Features

Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Features

By Kevin Higgins

after Carolyn Forché

 

Beamed into one’s living room via satellite,

or framed in syndicated photographs

on the quality papers’ foreign pages, even

their black or missing front teeth

have a strange beauty.

 

The shanty town dwellers of La Paz,

in their hand woven red and green ponchos,

carry themselves in a fashion

which puts to shame the post office queue

scraggy mother of two,  with change

in her slovenly wallet for lottery tickets,

but not shampoo.

 

Nothing against the locals.

But even the skeletal colosseum cats have a grace

which the one I ran over on my way

to this morning’s Amnesty

International meeting absolutely lacked.

 

The ongoing pain of the Yazidi women

and the entire Choctaw nation (every generation)

is best struggled with over a fair trade salad

in one of the more radical tea shops

on Sandymount Strand.

 

In comparison, one admits,

our local Others – with their dole

day drunkenness, and lack of imagination

which has seen them prosaically wander the roads

these past thousand years – just

don’t cut the whole grain mustard.

 

When they start mouthing Civil Rights

and municipal water cannon, or

police batons get over enthusiastic

on their irresponsibly positioned skulls,

people like me will feel forced to pass by

on the other side, checking our messages

for pictures of unfamiliars being

deliciously maltreated

anywhere else.

Features, Human Rights, International

The teenagers we shot yesterday

were shot responsibly through the eye

with plain-speaking dum-dum bullets,

manufactured in Fife, or taken down

with SR 25 sniper rifles flown

heroically in from Orange County.

Many of these so-called protestors

specifically arranged to be shot in the back,

just to make us look bad.

 

The gas canisters our people threw

were entirely rational, and legal,

like the Boer firestorm the kaffirs

brought down on themselves at Sharpeville,

or the best-of-British ambush

that rubbish walked into at Derry.

 

The one rogue canister which lost

its mind and finished up in a tent

beside an eight month old baby,

who, sadly, also expired, is currently under investigation

and expects to be cleared of all wrong doing,

unlike the baby who we’ve already found guilty.

 

There is no such thing as Palestinians.

Just some Arabs who used to live here

and think they still do.

The keys they wave in the air

no longer open any doors.

They are a rumour you foolishly believed,

now we’ve moved our eternal capital

to what used to be

their front room.

17-5-2018

KEVIN HIGGINS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Forgetting

Apr
2018
10

Features

The minute I’m appointed Minister

for Justice, Broadcasting, and Espionage,

I’ll send forth a decree

making it criminal, and punishable

by being made sit forever

on a bus that never leaves

Kinnegad, to make any further mention of

Miriam O’Callaghan.

It will be an offence

to download any part of Miriam O’Callaghan

from the internet.

Furthermore, any computers or

smart-phones found to contain pictures

of Miriam O’Callaghan

will be broken up

by care-in-the-community

lunatics with specially made

hammers my Department will

provide them with.

The Armed Response Unit will begin

raiding houses known to contain back issues

of the RTE Guide disfigured

with her image.

 

It will be a crime even

for you to read this poem,

or, technically, for me to have written it.

If reading this poem in the printed version

be sure and eat the paper it’s written on

and that all of it has passed successfully

through your digestive system

bcfore you’re arrested.

 

KEVIN HIGGINS

The Great Trade Up

Jan
2018
25

Features, Uncategorized

 

It is written that the traditional,

wind-blown, mongrel

who herded us of old

would be traded in

for the one who calls himself

Lion; is in the gym

every a.m. by six, furiously

admiring his pelt

of pure gold.

 

That a man whose political base

was two elderly brothers who both ate

their excessively buttered spuds

off the same cracked plate

to save on the washing up;

would make way for a guy

who eats his artisanal

cauliflower and pickles

off a bespoke slate

his assistant happily carries

everywhere on his behalf.

 

And when the word was made reality

the people and their gods

saw it was progress to be rid

of a rural accent best suited

to pub chat about the match

between Galway and Mayo

and before this progress

we bowed and gave thanks.

 

Far better that next time the person in charge

is forced to broadcast from his (or her) life boat

to tell us that, sadly, we’re all dead,

it be done by one who in the womb

was already solving complex accountancy conundrums;

whose first words were “team of management consultants”

when, about half an hour ago,

he emerged to general applause.

KEVIN HIGGINS