“Days of Yearning” and “The City Sung.” Poetry by Oisín Breen

Days of Yearning

The old figure
The fugue trashes

with a young shape
in the throat of a gull
distils a note of vigour.

sunders from without, and
and its parted neck, plucked,

And the bird
An invocation
To signify

lost in taut macabre gloom
to the static bursts
that we were once

we have left

And laughter
In a sonorous
Of memory.

an idol,

stuck to the bottom

Yet this is our home
Tales, odds, ends
Of strangers

shaped in red clay,
and burnt wick.

and built of stories,
And the harsh worries
like vapour on wire.

The City Sung

Edifices come in many shapes and sizes.
They look down on you, and
They share their bullet-holes of history,
Where you know
If you step outside of time, and,
Then dived, clinging to his pipe and rifle

Often imperial in nature
in the case of my own birthing
just seconds before,
had your grandfather not laughed

Away from the RAT-A-TAH-RAT-A-TAH-RATTA-TAH-RATTA-TAH of English guns

He would have lost our loud sung sovereignty of being.

Yet here, now, such history is merely memory,
And at night, street hawkers flash LED lights
At burlesque stalls,
Selling mobile phone covers

Five euro a pop

And you better get yourself a bag of chips in Leo Burdocks.
Fucking savage they are.
Bleedin’ right.

And the streets belong to everyone,
And i, the people sing.

most of all to children blushing,


Yet so it is that we, for millennia,
Designing city maps of consciousness
So it is that we are here,
And old Dublin streets,
Propped on a stairwell,

have constructed edifices,
and home-spun interlinears,
on crooked cobbles,
falling together like drunk lovers,
full of night-town barking:


And so it is to the city that I sing.

Oisín Breen is a poet, part-time academic in narratological complexity, and financial journalist. Dublin born Breen’s widely reviewed debut collection, ‘Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits, forgotten’ was released Mar. 2020 by Edinburgh’s Hybrid Press.

Primarily a proponent of long-form style-orientated poetry infused with the philosophical, Breen has been published in a number of journals, including the Blue Nib, Books Ireland, the Seattle Star, Modern Literature, La Piccioletta Barca, the North Dakota Quarterly, the Bosphorus Review of Books, In Parentheses, the Loch Raven Review, and Dreich magazine.

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