Poems by Oisin Breen

Pic by Anna Tarazevich



Origin Myths

Those lust plucked melodies,
Sung snug beneath the eiderdown,

                As we titter to each other
                That we are always beautiful

Demonstrate the ink-wet daubs of character,
We leave clinging to our lovers’ skin:

                The marginalia, in which all thought is extant,
                In which all thought is (un)opened.

And this here that we held in our hands yesterday,
It too exists.

And it is here that we used to hunt for fowl,
Where rabbit traps sated hunger with bone-snaps;

And it is here that we tore at each other,
Thirsty for the tiredness resultant of our glutting;

And it is here that we often found more bitter thorns,
Here where the yarrow-stalk grows.

Thus, lamenting the ceaselessness of the waves,
I, of burst eyes,
Dream of the Spideog Cróga.


A Crucible of Honey

It is of a slow beauty that I speak,
Of drakes, beguiled by quaking eddies,
Gushing in a threnody of lightness,
In crystallizing hues:
Reflections of stained glass.

And, as the hollow point of the water rings,
A bell of racing schools,
In slick rainbow porticoes,
Of shook mud and hot algae,
Colours the sun obliquely.

Now the wind rises,
While the kingfisher falls back in its frame to take flight,
While in the rushes, uncertain swans gainsay the tricks of the divining rod,
Gainsay even the reeds themselves.

But still, I find myself solemnizing the russet leaves,
And piously tossed apple cores,
Snatching, therefore, at the depths of me:

For air-
For air-
For air-



Ye prosper ‘midst the shallow reeds.
of lakes,
and bows of oxen,
In sleepless callow winds.

Ye prosper ‘midst the shallow reeds,
and the whittled things
that cover you,
add to you,

Ye prosper ‘midst the shallow reeds,
and linger.

But here the winding road
of mud and earth
signals but a passing.



There is a set of cormorants,
With punch-cards tacked to beak.
They issue no melancholy,
And own no tune.

They drift along,
Their clipped wings wrapped
In the discarded coats of 1920s Russian émigrés.
And they toil.

But now, the cormorant has become a thing that’s vile and new,
Now, its tune is one of nature:
Its melody:
Death, stillborn.


About the Author

Oisín Breen is a 35-year-old poet, part-time academic in narratological complexity, and a financial journalist covering the US-registered investment advisory sector. Dublin born, Breen spent the last decade living in Edinburgh and has lived, among other places, Damascus, and Prague. His widely reviewed debut collection, ‘Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits, forgotten’ was released during Mar’20 by Hybrid press in Edinburgh (https://hybriddreich.com/oisin-breen/).

Primarily a proponent of long-form style-orientated poetry infused with the philosophical, Breen had a number of poems published in his early twenties mostly in online magazines, before taking time out to hone his craft, since then he has been published both in written and audio formats in a number of journals, including the Blue Nib, Books Ireland, the New English Review, and Dreich magazine. At present Breen also has forthcoming poetry in the Agonist, Metaworker, and La Piccioletta Barca.