Tag Archives: Poetry

Members of the public pay their respects at the grounds where the unmarked mass grave containing the remains of hundreds of infants who died at the Bon Secours mother-and-baby home in Tuam Co Galway from 1925-1961 rests

Purple Violas

Mid January,
Pottering in the garden,
I sit a moment in the noon sun
Deadhead winter violas
Now heavy with seed.
On the radio, there is a state apology
For the institutional abuse,
Of countless mothers and babies,
Vulnerable and unwanted, the unholy,
Treated like dirt,
And I am heartbroken again
For a lie does not become truth,
A Wrong does not become right
Simply with acceptance.

I gather the seed pods from the spent flowers,
Lay them in rows
Along the stone wall to dry.
I will replant these babies,
Nurture them strong
An small offering for every wounded mother
In this country.

Maire Morrissey Cummins


Dublin coast with the Sugarloaf, County Wicklow in the distance

Death Of The Cold

Come come come
Come to me
Into my arms
Crash into my
Cold windswept tears
Salt foam lashed
What sign
What sign
Of the spring?
The death of the old
The death of the old
The death of the old
Come, come, come
Come in now
Before You
Your death
Of the cold

Kevin Barrington

Previously: Kevin Barrington on Broadsheet



A poem by George Cummins.

George writes:

A dark poem and perhaps not what people want to necessarily hear right now, but this is definitely a time that awareness is sorely needed. With the freezing weather, the massive number of homeless currently on the streets of Ireland, and Covid changing how we interact with each other, it’s integral that people are aware of the dangers this is creating for the homeless population.

Deora Dé Fuschia.

Tears of God.

Breeda writes:

Holly Mullarkey, clay artist and poet, has completed her most recent piece to honour Tuam babies and survivors of the former Mother and Baby Homes.

Earlier Holly planned supporting survivors making the teardrop shaped boats in the video above, but Covid19 put paid to those plans.

Undeterred Holly, who worked with Clay Galway in a collective for Galway 2020, set about constructing boats out of clay to represent containers of stories needing to be shared as various groups experiencing marginalisation merged for a performance on Grattan Road Beach in Galway.

Holly’s dedication to the story of the ‘Children of Tuam’ is captured and the poem recalls the lost lives of the 796 babies and children.

Holly Mullarkey

President Michael D Higgins (centre) presents Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Disability Equality and Integration, his seal of office watched by Taoiseach, Micheál Martin at Dublin Castle last June

Kevin writes:

A new poem inspired by President Michael D signing the Mother and Baby Homes secrecy bill. Apart from the bit about the fourth world war, which hasn’t happened yet, it’s more or less a true story.


When you finish reading this poem,
you’ll remember only
the Black Forest Gateaux
I bought you once.

I had no option but to vote for
that tax on women’s shoes
but greatly admired the fight you put up against it;
have kept all the press cuttings,
especially those that took care not to mention me.

As you, me, and the mirror know
I’ve always been a great
pro-choice advocate;
that’s why I spent thirty years
never mentioning the issue.

When I stop talking
all you’ll remember is
the Black Forest Gateaux
I bought you once.

When I signed this bill to keep
what we did to the children secret,
you, me, and my bodyguards know
how vehemently I’m against it.

Trick is: what to remember
and what not,
because of a Black Forest Gateaux
I ordered you once.

The history books are littered with
shit I voted for but was against
in the restaurant afterwards,
as I eyed the Black Forest Gateaux
and thought of you.

And as I explain at length in my book
‘The Art of Statecraft’,
when the Fourth World War descends
and the division bell rings,
I’ll have no alternative but to leap up –
with nothing in my heart but peace –
and, at best, abstain.

As you’re vapourised
you’ll remember nothing
but the Black Forest Gateaux
I fed you once.

Kevin Higgins

Previously: ‘My Department Engaged Extensively With The AG’s Office’

Free December 4?

You are invited…

…To the Zoom launch of poet Kevin Higgins’ new book The Colour Yellow & The Number 19 – Negative Thoughts That Helped One Man Mostly Retain His Sanity During 2020 (Nuascéalta).

To wit

In a mix of poetry and prose, Kevin Higgins takes a darkly humorous approach to finding himself designated one of the “vulnerable” during the year in which plague again stalked the Earth.

He also, as is his way, finds time to drop acerbic comment on the heads of the ungood and the ungreat, and to comment in a fairly unrestrained fashion on world affairs.

This is the ideal Christmas or Birthday present for Irish Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan and for those who, when the time comes, hope to be invited to Kevin’s funeral. It is also the perfect gift for the posh liberal in your life.

The book will be launched by Somatic therapist Aisling Richmond and writer and critic Tomás Mac Siomóin. The MC for the evening will be poet Rachel Coventry.

Join the meeting here (Meeting ID: 738 901 3549) at 6.30pm, Friday, December 4

The Colour Yellow & The Number 19 (Nuascéalta)

Irish-made stocking fillers to broadsheet@broadsheet.ie marked ‘Irish-Made Stocking Fillers’.

Soon to be demolished site of the Oasis nightclub, Salthill, Galway

Kevin Higgins writes:

This is poem is from my 2005 debut collection The Boy With No Face. In it I take a comic look at my mostly unsuccessful attempts at wooing the opposite gender in nightclubs such as The Oasis in Salthill, which is now to be demolished. For the most part, the ladies in question very wisely ran away.

Letter to a Friend about Girls
(after Philip Larkin)

What losers we were when it came to girls.
‘Pull up to my bumper baby, drive it in between’
played soundtrack to the wet dreams
of small, inconsequential fellas, the likes of us.
And we’re talking small on an almost monumental scale.
In duffel coats and awful glasses
we shuffled around the edges of other people’s parties
all through the eighties,
gawking down in the general direction
of our stupid, stupid shoes.
If charisma could be distilled,
ours would have been measured
in somewhat less than millilitres.
So small, we barely existed.

On the rare occasions when opportunity
—the tastiest variety—put herself there
to be availed of and there was nothing for it
but to press the advantage all the way home,
we either failed to spot the most obvious signals
—our radar were useless at picking incoming aircraft up—
or else managed to inexplicably miss.
She grinned through the worst jokes
and was clearly prepared to overlook that duffel coat,
but the score on the board stubbornly somehow stayed zero.
The goal could be yawning wide open
and still the ball would either trickle
pathetically wide or go sailing miles over.
And just what exactly were we supposed to say
as another cut-price night at The Oasis declined
(with no bachelor flat to which she might be lured back)?
“Let’s explore the universe with my last fifty pence piece.
If I empty my pockets perhaps I could stretch as far as a kebab.”

Kevin Higgins

John Lydon

Blaise Gilburd writes:

I am currently studying Creative Writing at NUIG. Recently we had an assignment for which I wrote a poem tackling the sudden onslaught of ex-punks turning to right-wing politics.

Anyways, only this morning did I see the headline saying that now John Lydon of the Sex Pistols has endorsed Trump, so I like to think my poem has suddenly become quite topical. Although I did in fact dedicate it to Tony Parsons of NME fame…

Punk Song

for Tony Parson and the Aged Punk

Don’t stab his eye, just leave it alone,
why make such a big deal of it all?
The kids are too radical, the kids can’t make change,
revolution was so much simpler in the seventies.

Leave out rioting for the trees and the grass
I’ll rock out about this rising carbon tax,
just forget about any slow rising tides
and you know Boris really ain’t so bad.

London’s calling in too many artsy types
who loved this stunting European hole,
too many fell in love with something they shouldn’t’ve fallen in love with,
Jesus there’s just anarchy in the UK.

Someone needs to disarm these crazy ladies
with their wet ass body parts,
when did music get so crude and graphic,
where did all the poetry go?

Fuck those bloody fucking sops,
those big ol’ drifts of snowflakes,
offended by everything we used to say
when there was a good fight to fight.

Three chords was all we needed
to make an absolutely tone deaf song,
now when I rock I’ve Facebook on my lap,
“Thatcher was actually pretty Punk you know”

Blaise Gilburd

Pic: Rex