from Issue #3: Poetry by Iggy McGovern

Photo (CC) Vladimir Agafonkin @ Flickr

Photo (CC) Vladimir Agafonkin @ Flickr



And all through the house
Play up, play up and play the
Game of cat and mouse

Rattle your bling-bling
For all you are worth; a cat
May look on a king

The wheat from the chaff
Is easier than trying
To make a cat laugh

It is a Field Day
For the well-read field mouse
When the cat’s away

Lies, damn lies and stats;
What would be the first choice of
Nine out of ten cats?

Those little white lies
Dotted along the white line
Are just the cat’s eyes

The Dalai Lama’s
Unlikely to believe he’s
The cat’s pyjamas

The fan hits the crap
As next door’s wee dog’s head is
Stuck in the cat flap

Have a right good gawk
At the skin and fur flying
Along the catwalk

Ere you hoist the sails
Always remember to pack
The cat o’ nine tails

When you have been stung
Into sullen silence, has
The cat got your tongue?

Leaving windswept bogs
For any country where it’s
Raining merely dogs


The Mystery Sound

No, it’s not the start-up tone
of a mobile phone,
nor chalk being scored
across a school blackboard,
nor the scrape of a half-door
on a cottage flagstone floor,
nor the high-speed drilling
of a dental filling,
nor the mating-call
of the (never heard of it!) quetzal,
nor (though it’s close) the opening note
of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
No, nobody got this one
but that’s all part of the fun!
The answer was… a human scream
– one of mine, it would seem.
Call us if you find that sordid.
This programme was pre-recorded.



Iggy McGovern was born in Coleraine and lives in Dublin, where he was Professor of Physics at Trinity College until retiring recently. He has published three collections of poetry, The King of Suburbia (Dedalus Press 2005), Safe House (Dedalus Press 2010) and the new sonnet sequence A Mystic Dream of 4, based on the life of the mathematician William Rowan Hamilton (Quaternia Press, autumn 2013). Awards include the Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry and the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award for Poetry. Iggy edited the anthology 2012: Twenty Irish Poets Respond to Science in Twelve Lines