Poetry by Daragh Byrne


I bought a fridge, a sturdy narrow thing
A Westinghouse, from old John at Bing Lee
Revealing when unsheathed from its box 
White metal cloaking the worlds paradox

He said we’re living in a second Eden
Abundant, all we need to tire of ease
She said we’re quickly bound for conflagration
Cast out of the garden, our consumption

Gone well past no return. Oh we have sinned!
Like the fella on the cliff, fighting his end
His feet move inches that determine
Life or death, or staying on the edge

Perhaps up in the stars lies our salvation
Kepler with his orbits would be shocked
Or geoengineering is the thing
Or nothing done will be our rescuing

My food needs to stay cool, or I’ll be sick
Buying white goods becomes a moral act
I paid a hundred bucks for two more stars
I drove to Supacenta in my car

So tell me what is good and what is right
Distill for me the wisdom of these times
The best from our best lives might be our death
Without them – will we have nothing left?


At forty one, my life fits in fourteen boxes
Five bags – a small storage unit, a smaller car
A fistful of minor regrets and an empty wallet
But a big fucking heart and a mind full of memories.
There’s dust on the carpet and webs on the wall
This room needs a paint job. The sun shines outside
Ten years in this city and a move for every one
Security is too expensive for the single, it would seem
Stability is overrated anyway I tell myself, the freedom 
Of Sydney is accessible and need not be bestowed 
By a mayor. A part of my mind lingers mulling that
My mother has been in the same house for thirty-five years
My family has been in that same house for four generations
My father and my grandfather died in that house.
I wonder what house I’ll die in. 
I wonder if I’ll die in a house. I imagine
A future loneliness that bears no relation 
To the current situation – I have friends, family
Community in every part of the world. 
United by philosophy, poetry and history. 
Good people who love me – but so much can change.
The typical trajectory of a life is chaotic
Sensitive to small deviations. 
I had a mortgage once, and a wife
Expensive illusions of certainty. The loss of all that
Cost me no small surprise, precipitated 
Social reorientation, psychological reconstruction 
A comfort with the uncomfortable, a knowledge 
Of how to not know. 
I am not unhappy with my lot.
The boxes that I tick are not standard
But they are mine. 

As is my time. 
Tonight I will go listen to some poets read
With my life in boxes again, maybe tomorrow 
I’ll look for a new home, move my body, 
Still my mind, drink a coffee, talk to a friend,
Relax into all that I have – not much but 
More than enough.


the fabric of the world remains unknown
though physics tells a zoo of particles

constructed by our mind or nature born
the ultimate stands still beyond our ken

and so it shall remain. in dim mornings
I tune into the bubbling of the world 

the secret automatic sentences
creating with their whispers every thing
gathered at the edges like the slow
drifts of forest streams or sometimes huge

industrial shining soapy shims, unstable
or unable to remain for long – I hear

the order in disorder or perhaps
disorder in the order, who can tell

listening to the pops I’m fascinated
by the execution of these simple scripts

happy just to hear, I need not know
where do they all come from, nor where they go

About the contributor

Daragh Byrne writes informed by his background in physics, a dedicated mindfulness practice and a career building technology. He's fascinated by the dichotomies of existence and the miracle of consciousness. Based in Sydney and hailing from Ireland, he holds an intention to extract wisdom and wonder even from the darkest and most mundane situations, and to attempt to express that in poems. A long term immigrant, he is grateful for the literary traditions of his homeland .

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