Eating Children For Breakfast

Eating Children For Breakfast.


My father clad in number eights

Dug his own drain from the Nissen Hut

Five miles inside a land fit for heroes.

Still in my perambulator

Offspring of the occupation

I like most creatures was a bonny babe

And deserving of more than ration books allowed.

An extra egg

A rasher of bacon

And these from the farm down the the track

Residence of Irelands most wanted terrorist

And the papers tell me

They eat children for breakfast.


Now I am nearly six feet tall,

Ugly, middle aged and running to fat.

I would have been shorter and leaner

If not for the IRA, the welfare state

And my mother’s obsession with fresh food.


And I read about the villains in the papers

And I hear the voices of actors

Speaking the words of monsters on the television and radio

And every image tells me

They are still eating children for breakfast

While reasonable men in clerical grey suits and public school accents

Try to persuade black haired people

To accept a multi-national police force

Thousands of miles away.


Where are the powder blue berets in Belfast and Derry?

Where is the safe haven for the people who fed me in my cradle?

Why can’t I hear their voices?

Why can’t I hear their voices?

Why can’t I hear their voices?




All is in translation.

The scream has been amputated from the source.

It’s like we cannot be trusted with reality.

Like this fragile truth can only be handled by bankers and politicians,

Men who live in the harsh world of international luxury

Like the facts must be left to cool before they are defused

While my father dressed for the country digs his vegetables

And waits for a minor operation

In a land where the heroes are made in Hollywood

And the welfare state is disappearing

As fast as the rule of law he clings to

While others eat children

For breakfast, dinner, tea and supper.


Written in the late nineteen eighties.

Now in the second decade of the 21 st Century it’s the same

situation, different location.

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