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The voice that once

rid my world                         of custard

Kevin Higgins

Kevin Higgins is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway City. He has published four collections of poems:  Kevin’s most recent collection of poetry, The Ghost In The Lobby, was launched at this year’s Cúirt Festival by Mick Wallace TD. His poems also featuresin the anthologies Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and in The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe May 2014).  His poetry was recently the subject of a paper titled ‘The Case of Kevin Higgins: Or The Present State of Irish Poetic Satire’ given by David Wheatley at a symposium on satire at the University of Aberdeen; David Wheatley’s paper can be read in full here

The case of Kevin Higgins 

Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews, was published by Salmon in April, 2012.  Kevin’s blog is . 


I am not yet three years old

in a country on the verge of Edward Heath;

she’s pushing me up

what must be Burnt Oak Broadway. Her voice

my News at Ten, my shipping forecast,

my quarterly report from the Governor

of the Bank of England. All

I have to go on.


I am six years old, don’t

want custard anywhere near my slice

of school dinner apple pie. She tells teacher.

From that day on custard keeps

its yellow sliminess to itself. Her voice sweeps

about the place ridding my world

of custard and other lesser evils.


I am twenty, thirty, forty something.

A same but different voice

catastrophic down a telephone line

before nine o’clock in the morning,

announcing the end of the world

because that’s when

the world ends.


It is yesterday morning.

I’ve heard it all before. But now

the wolf has come;

as I speak, is eating her left lung;

and she has no other song to sing. Soon

the others will invade by land, sea and air

with their big saints’ faces, their flapping hands

and exclamation marks; make me look

like a concentration camp guard

with my things to do list

for the woman who once

swept about the place ridding

my world of custard

and other lesser evils. To whom

the wolf has come. 

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