OisΓ­n Breen πŸ”ˆβ€‹

Read in landscape mode!

The Warder

The pummeling near-sleet as I rowed subsided
Into a steady rain, and I knelt down on the jetty slab,
My hands bruised from the effort of rowing,
Tying the wet pair of mooring ropes to their twins –

a double-fisherman’s bend –

And, as though a mongrel dog shackled in a flood,
I could see the night my boat would have,
The big wind laughing, and its timber slapping
All the while, up-and-down – a shepherd’s tone sung –
A lament – on the storm-shook lake.

And I later learned the knots held, as I knew they would,
But, having failed to store away the oars,
My return was twice-marked,
Though the second journey differed,
For I cadged a lift on a trap and two,
And the melody of steel and asphalt
The Connemara ponies sang was a draught of sleep
To a mind poisoned doubly with regret.

And I once felt the melody, too,
My steps slapping hard along the asphalt jetty road,
Letrim to the East, the Bonet River near, as I ran,
Before slowing, my thinking fractal full,
And I felt the rain slide along my forehead, dripping down
An epidermal gutter-work of sinews, muscle and keratin,
And I pressed my hands to my face
To ward away the blindness of the storm.

Author Reading

About the Author

OisΓ­n Breen, a multiple Best of the Net nominee and Erbacce Prize finalist, is published in 115 journals in 22 countries, including Agenda, North Dakota Quarterly, Books Ireland, Door is a Jar, Northern Gravy, Quadrant, Decomp, and The Tahoma Literary Review. Breen’s widely reviewed second collection, Lilies on the Deathbed of Γ‰taΓ­n, a 2023 Scotsman poetry book of the year, has just be reissued by Downingfield. It follows Breen’s critically well-received debut, Flowers, All Sorts, in Blossom, Figs, Berries, and Fruits Forgotten (Dreich, 2020). Breen’s third collection, The Kergyma, is slated for release in 2025 (Salmon).

Buy the Book

Lilies on the Deathbed of Γ‰taΓ­n is available on Amazon.