Found Poem

The lines of the following poem are all subheadings introducing quotes for the term ‘Love’ in an 1884 book: The Student’s Topical Shakespeare: Thirty-Seven Plays, Analyzed and Topically Arranged for the Use of Clergymen, Lawyers, Students, Etc. Love Its absurd Vows Its Avowal Desired Its bewildering Power Its bewitching Tyranny Its Conquests Its contradictory Character … More Found Poem

Missing the Perseids (for three years running)

It’s Perseids Week, and Slate has a guide on how to watch the meteor shower: essentially ‘on your back, after midnight’ today seems to be the consensus. Two years ago, I stayed with my lovely friend Natasha Frost and saw the meteors from a French farmhouse, and ended up writing this poem, which came out in The Emmores a … More Missing the Perseids (for three years running)

Four-Coned Ruth

A poem about how people sometimes see things differently. Originally published by Valley Press / Dead Ink, and inspired by Radiolab. Four-Coned Ruth Ruth was a tetrachromat in a small town by the sea, which meant she saw a colour more than her neighbours’ eyes could see; or rather, more than a colour more than … More Four-Coned Ruth

Personal Injury

A few months ago I forgot to renew the domain for this site – richardtobrien.com – and the URL was taken over by a Los Angeles-based personal injury lawyer. In an attempt to re-inject some poetry into the pretty bleak and sinister text now replacing my site, here’s a found poem created from what’s written … More Personal Injury

‘There are many great reasons to make a rubber band ball…’

A new poem, for National Poetry Day. * ‘There are many great reasons to make a rubber band ball…’ and you can start with almost nothing – scrunched paper, or a hollow shell. Whatever core you choose will be obscured, stretch after stretch, as tension tightens into architecture. In time, the structure will become so … More ‘There are many great reasons to make a rubber band ball…’