Irish Liberal Foresees Own Enduring Relevance, a poem by Kevin Higgins.
My words are smoother than the essential oils the Taoiseach last week had his parliamentary assistant rub into his badly traumatised buttocks. My psychotherapist insists half the people who’ve taken shotguns to their own heads, during this recession, would’ve reconsidered, if only they’d heard me talk for an hour each week about the dangers of Sinn Fein, or how I live in the hope of a woman Pope.
I’m all for the good people of middle Ireland making their point in a dignified manner with china cups of nothing stronger than tea in their hands. But when thugs from the far parts start burning vans and generally acting as if they owned the place; and gurriers from the depths begin picking up bricks and tossing words so terrible, they’re not even in the dictionary, at the Minister for Poverty’s hair-style. (How would you like your wife, sister, great grandmother, kidnapped in her car for two and a half hours?)
The world will not be changed by fools banging on the bonnet of a BMW. But by the likes of me talking against social exclusion in TV studios. And fundraising concerts organised by former pop-stars. And the well-meaning priest with whom I regularly have dinner; between the two us we’ve enough concern for the poor to construct a second Fergal Keane of the BBC, as a back-up in case the existing one breaks.
Trust is us. Pay no heed to the sweary-mouthed crowd, who if they’re not put back where they belong will soon be eating pot noodle from scooped out skulls confiscated from their betters in defiance of international law. By the likes of them, the world must not be changed.
Kevin Higgins’s poetry features in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Ed Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010) and in the recent anthology The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Edited by Neil Astley, Bloodaxe April 2014). The Ghost In The Lobby (Salmon, Spring 2014) is Kevin’s fourth collection of poems. Kevin’s blog is http://mentioningthewar.blogspot.com