Poetry of Existence

For A Regular Guy

(Written after reading the story in L.A. Times of a dead man found in a foreclosed home in Westchester, CA on 7/20/2009 by a real estate agent preparing to show the house to a prospect.)


Three bedroom 2 bath

garage backyard lawn

rambling family style

home for kids pets. 1957.

Needs work

refinancing available

forbearance provided

for small fee.


A sunny southern Cal

kind of Monday

in Westchester.

Realty Modern

shows same home

once bestowed

with bank notes

loans interest rates


credit-default swaps.

Brokered down by

adjustable rates

pre-payment penalties.

Now liberated by the

free market.

Lien holders

mean holders

of bankrupt dreams.



Ready to buy

best terms

and cheap!

But, oh dear!

What’s a 45-year-old

dead man doing here?

Didn’t we clean this

property up?


Who could

miss the odor

of late payments ?

The gruesome smell

of maxed out credit?

The stench of the


What’s an agent to do?


This regular guy

laid off. Laid out cold

in the family room.

Second mortgage borrower

ravaged by pyramid

schemes. No modification

no public offering

for him. No gold man of stocks

no Fed unreserved no inside track

no parachute for this everyday chump.

Lien holders

mean holders

of bankrupt dreams.



But not foresworn.

Anticipate more dead folks

in foreclosed homes. Should

they perish in vain?

Wall Street speculates:

How many dead regular guys

can we bundle together

securitize and insure

sell to city suckers and old timers

and bet those regular guys

will rise and leverage eternity?

Lien holders

mean holders

of bankrupt dreams.





Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach            

July 20, 2009




A Visit (After Javier Sicilia)


(May 6, 2011--In Mexico, nearly 35,000 people have died in the war against drug cartels — and the violence seems to be getting worse. In March, one 24-year-old victim was found dead, wrapped in masking tape, in a vehicle near the resort town of Cuernavaca. That young man was the son of Mexican poet Javier Sicilia. Since his son's death, Sicilia has abandoned poetry to fight the drug violence. He is now leading a silent, three-day protest march from Cuernavaca to Mexico City.)



I cannot go

anywhere anymore

            say maybe


to visit the poet

            and talk of love.


Weed blocks the way

army in my face

            death in the gardens

down a slippery slope

            of blood

commingling with

lost dreams.


I cannot cross the border

to see my neighbor

            guns steal the day

screams follow the night

into pits of former selves

            my colossus must be fed

its children never satisfied

always wanting more

ready to pay.


I do not see the answer

for I have marched too in

            my country right or wrong

walling itself off

from feral reality

delusional number one

            adrift in white powder.


I cannot cross that road

for fear wears my cloak

            danger ties my shoes

sadness stops me

at the line

            between me and you

in a labyrinth 

of solitude.

                         Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach             

                        May 24, 2011  


Bearing Ursidae


Solitary golden bears


at each other

across a boulevard,

wooden comrades

from a grizzly past.


One cradles a sign


the other drifts off


remembering still air

of only bees at work.


Ursi Americani Californici

black or brown

great bear and little bear

once major now minor

natives to this zone

of rock plant sky.


No more

sold short

Polaris grieves.



Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach    

September 26, 2009

O Moon


O Moon

midnight meddler

mingling in mortal moments.

O manager

mending mismanhaps

how you must mock

the metal marching round you.


Staring with rigid roundness

on flat forces fumbling

teasing man

to tread on your terrain

rumple untouched tresses.


Can you stop the stampede

to enslave you

the search to sneak

into your perch

leaving you in a lunar lurch



Pioneering on your rugged face

soon sewage


high rise

steal your space.


Once a romantic overseer

no longer will you leer

at lovers

launching life’s career

for man from atop

on you will peer.


The end will come

for humans to chant

what a marvelous moon

Pant! Pant!


Think of the moo

with no moon to jump

she’ll simply select

a nice green hump

one of your hills.


Does it give you the chills

to consider the loss

O time-honored boss

of night

to feel the exploit

of the finite adroit?

Make way for the earthly rude

snatching up your solitude.


On manacled moon-in-mourning

shackled doom-shine

make us lovers all again

lest we forget you when.




Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach   

November 10, 1969

(Written at the time the USA first landed on the moon)