Mani O'Brien, Storyteller

Musings from a 30-something Angeleno transplant about marketing, motherhood and other rants.
In All I Am

In All I Am

Poems Unrequited: In All I Am

My useless love roams over you
From another life again
In nights sleepless, moonscarred,
Scrawled by the blood of pens then
I have seen the dawns come crowded
In mountain mists and city shards
Sunsets have they wailing gone
As wine my moanings under stars
Lone I sip by sip by sip
Till drunk I am by all that’s not
In distances of love bred far
Where I’ll wander useless still
In all I am you ever are

July 24, 1998

About Desmond and Poems Unrequited.

In All I Am: by Desmond. Poems Unrequited.

Image Lydia Jane via Miss Moss.



Azam Alwi photography

If my name you might recall
Take this into dreams with you
Lightweight made, small but true
Nothing to intrude on you
From the distances of days
Lifetimes shed and ones to make
Take this to your heart unseen
Gentle shred that it might be
Of my heart given once to thee,
Take it with you as you go
Wisp of my love given free
For all your love I did not know
To spite the God that made it so

July 24, 1998

About Desmond and Poems Unrequited.

Take poem by Desmond. Poems Unrequited blog.

Image via Huffington Post

Copyright © 2014 Poems Unrequited. All rights reserved.

If A Beauty Comes

If A Beauty Comes

Josh Olins photography

If a beauty comes with claim of me
Tangle it in silver threads I will
Of lights of moons that rose and fell
The soft of every petal touched
Strands of silken Summer blush
The damp of grape wet by the dews
For wines the love crushed love of you,
So if Beauty comes to me
Declaring a propriety
For gifts of earth Earth’s given me
I’ll admit my slavery.
But go with Beauty will I not
Unless Beauty hears my plea
For I will tell her of my braids
I twined in my you new made
In this world stark made for graves
Beauty weaved I long ago
Knotted to my breath’s own soul
Heart of your love that I knew
Of beauty was enough for me
If Beauty comes with claim you see
I’ll say of Beauty I’ve no need
But for the beauty that is thee,
And of Beauty I’ll eschew
For all that I find Beautiful
Is beautiful the beauty that is you

July 27, 1998

Poems Unrequited Blog: If A Beauty Comes love poem by Desmond.

About Desmond and Poems Unrequited.

Image by Josh Olins.

Copyright © 2014 Poems Unrequited. All rights reserved.

In Buddha’s Pure Land

In Buddha’s Pure Land

Buddha's Pure Land: Poems Unrequited

In Buddha’s Pure Land
All the lovers will return
Virgins again unscarred by
Flames the tears and kisses

The children lost too
Will return on sweet breath
Only morning can grow
From bones become the grasses

In Buddha’s Pure Land
Wholehearted once again
I will love you each my lassies
When His finger is amused
To stir His bright ashes

July 24, 1998

About Desmond and Poems Unrequited.

Buddha's Pure Land poem by Desmond: Poems Unrequited

Copyright © 2014 Poems Unrequited. All rights reserved.

The Nights

The Nights

PoL Úbeda Hervàs

The nights
Longer and longer
Spark from the gallop of day
Too soon come
Underfoot the endless trail
I take to dawning

Bells ring for eventide
Match flares in the dark
Bring the memories of filled hands
Heavy and wet with the lotions of love

In the dark I wave them
Featherweight before my eyes
Two wilted petals
I keep hidden from the wind
Or they will be flung
Off in the midnight breath

Slowly the wafting
The night’s breeze
Of love’s death

Written January 27, 1995

Poems Unrequited The Nights

About Desmond and Poems Unrequited.

Image by PoL Úbeda Hervàs 
Copyright © 2014 Poems Unrequited. All rights reserved.


Pongua Falls, Vietnam

Fare thee well now
One midnight horn calls
So I shall travel after
Following the smoke on the tracks
Down dark’s ribcage
Into the starglow

Remember me when the mist burns
When heat of day afloat goes
Trembling over the wild hay

I too passed along this way
Embraced and embracing
I roamed in the wind’s kiss
In day’s dews bathed

I was young when grief came
Too when love I claimed
My share of the fruit partook
Returned to me was all of this
I gave away, not craved

To bed of wheat
To silk of dream my weave
I got to the moonwash spilled
Plucking tears so to be filled
My hands of nectars soothed and stilled

Goodbye, goodbye
I will know you by your eyes
My luring breeze now flies
So to sleep bow I my sighs

Written November 15, 1995

Image source

About Desmond and Poems Unrequited.

Copyright © 2013 Mani O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Warbling Birds

Warbling Birds


Warbling birds
In the trees near the Mosque
Under a grey dawn sky
Beholding rise of day
For a gentle phrase to say
I look into the songs of the birds
But there, there are no words
Untinged by the sorrow that is mine,
Dark, even as the world
Will soon be shine

Written on February 28, 1996

About Desmond and Poems Unrequited.
Image source

Copyright © 2013 Mani O'Brien. All rights reserved.


Poems Unrequited is a compilation of love poems written by my father, a brilliant but tortured man whose wife’s (my mother’s) schizophrenia drove him into the darkest depths of drug addiction. In turn, his substance abuse would prompt my mother to intentionally stop taking her anti-psychotic medication, thus sparking a never-ending cycle of pain, betrayal and vengeance.

I try to pair each poem with imagery that gives me the same feeling as the poem. I may at times include my own commentary with my personal interpretation of the poems, or to provide reference for the subject matter. I began posting this series on the one year anniversary of my dad’s death and hope to continue to honor his work. Beyond Poems Unrequited are several hundred additional poems on various subjects. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.

Below is his author’s note:

The poems in this collection
have been culled from an ongoing
larger collection of the same name.

Poems Unrequited are poems
of love dedicated to the ones
beloved that have filled my life.

No other theme is as interesting to me. Om Shanti.
All you need is love.

About Me

Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Storyteller and Virgo

LA-based social media marketer and brand journalist Mani O’Brien spends her downtime raising a small human and ranting on this blog. Here you’ll find frequent cursing, a self-indulgent analysis of her 30-something existence as a mother, Millennial, digital marketer, almost-wife and astrology-obsessed feminist.

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