“The Borderland Furies” by Oisin Breen

On questioning circumstance;
One must accept that it is often mere collision.
That it is neither the (un)holy they, nor a waxwork trinity, at fault for the collusion of the elements and those of happenstance.
That it is circumstance, history, and its capital H, that brings humanity to the long and bitter march.

It is a cold evening.
It is wild and full of possibility.
It was, and is, always thus.

But on questioning ourselves;
We look away.
Rudderless and keeling.
Unable to answer.

It is a cold evening.
It is wild and full of possibility.
It was, and is, ever thus.

But tonight, all that we have left are the embers of life, and we, dexterously, using the poker as masterful shepherd would crook, shift them and the traces of what might have been.

And tonight, as we lie before sleep, our toenails digging into our neighbours’ skin, we can but laugh at those who arrived too late, and now sleep beneath us, on cold pavement slab.

But tonight, as we rock, and sway, and hear a million others stuff their lungs with gravelled air, we must remember that we end because we are unending.

This is the black bleak extant.
It is wild and full of possibility.
It will ever be thus.


Oisín Breen, 36, is a poet, part time academic in narratological complexity, and a financial journalist. Dublin born, now Edinburgh-based, his debut collection, ‘Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits, forgotten’ was released in 2020 by Hybrid. https://hybriddreich.com/oisin-breen

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

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