Tin Man’s Lament

Tin Man’s Lament


Kevin Higgins




In memoriam Tin Man Ó’Tuathail esteemed

literary critic & political commentator


You weren’t, like others, born

of Babycham and contraceptive malfunction

but emerged fully realised

—someone else’s brilliant idea—

during an editorial conference

of a magazine that went on to be

important; your hands clean

as mild green Fairy Liquid.


Your intellect keen

as the Leaving Cert exam

in which you gave exactly

the answers they wanted in precisely

the accent they were looking for.


Your columns gave

breakfast table weight to the thoughts

of men disappointed

how life has turned out.

You put into far better words

what must ultimately happen

is hardly anything

once again.


Your critique of the armed struggle,

subtle and surprising

as a man in what was once

a white shirt

throwing up in the alleyway

beside Supermac’s,

as the St. Patrick Day’s festivities

reach the only possible

logical conclusion

available to us,

based on the facts.




Bio: Kevin Higgins’s Song of Songs 2:0 – New and Selected Poems will be published by Salmon Poetry in April. His poems have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Independent, and The Daily Mirror. The Stinging Fly magazine recently described Kevin as “likely the most read living poet in Ireland.”

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