Words What Matter


The alphabet of possibilities stare at me from the keyboard

And I wonder

What the next word or thought

Or sentence will be.

Is it I who controls where my fingers shall move or something else-

Beyond my control,

Beyond my understanding,

Beyond my wisdom?

Like life and death-

The two things we struggle most to understand

And yet the things that remain furthest from our grasp.

From one we often run and,

While trying to avoid the other,

We walk daily,



Into it’s grasp.

And then a full stop.

Has my mind stopped talking,

Or thinking

Or has my heart stopped feeling?

Is it there from where it flows?

The words I write-

The feelings I embrace or hide from,

The voice I portray, the voices I ignore,

The ying and yang of would I,

Should I,

Could I,

Why didn’t I,

Why couldn’t I,

Why wouldn’t I?

Does the who I am come from the how I feel

Or is it the other way around

Or does any of it really matter?

Has any of it really mattered and, if so,

Which part

And if not- why not?

I lost my parents before I knew them

And so never cared to morn.

I found another to love me over

And so never asked why I was born.

By twenty I thought I knew love,

Knew myself,

Knew the world,

Knew where I was.

At almost forty I know that wasn’t so.

Since early years I’ve loved over and over and questioned it again and again

What made them arrive if only to go?

Was it fate, my destiny, on the cards- I don’t yet know?

If it all ends tomorrow

Can I say I did enough?

If it begins tomorrow

Can I say that I am ready?

If I cry tonight

Will I remember the laughter?

If I am alone tonight

Will I know it’s not forever after?

Am I selling out,

Have I sold enough,

Have I pushed myself to the extreme?

Have I made good choices?

Right choices,

True choices-

Can I believe what I did had merit.

I know I have hurt but never with intent

Though I still see the tears in yours eyes

But tomorrow if I am asked to name those who love me

I know to the list I can still add your name,

His name, her name,

Their name.

I know I have tried to be true to myself

To honour the life I’ve been given.

I can see past the darkness

And far beyond the hills

And along the way notice every tiny spec of beauty.

To say I could ever really know myself would be to say I have finished my life,

For that- I think- is the point to it all

To live in the journey to me

And find along the way

A few words what matter.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


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