I am not really a fanbelt of that predictive text
It’s giving meat loads of grief
I would steal a manuel on how to correct it
If only I was a thief.
I’ve spoken to the staff at the phone shop
Who Canterbury help me with my plight
At one point I threw the phone at them
Saying “take bacon your pile of shite”.
I know I am getting on a bit
And technology is not my thing
But I need a phone that when someone needs me
The bugger will vibrate and ringworm.
The mobiles now are very light
Where as my old phone’s made of stone
I don’t have a camera or any apps
I only use it as a phonebox.
Everything’s typed out in full
No abbreviations or emoji face
Every full stop and comma
Is in the right placebo.
Should I invest in a hands free kitten
For when I am out on the road?
I feel like going back to a more reliable system
Good old morsel code.
Nigel Lloyd lives in rural Donegal and has had poems published in several magazines
From Crannog to Progressive Rock Magazine, he also had a poem featured on
BBC Radio Ulster Soundscapes programme and was a finalist in the
Bring your Limericks to Limerick competition 2018 and a finalist in
The Piano Academy of Ireland Limerick competition 2021.
The bathrooms of Late Capitalism differ
from the bathrooms of feudalism
and the bathrooms of the industrial revolution
in that they exist.
No more throwing it
out into the street
in the hope of hitting the neighbour
you argued with yesterday.
As you depart
the bathrooms of Late Capitalism
the attendant tries to sell you
bottles of your own widdle, jars
of what you worked so hard
to make, labelled Organic.
When they succeed
you feel like you came away
with a great bargain.
The perfect skin cream
for the Father’s Day market
to help them stop withering
in the face of Late Capitalism;
a dressing to drizzle
on your favourite salad
to stop it wilting
in the light of
Late Capitalism; the perfect
pep me up
days you’ve visited the doctor
and been told: Madam,
it’s Late Capitalism.
On your way out
kindly swipe your card
on the relevant part
of the receptionist
and continue to the exit.
Kevin Higgins is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway. He has published five full collections of poems: The Boy With No Face (2005), Time Gentlemen, Please (2008), Frightening New Furniture (2010), The Ghost In The Lobby (2014), & Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital (2019). His poems also feature in Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and in The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe May 2014). Kevin was satirist-in-residence with the alternative literature website The Bogman’s Cannon 2015-16. 2016 – The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins was published by NuaScéalta in 2016. The Minister For Poetry Has Decreed was published by Culture Matters (UK) also in 2016. Song of Songs 2:0 – New & Selected Poems was published by Salmon in Spring 2017. Kevin is a highly experienced workshop facilitator and several of his students have gone on to achieve publication success. He has facilitated poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre and taught Creative Writing at Galway Technical Institute for the past fifteen years. Kevin is the Creative Writing Director for the NUI Galway International Summer School and also teaches on the NUIG BA Creative Writing Connect programme. His poems have been praised by, among others, Tony Blair’s biographer John Rentoul, Observer columnist Nick Cohen, writer and activist Eamonn McCann, historian Ruth Dudley Edwards, and Sunday Independent columnist Gene Kerrigan; and have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Times (London), Hot Press magazine, The Daily Mirror and on The Vincent Browne Show, and read aloud by Ken Loach at a political meeting in London. He has published topical political poems in publications as various as The New European, The Morning Star, Dissent Magazine (USA), Village Magazine (Ireland), & Harry’s Place. The Stinging Fly magazine has described Kevin as “likely the most widely read living poet in Ireland”. One of Kevin’s poems features in A Galway Epiphany, the final instalment of Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor series of novels which is just published. His work has been broadcast on RTE Radio, Lyric FM, and BBC Radio 4. His book The Colour Yellow & The Number 19: Negative Thoughts That Helped One Man Mostly Retain His Sanity During 2020 is just published by Nuascealta. Kevin’s sixth full poetry collection, Ecstatic, will be published by Salmon.
We hope this finds you well
No need to respond
Our letters always start this way
Thank you for your recent correspondence
It languished in our inbox
Growing mouldier by the day
We refer to the issues raised
Certain you will feel heard
By their very mention on this page
And sorry you feel that way
(Add allegation here) without prejudice
The lawyers got their hands on this
Out of an abundance of caution
Very pedestrian steps have been taken
And nothing will change
We can assure you of that
It sounds solid when you read it back
We liked that last line a lot
There are no plans at present
We’ll bend like palm trees in the morning
It’s a fluid situation at the end of the day
As a gesture of goodwill
We hope the enclosed brings no luck
But needs must, court and whatnot
The matter has been referred
Somewhere, someone, head office
That dark hole of corporate resolve
Don’t hesitate to call
If we can be of any assistance
Now piss off pal, jog on
Committed to the highest standards
Is this statement of vague ambition
We like to shoehorn in at the end
(No, you can’t have the manager instead)
Karen Jones is new to writing poetry, a student of Kevin Higgins, and putting her head above the parapet with this first submission. Born in Northern Ireland, she lives in Dublin and works in public relations.
The agony of treading on Lego in bare feet at 3.30am
Dovchenko Bazooka Pants is up in the attic
He’s been there for years
He’s definitely plotting something
Fulfilling all my fears
Dovchenko Bazooka Pants
Is under the bed
I can hear him there sniggering
Trying to get in my head
Dovchenko Bazooka Pants
Hides in a kitchen drawer
Under old lighters and tape
Doesn’t like it there
He says it’s a bore
Dovchenko Bazooka Pants
Is down the back of the sink
For one little minifigure
He’s more active than you think
Dovchenko Bazooka Pants
Is under my foot
It’s 3.30 am
And now sleep is kaput.
Nothing’s worse than toothache.
Nothing’s worse than fleas.
Nothing’s worse than finding
half a maggot in your cheese.
Nothing’s worse than tasting
coffee you thought was tea.
Nothing’s worse than failing
your Maths GCSE.
Nothing’s worse than losing
car-keys down a drain.
Nothing’s worse than choosing
the wrong till, once again.
Nothing’s worse than Christmas
when you wake up with the ‘flu.
Nothing’s worse than birthdays
when no-one’s there with you.
Nothing’s worse than meeting
right person at wrong time.
Nothing’s worse than G&T
without a slice of lime.
You’re right, my dears, for nothing’s
far worse than all of these.
You’ve got one life. Enjoy it.
And stop complaining. Please.
Ama Bolton, former member of The Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun, convenes a Stanza group in Somerset. Her poems have featured at festivals, on Radio 3’s The Verb, and in magazines and anthologies including Bridport Prize 2008. She blogs at
I did wonder as I sipped my morning tea
dark and caffeine free
accompanied by a ginger biscuit or three
it was the crumbs, you see
parent mites with little mites of their own
living on the breadline during Lockdown
but then I thought, of course not
they’d have gorged themselves on me
I know they eat people,
if only by miniscule degrees
but perhaps I could tempt them away
with my ginger biscuit crumbs, flax filled, gluten free.
Trisha has had three pamphlets published by Dempsey and Windle. She is a regular contributor to Surrey Libraries Poetry Blog and has a regular poetry spot on her local radio. Humour escapes from her work regardless of any constraints applied. https://www.facebook.com/Trisha-Broomfield-Poetry-2340859049276291
Here’s one concerning my embarrassment at the conversation I was forced to have with a highly inquisitive and precocious four-year-old boy to which I’ve always told the truth …erm, except in this case. I mean, how does one start?
Angela Merkel, reading Edwin Drood,
Said she liked Durdles the best.
Although she never found how Eddie met his end, And without intending to be rude,
She felt sure Jasper had something on his chest, And was not a faithful friend.
That night in the hookah bar,
It was just like Cabaret.
She played the part of Rosa Budd,
And was certainly a star.
She’d learned all her lines to say,
And looked like Joan Collins in The Stud.
Thus demonstrating that all the world is nothing but a stage,
Whether for Schubert’s Unfinished, Mahler’s 10th, or Edwin Drood performed off the page. That’s the thing about literature and history;
Read all you like — some of it will remain a mystery.
Lately, I have become anxious in Spanish.
Sonia. Trust me, I must keep checking.
Does she really have two jobs, this Sonia?
Clearly someone is certain this matters.
That maybe explains why she’s tired every Tuesday.
After all, she can’t even rise in the mornings at 5,
which I’m told my own Abuelo does daily.
How much does she need other work?
I’m assured that her bosses (Amanda y Ana)
are muy simpáticas. Undeniably.
(I can only assume they’re superiors
in job number one. Name her other employers!
Although I can now order up to 39 beers,
that number of jobs seems extreme).
So, I’m worried poor Sonia’s moonlighting,
perhaps as a tasseled pole-dancer, in a club
owned by inexpressibly sinister figures.
That’s confirmed by el jefe’s grey graphic. He’s mean.
What can Fernanda, her much older sister,
be thinking? She’s always annoyed in her big house,
loving three pretty cats and a dog.
But I’m sure El Señor Perez has noticed.
After all, he’s a man with two desks.
What is he jotting with his red bolígrafo?
Surely that can’t be nothing. We know
he is hungry, though yet again he is eating
his favourite cheese sandwich (no ketchup)
with a café con leche. He never drinks wine.
El Señor Gomez is now part of the scene,
wearing his brand new zapatos.
Don’t be fooled by his boleto from Mexico!
He arrived at the estación de tren!
One Señor Castro claims he is a friend!
No-one has mentioned that this one’s Cubano!
Oh, how I fear for you, Sonia.
Then out in WhatsApp, there is Babs.
She tells me nothing of Sonia, but thinks
she’ll just quit this, then ascend some Via Ferrata.
So she’s switched to Italian, to be shocked
that she’s to survive solely on chocolate ice cream,
which she hates. No beers or wine. That won’t help poor Sonia,
as my voice lisps a much slower Sean Connery.
Beth McDonough is adept at spilling cocoa, particularly after winter swimming in the Firth of Tay, or escaping from a bramble bush whilst foraging. She tries hard not to spill on poetry books, including her own fairly recent pamphletLamping for pickled fish(published by 4Word).