
Reality is a riddle.
The muppets in power continue  this masquerade of sagacity.
I question their sanity.
Everyday this delirium grows.

Aoife Cunningham

Previously: Aoife on Broadsheet


Tanaiste and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar (left) with Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin

Aren’t You Just Great?

Aren’t you just great?
with your throwing of crumbs,
simply washing your hands
with the lies off your tongues

Cry you can’t interfere
for ’tis just not your place
but you’re all wrapped together
in a fiscal embrace

Which hand washes the other?
where one ends, one begins
simply backing each other
absolving your sins

Say that you serve the people
’tis “their will we obey”
on things that are needed
you obstruct and delay

Keep lining your pockets
status up millionaire after duping those people
who voted you there.

Mathiese Butler

Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews

Thanks Terry Rickard

The New Regulations

In the future, which begins
yesterday, everything will be obligatory.

The yellow alerts for weather, terrorism
and infections have all gone orange.
You could be arrested for being in possession of
not enough antibodies.

Everyone is in favour of this,
except random mad women and their bovine husbandoids
who won’t be allowed cross the county boundary
to buy a second-hand jacket for their greyhound,
without showing a smart-phone photo
of a recent orificeoscopy,
and DNA evidence
the uploaded orifice belongs to them.

This is a future in which everyone
gets to be a special detective
at least thirty seconds a day,
and stand there sniffing:
are they? Aren’t they?

From the cut of that old coat,
probably not.

Kevin Higgins


From top: Kevin Higgins and the offending poem

Last night.

Galway poet Kevin Higgins is officially expelled from the UK Labour Party for his poetry.

That’ll learn him.

Fran Cassidy writes:

‘This poem below is in remembrance of my beloved dad who’s seventh anniversary was yesterday. It is a memory of being with him when he received his terminal diagnosis ten years ago – an experience that will strike a chord with some I’m sure. There is no need for condolences as it is a long time ago and no longer raw so it’s just offered as a piece of writing. He was a wonderful dad who did all he could for us and he loved us very much despite my wildness as a young fella…’

Hit Him A Punch Franner

The consultant speaks behind a desk
backlit by a shaft of sunlight
his face a murky gloom
and we are nodding and feeling
as if we have been here
for a very long time

He steeples his fingers
and suddenly too late
I have an urge to stop him
because maybe
if it is left unsaid

“I have to tell you that it is inoperable”
the consultant delicately intones
and a solemn silence falls

Dust shimmers in the gleam of sunlight
a bird warbles outside
I wait for my father to respond
but he is looking at the floor

“Do you understand?”
the consultant asks eventually
his voice solicitous

“I think so”
my father says

“We need to process it”
I say

And we stand up

“Thank you, thank you”
we say

I walk to the door and open it
But it is the wrong door
a broom cupboard
a dead end

“Sorry, Sorry”
we say

“May God bless you”
I hear the consultant whisper

I don’t believe in the God
that my father does
but either way
we say nothing

We walk the length of a corridor
and sit side by side
at a coffee vending machine
looking straight ahead

“I’m not afraid of dying”
my father says
“I’ve had a good life”

“We’re not there yet dad”
I reply

“We’ll have to tell your mum”
he says

In a daze we head for the car

“Will we drive to the sea?”
I ask

“Do” he says

When we are approaching the harbour
I can see the ferries on the horizon
but the car must have been drifting
because I am startled
by a furious beep behind me
so I pull over
and the thwarted overtaking driver
stalls beside me
staring aggressively

He has the cut of an off duty Garda
and I am in the wrong
but instead of acknowledging my transgression
I glare back
because I really am
in no fucking mood
for his shit

“What’s your problem you fucking prick”
I mutter through the glass
as anger and self pity course through me
and I imagine how he will feel
when he realises that he has started a fight
with somebody who will truly relish it
and who’s father is dying of cancer

We’re locked in eye contact now
and my foolishness is dawning on me
but I am not backing down

“Hit him a punch Franner”
my father says
breaking the spell
and it is so out of character
from a man from whom
I have never heard a violent sentiment
that I turn to him shocked
but his eyes are shining
with something that looks like mirth

“Hit him a punch Franner”
he says again
and we both explode with uncontrollable laughter
the likes of which we have never shared before
because we know that despite our differences
we are peaceable men
not inclined to fighting
and mine is a cathartic slightly mad laughter
with snot and tears
and as the other driver pulls off
confused probably
our laughter eventually subsides
and I wipe my eyes
and turn the car
and we head for home.

Fran Cassidy

Illustration via DesignCorrall

Different Class

I started school when I was four
A uniformed wee man
By age eighteen I’m out the door
An exam and a dim life plan.

In between were books and lessons
Bullies, friends and rules
Teachers, sports, detention
The parts that make up schools.

Miss Taylor was my favourite
She looked a hundred and three
She was prob’ly in her fifties
Ancient then to me.

A kind and patient lady
Grey hair tied in a bun
Strict concerning lessons
With a smile suggesting fun.

McGee was the maths teacher
We didn’t get along
Not personally, you understand
Just all my sums were wrong.

I don’t recall the others
With any great emotion
Perhaps somehow I picked up
On their lack of real devotion.

Mullins, Carthy, Whelan
And Collins all in trouble
“Sketch” here comes old Duffy
To your desks lads, on the double.

Bag hanging off your shoulder
The homework laid out square
The weight of an Aran boulder
“Aw come on Sir, not fair”.

We’ll do it in the morning
In the yard or before the bell
First up is Mister Clancy
The Irish class from hell.

“Can any of you tell me
The Irish word for horse?
The answers in your notebooks
Now boys it’s on the course”.

A half-day off on Wednesday
For soccer or rugbai
Unless you had a sick note
Then you won the lottery.

Weekends and summer holidays
Christmas and Easter time
Register less intently
Than the nine o’clock bell chime.

Perhaps that’s why I hear it
As I walk in through the gate
As St. Martin’s Boys maths teacher
I prefer not to be late.

Brian Conlon

Brian is “a Dubliner living abroad”. Born and raised in Glasnevin. His first love is writing “but we all know how that doesn’t pay the bills!”. His work can be read here.

Pic via Young Ireland by Jack Manning

Business-As-Usual Undresses The Nation

Pandemic ended Thursday
when I sniffed ket off your tits
and shouted ‘’giddy up bitch’’

we’re again trying to gain Leo’s respect
so let’s get up on that Monday morning
and hit it harder than a body
hits the bottom of a k-hole
none of this free medicine,
right to housing,

none of that now
back at it again,
capitalism is friend

if we live stream the vulture funds
slapping Micheáls arse in the backroom
(at lunchtime of course)
we can increase revenue by fifteen percent,
open the jaws of the landlords
and get them to regurgitate that again,
(à la baby bird)

this circulated money
fifteen times reseen
but never heard of
or wrote down
just miraculously
moved around
will benefit you
normal people

exactly like the show, yes,
now back to work little labourers,
no talking between yourselves.


beam is a 26 year old poet. She has participated in workshops led by Kevin Higgins, read at Galway City’s Literary Organisation event called Over The Edge and has been published in Cabinet Of Heed, ImpspiredLothlorien Poetry JournalSpilling Hot Cocoa Over Martin Amos, Open Skies, WordCityLit &Ink Sweat and Tears. Recent work includes; surviving the pandemic and several disappointing sourdough loaves. You can find more of her poetry @personalbeam on instagram.


Gorse fires smoulder in Howth, county Dublin last July


The Earth is scarred.
by our constant digging.
The drums of war.
The echo of pain.
I have come to realise that
we, humans,
Camouflage our shame.
We have a religious-shaped hole
in our hearts.
There won’t be a eulogy
for this lie we call
Shrinking wages.
While expanding profit.
Preaching peace,
With grenades in our pockets.
The poverty in our economy,
Most of us are afflicted with this blindness.
A land painted red,
By the political artist.
the remaining trees bore witness
to the stares of man’s darkness.
Our parasitic consumption
scars the skin of our planet.
With our sons in caskets
buried beneath the foundation of sorrow.
The consequence of pollution
threatens tomorrow.
The regression of our progression
shows that man is a disease.
Drifting through time,
Swallowed by adversity.
Life is a trial.
We are the judges.

Aoife Cunningham

Previously: Walking To Their Own Tune
Sylvia’s Mothering
Choosing Recovery
Leading Me Home
In My Element
A Path Made Of Thorns
Memory Storage
Wings Of Wardship
Running Out