Paddy Higgins Quarry

Glenn Merrilees By Glenn Merrilees, 6th Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

A true story of a traumatised man who murders his children.


I'll tell you all a story
a tale so dark and sorry
the death of two small children
in Hopetouns flooded quarry.

Paddy Higgins was a labourer
two sons, a loving wife
then one night in nineteen ten
an illness took her life.

Paddy inconsolable
imagine Paddy's plight
he'd fought the war in India
and was haunted through the night.

Paddy at the doctors
but the doctor couldn't see
the suffering of Paddy
we call P.T.S.D.

poor Paddy took to alcohol
to try and help him cope
how could he see his future
at the bottom of a rope.

the three of them now homeless
would wander every street
stolen turnips in their bellies
and dirty shoeless feet.

Paddy oh so lonely
his world was so unjust
two young and needy children
he couldn't earn a crust.

one wet night in November
the children went away
adopted by two ladies
was all that he would say.

the locals never questioned
imagine if you can
Paddy seen as luckless
but quite a decent man.

eighteen months had come and gone
since the boys had gone away
but screams and roars of murder
would rouse the folks that day.

Thomas Duncan was a ploughman
who'd often wandered by
but that day down at Hopetoun
something caught his eye.

he saw something in the water
that pit so dark and deep
first thoughts from a distance
the body of a sheep.

then tThomas he edged forward
the blood froze in his veins
two lifeless little bodies
they were Paddy Higgins wains.

the police arrested Paddy
and took to Calton jail
his plea was his insanity
but that would duly fail.

the jury found him guilty
but for leniency they cried
Lord Johnston showed an empathy
but hands by law were tied.

the second of October
saw Paddy on the treliss
a noose was tied around his neck
killed by hangman Ellis.

a larger crowd than usual
had gathered on that day
awareness of poor Paddy's plight
saw many kneel to pray.

the black flag it was hoisted
to say that he was dead
no drunken crowds crowds frivolity
tears were shed instead.

this raised a new awareness
imagine if you can
to help the poor, the vulnerable,
to aid your fellow man.

did Paddy die for nothing?
was Paddy truly sorry?
did he save the boys from worse to come?
that day at Hopetoun quarry.


Dark, Dark Poetry, Death Penalty, Death Sentence, Murder, Poetry, Ptsd, Real Life, Real Life Stories, Sad

Meet the author

author avatar Glenn Merrilees
I'm a 48 year old scotsman and a mental health awareness activist. I'm also a multi- award winning multi- published (NOT self published) poet. i have read my work at conferences all over Scotland,

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