Tag Archives: Poetry

The Politics of Abstinence

Today begins the great cross and clench
for the Guardian columnist
as her area shuts up shop in solidarity
with people who don’t want to be but are
pregnant in Georgia, Alabama
and places even further from Islington than that.

Tiny flying pickets circle
the entrance to the promised land
with signs that shout:
They Shall Not Pass!
or Dispute On Here.
Though you’d need
a magnifying glass to read them.

So far today, they’ve turned back
the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan,
who, on inspection, was found to be
naked beneath his gleaming white sheet;
a guy called Doug wearing nothing
but a Make America Great Again cap
imported from El Salvador;
some dude she met in college
who used to like to
have his bum lightly chastised
with briars; the professor she once,
at his own request,
fastened to the bedroom door
with strategically placed
black leather belts; and the late
Anita Bryant carrying
what looks suspiciously like
an excessively sized strap-on.

For none shall break this strike
until it’s achieved
the far better ecstasy
of enough people in the internet
exclaiming our heroine’s name.

Kevin Higgins



Fine Gael European Election candidate Frances Fitzgerald (right) and Senator Michael McDowell’s dog (left) that she claimed to have found last Saturday in Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Look What I Found at the Triangle in Ranelagh
after Frances Fitzgerald

One of Shergar’s blinkers,
what looks like John Wayne Bobbit’s willy –
though it could be an orphaned cocktail sausage,
I plan to warm it up later and find out –
the missing postman from Stradbally
a lock of Madeleine McCann’s hair
all Noirin O’Sullivan’s phones
the bones of Amelia Earhart
one of Dr Josef Mengele’s fingernails
what I’m pretty sure was the Loch Ness Monster –
though it may have been a member of People Before Profit –
Ailbhe Smyth’s political integrity
the black box of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
the crew of the Marie Celeste
and the lost city of Atlantis;

phoned the number and returned
them sound and safe to their new owner
Vulture Investments Incorporated of Delaware;
apart from the jokers off the Marie Celeste
who I plan to lock up in Direct Provision
for the next seven years,

and Ms O’Sullivan’s phones
which Garda Special Branch are, as I type,
frantically skipping red light after red light
to deposit permanently at the sweet smelling
end of a vacant slurry tank
somewhere in Tipperary.

Kevin Higgins


Saturday: She Doesn’t Normally Do This

Julian Assange following his arrest this morning at London’s Ecuador Embassy

My Wishes For You

(Dedicated to those who are celebrating the arrest today of Julian Assange, and also to those on the Left who are too cowardly or stupid to speak out in his support)

That your son at Trinity College
may graduate
to become a rogue gynaecologist.
That his brother, the paediatrician,
be suspended without pay.
That your husband be caught
selling wheelchairs that don’t work
live on national radio. And the day

you discover all of the above, may
the traffic wardens, every one of them,
be East Galway Gestapo. May you lose
your winning ticket,
and the gun not go off
when it’s supposed to.

May your reflux be acid
and your bowel be cranky.
May your water forever be cloudy
and the pharmacy be shut.
May the funeral parlour
refuse you,

and the lies you told haunt you
long after the cat
has made a litter tray of your ashes.

Kevin Higgins

Pic: Sky

Earlier: Arrested

John Moynes by Alan O’Regan

Last month, while celebrating 1,500 Limericks a Day from the pen of John Moynes – making him Ireland’s most prolific published poet – we asked you to send your best wishes in verse.

The following each win a copy of John’s debut volume of poetry, Scenes Of Moderate Violence which is published on April 18 (see below).

A prolific poet called Moynes
Picked up his pen and girded his loins
Wrote a Limerick per day
which the ‘sheet did display
and often the reader rejoins!


A prolific poet called Moynes,
Picked up his pen and girded his loins,
“I will shoot from the hip,
and I will not give a jip,”
Said the prolific poet called Moynes


A prolific poet called Moynes,
Picked up his pen and girded his loins,
With each rise of the sun,
He Limericked and spun,
A career from an online sojourn.


A prolific poet called Moynes,
Picked up his pen and girded his loins,
Now that is quite heinous
It’s a pen not a penis
That metaphallic aesthetic of groins.


prolific poet called Moynes,
Grabbed his pen and girded his loins.
He’s the ‘sheet’s five-line-truther,
Forsooth there’s none smoother,
(Though, at times one can *just* see the joins).

Gary Flood

Scenes Of Moderate Violence is the debut poetry collection from John.

Written between 2013 and 2016 it depicts a “world recovering from economic turmoil and then collapsing into fear and despair”. There is also a bit about a time travelling cowboy who can recite two poems at once.

One FREE copy to the first person to spot artist Alan O’Regan’s signature in John’s portrait ( top).

Previously: Poems For Moynes

Earlier: A Limerick A Day

How to Rid Yourself of Election Canvassers

Ask them where they stand on the urgent
need for a Greater Serbia.

Tell them nothing has been right
since the Treaty of Versailles,
for which you hold each
and every one of their kind
personally responsible.

Tell them the council’s been promising
to chop down that tree for the past
twenty five years, six months and two days;
that you’re certain
your next door neighbour is a Satanist,
with dead animals buried under his patio.

Start throwing down chicken feed
to apparently non-existent hens,
and wander about your front garden, chanting
their preferred candidate’s name,
as if in some sort of trance.

If a lady over the age of eighty,
or a child less than twelve,
tell them: no thank you,
you’ve given up sex for lent.
If a middle aged male,
come to the door panting
and red faced, with a semi-clad
woman strategically placed
behind you, and say you have
more urgent business
to which you really must attend.

Tell them you’re pretty sure
your most intimate bits
are an unusual shape,
that you’d like them
to take a look and tell you
what their policy is
in cases like this.

Kevin Higgins


UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove (above) has been touted to replace Theresa May as a possible ‘caretaker PM’

The Thing from Planet Gove

Its handshake is that of a slightly disreputable funeral director.
Its eyes those of an opinionated alligator
that sometimes reviews opera for the London Times.
Its mind is a free trade slaughterhouse, busy
making mincemeat, as cleanly as possible,
of other people’s children, bony old parents
and the occasional small business person
who was just wrong place, wrong century.

But its regular appearances on TV impress
the sort of people who have sexual relations
with their cars. Or their neighbours
cars. The female it dreams of is
Rupert Murdoch’s more withered sister
who lets it stand on its tippy-toes in a tutu
inherited from a former grandmother
who was briefly a dowager Duchess
until the unfortunate headlines
made her true position undeniable.

And it is written in Scripture
that at a time such as this
a thing such as this
would ascend to Earth and give us –
leaving god aside for the minute –
proof of Satan’s existence.

Kevin Higgins

Michael Gove’s allies scheme to parachute their man into No 10 (The Times)

Pic: Getty

Remains of the ‘Castle Folly’ at the former Bessborough Mother and Baby Home

“Maintenance work” began two weeks ago on a stone structure, known locally as the Castle Folly, which backs onto a burial plot on the grounds of the former Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork.

Last month, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation had examined the home’s burial plot but had not conducted a geophysical examination of the site.

Further to this…

Ghost of Castle Folly

I should have left here long ago
I should have gone away
The cloth and gown have torn me down
A sorry thing to say
My walls were tall they kissed the sky
Below they kissed the clay
Evicted by those “Sacred Hearts“
Now I must go away

Hark, listen to those distant sounds
My ancestors in song
Their carriages and sailing boats
Once here have long since gone
Gone off to find another shore
Where they can be and stay
I must be off and follow them
I must be on my way.

Alas when I have reached that land
A far and distant shore
My ancestors will welcome me
And take me in for sure
The news that I relate to them
Will shake them to the core
You tore me down and slaughtered time
My walls they stand no more

John Gibbs

Previously: Meanwhile, At Bessborough

Along the Grand Canal, Dublin 2 during the 2014 Local & European Election

The Little Elections
after The League of Gentlemen and ahead of May’s local contests

Unlike all other candidates,
I’m very much in favour of dog shit;
have it with everything;
am especially fond of the sort produced by
frightened Rottweilers.
I have the energy, enthusiasm and necessary
sexual appetite to properly
service the people behind doors
I’m knocking on locally.
I’m for more traffic jams
and overweight policemen called
I won’t be diverted into talking
about abortion or world war four.
This is a little election for little people.
I’m against nasal congestion
and political reform; have lived locally
for the past half hour.

Our eight year old, Cian,
will support whatever football team
you want him to. I’m against
adverse weather conditions in Salthill;
okay, in theory, with the continued
existence of black people.
I’ve studied transport systems
at Mauthausen, Belzec, Vorkuta; think I know
how to ensure two Ballybane buses
never again come along at once.

Kevin Higgins

Pic by Keith

From the the official State book to commemorate Ireland’s first Dáil 100 years ago

The Poet Geoff writes:

I was asked to write the poem to commemorate the first Dáil in Ireland by The Lord Mayor. It was a real joy and a privilege to have been asked to create for the occasion. I hope you enjoy it. I thought you might like this given the day that’s in it.

The Poet Geoff