Tag Archives: Poetry

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


Green Party leader Eamon Ryan

A poem ‘dedicated is to all those in the Irish Green Party who think coalition with Micheál Martin might be just the thing to ward off the global apocalypse’.

Common Sense Climbed Out of the TV the Other Night

And sat beside me on the settee,
its shirt white, its manner mild
as an unsugared cornflake.

Confident as a New York Times Op-Ed
written by God.

Thought provoking in conversation
as a dinner party at which
the main course always tastes
suspiciously like Melvyn Bragg.

I could see from its resumé
it was well thought of by those that matter
like a Hampstead charity shop
in which Joan Bakewell
is now available free of charge.

Though it kept trying
to avoid catching my eye,
when it did, the shiver I got
told me it would be supportive,
when the going got hot,
as a crutch made of butter.

Later, it climbed into my computer
where its tweets against the turning world
looked like they’d been typed in the day room
of a care home for former provosts
of Queen’s College Oxford.

It expressed itself with such authority
I had to test its advice by taking it.
And it turned out to be as sensible
as running through a forest fire
in a grass skirt.

Kevin Higgins



Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2

Given my already compromised lungs – I have a condition called Sarcoidosis, about which I contributed this to the Irish Times health supplement, – I have now been told to cocoon which raises many issues, some of them comical…


The advisory booklet says,
because my rubbish lungs
and the compromising position
in which my immune system finds itself
put me among those most likely to expire,
my wife and I must, for the duration,
remain at least one metre apart
and I shouldn’t wander
beyond the front garden
except for my weekly safari
to put out the bins.

If she has an itch,
it’s okay for me to scratch
her back with the sweeping brush
without the written permission
of a Garda Sergeant.

But if she kills me
for talking too much, as she likely will,
the Minister for Justice
has signed an order requiring her
to do so with a twenty eight inch shotgun
(with which she will be provided)
or at the very least a regulation length
Samurai sword. It won’t be pretty.
But neither, the booklet assures me, am I.

Meantime, there are other possibilities:
couples such as us
are still legally permitted
to do things to each other
with a Marks & Spencer cotton dishcloth attached
to what looks like a mop handle;
or by making imaginative use
of a retractable ostrich feather duster.

I worry it could lead
in the long run to her coming
at my most vulnerable bits
with the hedge clippers;
and where would I be then?
Though the cat assures me:
I’m there already.

Kevin Higgins


Sandycove, County Dublin at the weekend

The Other Side

When the frantic world
Is all too much
For your brain

Go into the other side
Of solid things
Poetry filled with sandy beaches
And teacups

Quiet blankets, rivers and monologues
Silent weeping, moon frogs and romance
Floorboards that creak

When the news
Makes you dizzy
With lost breath

Go to the other side
Of history, long lost loves
And the quiet knell of grass, so wise

Rain strewn landscapes
The darkness of night
Littered with stars
And century old bumblebees

Escape for a while
And join us on the other side
Remember why it is
We need to fight

Roberta Cappieri

Lines on the lockdown to broadsheet@broadsheet.ie marked ‘Lines On The Lockdown’


Dublin City centre this morning

The Coming Of The Virus

Where did you come from, when will you go?
You make us sad and sag, like a weary weeping willow
Do we have to suffer, so the world can recalibrate
Is this the final chance, we ask, or are we too late?

Did you come in nature’s way, the Earth to regulate
The few mad men and women who were deciding all our fate
Stripping all our natural wealth, our homes and lands and all
Had you to come, to ensure, those greedy few would fall

Did you come to stop the burning of the Earth
Is your goal to warn us, of the need for our rebirth,
Does the lesson have to be, so terribly, terribly cruel
To stop the greed and put an end, to this global misrule.

Does it have to be so general, the horror that lays in store
Are we all guilty for allowing them, come inside our door,
Should we have been braver and thrown them all back out
Is it because we closed our eyes and didn’t raise a shout

We cannot fight you, with all the arms that we have made
The nuclear button, the aerial bomb or the hand grenade
Must we slow, slow down, and learn the errors of our ways
Did you have to come among us to put an end to all this craze

Are you far into your circle or is there more to go,
Have we destroyed so much, that the lesson must be slow
Is this our ultimate sacrifice , so our children can survive
Is this the final warning, to keep humankind alive

Oh man, woman, boy or girl, no matter where you are
Don’t ignore the signals that this virus spreads afar
There is a chance, that we could dance, once again in love
And pray it won’t be long until, the virus is a dove.

Shay Connolly



I hate when my pen runs out of ink
Way much more than you’d actually think
Scraping the page with invisible print
Time to chuck the damn thing in the bin

I hate institutions that display hypocrisy
And the over reliance on modern technology
Those who drive, when they really don’t need to
Not to mention the footpaths, so full of dog poo

I hate when folk buy more than they need
It’s not precautionary, it’s just plain greed
And idiots who engage in risky behaviour
They annoy me as much as my noisy neighbour

Those who ignore health and safety advice
For their stupidity, we all pay the price
Distance is vital in the supermarket queue
‘Cause if you breathe on me, I’ll breathe on you too

I’ll breathe out fire like an angry dragon
I’ll huff and I’ll puff with all my passion
I’ll send you a minimum of two metres away
Heed those guidelines as of today!

And why is my house constantly untidy?
Despite my best efforts, it always looks messy
I notice my housemates turn a blind eye
When I ask them to help, they refuse to reply

We all live together and we have to survive
I concede they’re only ten, seven and five
But it’s common courtesy to pick up your stuff
I guess I’ll keep nagging and never give up

I can’t even hang out the washing in Spring!
What kind of a country is this we live in?
It’s freezing in March, snowing in April,
Raining in May and all flights are cancelled!

I’m rambling now and inclined to digress
I’ll get back to the point that I wish to address
The thing that enrages me most, I think
Is when my ballpoint pen runs out of ink

Eimear Grace



Lines on the lockdown to broadsheet@broadsheet.ie.

Sunset at Portmarnock, Dublin 13

Ramblings on a park bench overlooking the sea

On a bench by the sea
A man watches waves rise
and dissolve back into the ocean
like humans on earth

His breath condenses
And thoughts rise and dissolve in his mind
As electro-chemical signals pulse through neural networks
Creating pathways in his crackling brain

We are made of recycled matter
that was once a part of other plants and animals
And we comprise ever changing configurations of cells
Through which life and energy flow

This cellular pulse is part of a worldwide continuum
Guided by a common genetic code
Which connects us to the entire history of life
And back to the fusion of hydrogen and helium
At the dawn of time

We are interdependent and belong in the world
And like roots and trees
We are open interfaces
Between inner and outer ecosystems

Thus we are dependent upon essential living viruses and bacteria
That continually permeate our porous skin
And live within and upon us

And we are dependent too upon the delicate symbiotic interplay
Of nature’s self sustaining systems
As forests, rivers, oceans, glaciers and soil
Nourish and maintain us

Photosynthesis is the yang of respiration
Trees and plants recycle our exhaled carbon breath
And we take in air, food and water
And expel energy in heat and waste

Uniquely we also transcend our biological nature
Sharing a world of meaning and value
As waves of sound and electromagnetic energy
Link our neural networks with others

And we have created a virtual web
Where it can be unclear where one mind ends and another begins

And there is a complex physical web
Of industry, technology and systems
As lines, grids, routes and roads
Connect humanity like the veins and arteries of a vast central nervous system
Of cooperative global endeavour.

Our achievements are immense

But civilisations and species have risen and fallen throughout history
And verifiable science shows that we are approaching a crest
Of irreversible tipping points
And the signs are all around
In habitat decline, species loss, melting ice sheets, acidic oceans
Disappearing coral reefs, desertification, tropical deforestation
Water shortages, forced relocation, civil unrest and refugees

Perhaps Ozymandias wears a sharply cut suit
And speaks smoothly of the necessity of the way things are
But if we don’t turn the tide
We risk drowning or being stranded on the shore
For in depleting natural resources
And polluting the earth, the water and the air
We destroy ourselves

The system shock of a global viral pandemic
Has laid bare our fragility and contingency
But it has also shown that new mindsets, behaviours and paradigms are possible

We can broaden our perspective
To see our common humanity in nature
And through global collaboration and solidarity
Decarbonise and regenerate
Rewild and replenish
And use the abundance of natural energy
In the sun, wind, waves and earth

The future of humanity depends upon it
And although it might be unlikely
It’s worth fighting for

But It’s a lot to be thinking about
For a man who’s breath quietly ebbs and flows
On a bench by the sea

Fran Cassidy

Pic by Fran

Of The Coming Plague

I ask nothing
but that I be allowed go out and get it.
Better death than suffer
the interminable sobbing of newscasters,
the grimaces of sweating experts,
and politicians’ elongated
gobs, which keep moving
in the hope the blame
will be stapled elsewhere.

I’ll tour the town’s mortuaries
and kiss on the mouth all the corpses
that died of it. Before you ask: yes,
there will be tongues
which I’m told will feel
like cold, stiff slugs.

And if that doesn’t finish me,
I’ll start breaking into hospitals,
quarantined night club toilets,
the offices of eminent plastic surgeons
to lick clean the soap dispensers
which, by then, will be all out of soap
but alive with the world’s germs.

For, Death, what do I know of you,
never having died before?
You’ve had a terrible press,
but could be victim
of the smear campaign.

Perhaps you’re the best thing ever.
Like the first gulp of Champagne;
or all the orgasms I’ve ever had,
and a few I never managed.

Kevin Higgins