All posts filed under: Blasphemies

“Treatise on Uselessness” by Kevin Higgins

Treatise on Uselessness after Rosita Boland Throughout my truly enormous life, I’ve never found a use for gypsies. When one decides to spend the night searching online for a worse deal on one’s house insurance, there’s never a gypsy about to help. Or when one advertises a vacancy for Associate Professor of English at Trinity there’s hardly ever a gypsy around to fill it. Or when the wedding of an Eritrean goatherd and his beloved is in crying need of a cruise missile, there’s never a gypsy available to press the required buttons and later tell the inquiry it was all a terrible misunderstanding. Despite millions ingested by social programmes, we’ve mostly failed to submerge gypsies in the internationally agreed system of an indecent day’s pay for a decent week’s work. Yet the state insists on making gypsies compulsory for those who’d rather never have to speak to one. What practical purpose does it serve for us to continue to try to absorb gypsies into what my late Popsicle -a one time Viceroy of Upper …

Four voices confront the absence of women in Irish poetry

I have endured the scholastic training worthy of someone of learning. I am versed in the twelve divisions of poetry and the traditional rules. I am so light and fleet I escape from a body of men without snapping a twig, without ruffling a braid of my hair, I run under branches as high as my ankle and over ones high as my head, I scrape thorns from my feet (not mine) while I run, I dance backwards away from myself, these rites are quite common among primitive nations, I am seldom admitted into the companionship of the older, the full privilege of the tribe, without them.   By Kathy D’Arcy “A Meditation on Ireland, Women, Poetry and Subversion” at the Honest Ulsterman. There is a narrative gap in Irish poetry that appears to the woman poet, her reviewer, and the poet essayist as ‘absence’, indeed as a type of intellectual privation. That a new generation of women writers are confronting Irish women poets absence from the canon, along with it’s previous attendant tokenism, is …

‘Cry Oceans’ by Mary Cecil

Cry Oceans   Cry oceans and weep the seas Where waves flow over The endless motions of life The swimming perfection that flees   The Armageddon of destruction By all means possible The mechanisation of death The beginning of the end   For whales and tuna to consume The mercury to garnish The insatiable greed to fill The merciless plunderers   To crush and pulp for cattle The wanton waste of the world That flies in the face of God And wilts in the sun   The lonely song of the whale That echoes in silent reproach The albatross that soars Over oceans of emptiness   The flowering coral that dies Blooming in acid The hymn of death Beneath blue heaven   © Mary Cecil, Rathlin Island   ‘Written in protest to the mechanisation of fishing with super trawlers‘ Mary Cecil is the mother of large family and Grandmother to eleven. The widow of Rathlin Island’s famous campaigner, diver, author (Harsh winds of Rathlin) Thomas Cecil. Lover of Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland’s only inhabited island. Mary …

‘Janus- His Mistress Responds’ and other poems by Peter O’Neill

Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus, by Diego Velasquez (1617-1618) For Máire Holmes Through the serving hatch, or silent butler, The Christ is seen at the moment of revelation, While the maid, in the foreground, averts her eyes From the immediate task at hand. The bowl, which is falling from the table, Like a globe, and which has just startled her Is certainly for mixing the ingredients; As the garlic lying temptingly to her side would testify. With it, no doubt, the contents of the mortar; Pepper and the ‘fine spice’ to add to her Dobladura De Carnero – Hercules being Mythologised in the toasted hazelnuts. Circumnavigating the room, bread breaks to thunder clap, And the bowl erupts at the announcement of the returning of the lamb. Dies Solis… An unseen yellow dwarf, over one million KMs In diameter, transforming 620 million mega tons Of hydrogen into helium per second, in a process Of thermo nuclear fusion, generates luminance, Which is transported upon solar winds, Taking eight minutes and sixteen seconds to touch The …

‘Punishment’ and other poems by Mary Kennelly

Punishment   The music woke me up To early morning winter dark. I have been neglectful of my craft These past few months. Now this new dawn is filled With unexpected promise. Before long all those other things I had set before the sound are gone. I am the mad dog Chasing the wild boar of song. I only crave the tune. But ill-use refuses to reward. My words will not be moulded, They jostle and jar and scorn the path My meagre skill sets out. Locked in this struggle, I begin my day with failure, The melody is gone.   Treasure Trove   When she is gone They’ll sort out all her stuff – Clothes and shoes to charity In seemingly endless bags – Jewellery, paintings, ornaments – All divided out or sold – The books, to God knows where. Then they’ll find the box, Her lifelong treasure chest. Inside a silver-plated wedding coin, First locks, first shoes, first teeth, A plastic holy-water bottle, Price intact at thirty pence, Gift from a three-year-old, Home-made …