Official Radio One, a poem by Kevin Higgins.
That time of the week
when bachelor farmers decide,
on balance, not to string themselves
up in the outhouse, bravely
switch on the wireless instead;
on Official Radio Marion the defunct
has a few old pals around
for two thrilling hours
of cream tea and general
consensus. Last month
one critic unfairly hissed
that the show increasingly sounds
like the occupants of a mortuary
in one of the more horrible parts
of Donnybrook, each in turn
rising up in ecstasy to second
what the last speaker said.
Today the no longer discredited ex-Minister for Fish
rushes to agree with thoughts the deceased
Professor of Social Work borrowed
from Conor Cruise O’Brien’s
Old English Sheepdog.
A former environmentalist called Tarquin,
with a new special interest in
ecologically unsustainable coffins, mutters
in violent acquiescence with everything said
by the old dear you’d thought long
cremated – her accent still rich with Rathgar –
who these days, it turns out, mostly gets flown
around Africa asking people of the browner variety
what to do with her vast
and flatulent concern for their plight.