Image by Sami Takarautio


the madrigal, volume iii

For each of us it differs

by oisín breen

Here the seasons mingle
With the Boyne’s black waters.

Yet once the sun distilled
Nine months of darkness
To placate the husband of the white cow,

Bou-vindā; for starfire on the longest day;

And for the thorn-struck blindness of Midir.

Yet for each of us it differs.

Aengus’ paid with the body of his love, Étaín,
his horror was Fúamnach who spun Étaín to water, worm, and scarlet fly. his reprieve her second birth in her thousandth year.
his sentence, how Fúamnach lost her head in synthesis with love.

For each of us it differs.

But our death will come in a single reckoning:

A blow that shakes us from navel to heart,
A furious meeting of synapses
Riffing out sketches

In a stop-start-stop algorithmic play,

All at once,
And not at once.

And I have been dying for such a long time.

Oisín Breen is a 36 year-old poet, part-time academic in narratological complexity, and financial journalist. Dublin born Breen's 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 Bosphorus Review of Books, Mono, and Dreich magazine.