Two Poems

by Oisín Breen (April 2020)

The Ants, Salvador Dali, 1929





All things are the expressed forms of but one idea,

From the scattered scribblings of late nights,

To the gentle collusion of matrices.


Everything is the form of one idea:

A well, with stone walls, in the dim light,

With its uses spread like thinning butter,

A cognitive reification wrought from child’s play.


Yet these etchings of a complex choral unity,

Of a wilderness of heat and thirst,

Prompt fat fruits to turn host and heavy womb.


Yet we, wing-clipped ruddy statesmen of toil,

Who harbor the vice of royalty,

  Like children with a punnet of nectarines,

Not yet, happily, aware of history,

Or our place in any of it all,

We cling,

Resin beneath a rotting bark.





Down the Rabbit Hole, Salvador Dali, 1969





Here, where rain caresses the browning blades of heavy leaves,

Where silk webs cling to the shifting branches,

I spend myself in moments,

A refraction of an instance,

And I cannot repent.


Here, wild hares twist over gnarled root and stump,

There, parched lips like creased paper bags,

A heartbeat, one clear echo of what might have been,

And I cannot repent,


Yet here we are,

Sheltered by patterns too old to break.





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Oisín Breen is a 34 year-old poet, part time academic in narratological complexity, and a financial journalist. Dublin born and bred, Breen spent the last decade living in Edinburgh, after a rip-roaring period that took in, amongst other things, the Middle East; a stint in a bizarre one-donkey town with excellent wine; and a total inability to properly fit a door onto a mountain. His debut collection, Flowers, all Sorts in Blossom, Figs, Berries, and Fruits, Forgotten was released this year by Hybrid press in Edinburgh (

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


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