Two Poems


by Oisín Breen (April 2021)

Sea with Red Sun, Emil Nolde


For all that I have forsworn that holy gabbling over root and seed and sheaf,
For all that I have said—and meant—that my only cathexis would from now on be the milk white of trailing legs—
I know what it is to feel an absence of the heart, one that the depths of laughter can not fill.

I know it is a relentless need that will not abate,
And I know I must—in the face of its storm—I know I must relent

        I RELENT
        DEAR LORD
        I RELENT

Yet much as I can not forswear your love,
I can not avoid your censure,
For the glutting of my soul is as unavoidable as the saturation of my senses,
And I am hungry for skin brushed with skin.

Thus, since you must censure me,
Let it be in hot poison,
And let me be what I must be:

The most human of your instruments,
        and the most divine.




Where the seed and stamen previously gorged on deep breaths of water,
The sacrament of need breeds a chalara,
A knot in the impulse of having.

And the forest floor lays covered,
Spread with the sinews of your stretched heart:

A canker, like a diamond

Grey wood, creeping along the bark

A dryness, and the knowledge that you are not what you once were.



«Previous Article Table of Contents Next Article»




Oisín Breen is a 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 last year by Hybrid press in Edinburgh (

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

The Great Reset Ad - 2 -

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

For the literature lover in your life on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold. 

For children of all ages. Order at AmazonAmazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order at Amazon US or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.
Follow by Email