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Oisín Breen

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Featured Book
A Cruel Calm, Paris Between the Wars
by Patricia Daly-Lipe

Focused on the period between the wars (1927 – 1939), A Cruel Calm, visits an era of innovation on all levels when Paris was the cultural capital of the world. With Charl..  
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Carry on Soldier
by Oisín Breen
Not rated by the Author.
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Recent poems by Oisín Breen
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           >> View all 80

Carry on soldier,

                              Hey it’s all dust,


Carry on soldier boy,

                                             It’s all dust,

                                             You, your bag of tricks and dominoes.

Take a slow walk by the ocean,

                                                            You and ten thousand sail,

                                                            A glorious dead dandelion army.

Snake eyes soldier boy, there’s always an end.

One last roll. – One rigged dice.


You always play – your hands purple with crushed flowers.

Carry on, with your big army toy and at night dream of dead flowers.

Remember that girl?

Remember that hillside daffodil?

Remember the trembling wind drawing you to slice the lilting thing clean?

You laughed.

All dust and dead flowers – all blackness – all silence – a victimless scene.


Do you remember the rose?

                                             Just sixteen and budding?

Your fingers slipped and the toy grew into a gun.

The rose collapsed.

Just another wise flower.

Oh soldier boy, carry on,

                                             You’ll soon be full grown.


Oh, what about that dream?

Mist and dew and your body hidden and dead under a rolling wind.

It’s a cruel world and it was dead, cold, hiding under a wind,

                                                                                                         Five foot long and sinking.


Come on soldier boy,

                                             Rest your head on a woman.

Where is she now?

She saw you and was afraid.

‘Carry on’ she groaned,

                                             too strained to look or stand.

                                             Fear in her daffodil blood.

                                             In her hands was a weeping willow tree.

‘Take me’ she begged, ‘and carry on, like all those others, with your steel eyes – they were blue when we were sweet sixteen.

Come on my soldier, hurt me, I’m an open flower, hurt me and make me a queen.

Make me the queen of six billion headless lilting flowers.

With you my wicked arm,

                                             In uniform,

                                             Grinning, shooting the last hyacinth,

                                             Mining flowers for gold.

Oh but my soldier, I am a daisy.’

You know, it’s never wrong to crush a flower.

But soldier boy, why the land cluttered with violet corpses and hungry bees?

Every life is a dew drop, grinning hyacinth, laughing before a great fall, five feet rising.

Carry on soldier boy, it’s all dust,

                                                            Reckless dust, a dream, a withered autumn.


Copyright © 2004 Oisín Breen. No reprints or distribution of any kind sort in any form in this or any other known universe or dimension or medium without my express permission.

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull
My mind is full of images, but I don't grasp this one. Perhaps with help, I well.
Reviewed by E T Waldron
Magnificent! Should win an award! Good to see you oisin, it's been a long time!;-)
Reviewed by Lady Peg (Reader)
Beautiful write worth a second and third serving.
been along time missed you here.
Reviewed by Todd Cheney
Awesome. I love how you compared the life of a soldier and his deeds to flowers. Wow!
Reviewed by Floria Kelderhouse (Reader)
Hi Oisin....been good to see you is so many differing wilting..
"But soldier boy, why the land cluttered with violet corpses and hungry bees?"
deep, wonderful writing from you...lovely work..
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
Most excellent write Oisin!!

A BIG OLD HUG to you!!

How Are you Buddy...missed you...glad You posting again!!

Very warm Love Tinka
Reviewed by Tami Ryan
So much depth in this, Oisin. Most of all, we tend to forget that not all flowers are the same. Wonderful work, as always.

Reviewed by Katy Walsvik
Oisin.. first of all, HELLO! again... I found myself shifting from a literal read, such as it is, to layers of figurative, metaphoric imaginings with this... It appears to have a depth that is at once unfathomable, for I know not your mind... but then I find a very real commentary on spring and its way of yielding to autumn... then, too, my mind was snagged on the aging process, which I applied to some of the withering flowers and bold 'rose', as we mature and become more 'open' and less self-conscious... I'm leaving with one truly lingering responses, though... you are, if nothing else, multi-layered and as thought-provoking as ever... Carry on. It's lovely to see you here again. katy xox.
Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers
Oh, what a marvelous write! I think I'll go read this one again! Lisa
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