Kenneth Hickey – Hades

Kenneth Hickey LEP&W V4 Dec 2022

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Four December 2022.

Hades, poems by Kenneth Hickey.


The stone is broken.

The Irishman’s house is his coffin

He will tell you the sad fate of his comrades in arms
If anyone cares to hear
The morning mists sting like the gas of Ypres
As the slow nights and days pass sorrowfully by
Escaped Dunkirk by his bootstraps
As wind in dry grass
They all feared the gas
Sunlight on a broken column
Still standing so solemn
The dead
Here the stone images
Are raised
To all of those who were so brave
Lying silently in the grave
This is how the world ends

No prayers nor bells
But still the echoing guns
The holy glimmers of good-byes
For all the mothers who have cried

He lies still in Irish clay
And listen to what people say

The poem is a broken stone. Made of fragments of the old and new


She is no longer, in general, deserving of praise.
That was the general consensus.
In fact, had she not done only what was expected of her?
And no more?
What is praiseworthy in that?

The flowerbed in the square is beautiful.
In the morning she weeds and waters,
Teasing the pale petals to song.
Small children dance before it
on sunny afternoons.
But she is an old woman now.
What else has she to do?


noun; a plot or scheme

The old red wine pen scratches still
across the empty bread white page
body of Christ
He searches for meaning
stumbles for truth
The machinations of petty politicians
Vote early, vote often
Do not concern him
There is a higher power
A holy truth
Denied three times by the crow’s call
Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?
Lead the chosen people as they wandered through the sands
You will suffer for your sins
Touches the holy black stone
The sacred house
There is nothing to say
Of race, of sex, of Fuhrers, of news
All chalk signs scratched on the wall
Washed away by inevitable rains
Only elemental brick remains
Whispers in the wind
A thing of nothing
And still he listens for the gasp of God
The sign upon the Sun
For history is done
The end has begun
They lay their crowns before the throne and say
Move on move on
Nothing more to see
You’ll get all your truth from the BBC

And darkness fell over all the land

© Kenneth Hickey

Kenneth Hickey was born in 1975 in Cobh, Co. Cork Ireland. He served in the Irish Naval Service between 1993 and 2000. His poetry and prose has been published in various literary journals in Ireland, the UK and the United States including Southword, Crannoig, THE SHOp, A New Ulster, Aesthetica Magazine and The Great American Poetry show.

His writing for theatre has been performed in Ireland, the UK, New York and Paris. He has won the Eamon Keane Full Length Play Award as well as being shortlisted for The PJ O’Connor Award and the Tony Doyle Bursary. He was shortlisted for the Bournmouth Poetry Prize in 2022. He has been selected for the Poetry in the Park project and has been awarded a poetry mentorship by Munster Literature Centre. His work in film has been screened at the Cork and Foyle Film Festivals.

Kenneth holds a BA and MA in English Literature both from University College Cork. His debut collection ‘The Unicycle Paradox’ was published by Revival Press in November 2021. He still resides in Cork.

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