With my hands,

I create something from nothing.

With my hands,

I reach out and touch you.

With my hands,

I find my way through the darkness

And, if needed, wipe away the tears.

In the light,

They shade my eyes so I can see what lies ahead.

In our love,

They are the touch that entwines two bodies in our bed.

My hands are my creativity,

My contact,

My compass

And my comfort.

I see in them the lines of my life-

I watch them change as I journey through time.


Nothing of Noise

I awoke last night-

Still drowsy from dreaming-

To be enveloped instantly

By a surreal silence

As the darkness

Carried the weight of your absence

To the depths

Of its sulking shadows.

I sat there,

Alone and shaking-

Upright in the bed-


In an all too restrictive covering

Of icy cold, concrete-like blackness-

Unable to breath,

Too fearful to move-

For so long had I been with you

That without you

Was so much more

Than my being could possibly


It was palpable

Your loss-

And I was un-comforted

By this dead air

That lingered

In the wake of your exodus.

The constant company

Of your companionship

Had been so normal,

So ordinary,

Such a daily acceptance

Of my waking life,

That to be deprived

Of all imaginable sound

Felt, last night,

In that newly prisoned room,

Like flesh ripped from bone,

Sight removed from eye,

Sense depleted from skin-

How powerfully your presence

Had domination over me

And how foolish I was

In my failure to notice.

I awoke last night

Distracted by a dis-ease

That slithered itself around me

Like a soiled serpent

As I fought my way

Through random reasons

Why you’d decided to dis-passionately desert me.

Fled fast- had you

After what you’d decided was our last act?

Had enough,

Had your fill,

Composed your composition upon me

And now

No more was I someone to muse over,

No more to play upon,

Practice upon,

Empress your tune upon.


Was this more commonplace

Than I dared


Or understand?

Had there been others before,

Others left behind,

Before me,

By you,

Left alone and abandoned

In the vicious vacuum

Of emptiness

That your departure creates?

I awoke last night-

But you being so far removed would have never known-

And all I could muster

Were tiny inaudible breaths

As my skin prickled over

In goose flesh

To amplify the remaining senses

While the hair rose high on the back of my neck.

For a moment,

I thought I detected your return

And darted from bed to window

To welcome you joyously-

Honestly and hole-heartedly

Yet it was all but hope

Highlighted by memory

Without a single footing in reality.

But I stood there,

In silence-

Standing still,-




Willing you, silently

To show your head,

Sound the alarm,

An alarm, any alarm.

Re-claim your position at the top of the senses.

Re-claim me as your valued courter, customer, lover,

And above all-


Leave me not like this;

Cast astray to only taste, touch and see.

Blast me once more into the wailing world,

Scream me into subservient submission.

Build for me an orchestra at the foot of my bed

To fill my sleepless days and wakeful nights

With stirring strings and operatic arias;

Cascading compilations of chaotic cacophonies.

Leave me not like this-

Not now

After so long-

After such a union was made-

Since eyes were first opened

And ears

First heard.

Name me not silently defeated,



Blast me

Once more

With the full force

Of your symphonic soundings

And see how my ears shall tremble upon the tone.

Abandon me not to this stilted silence

Where nothing pains my ears more than this nothingness.

I awoke last night,

Still drowsy from dreaming-

Dreaming of you-

The only place where you still roar me to life.

I awoke last night

To what I have now truly learned is silence

And screamed in my head

For a nanosecond

Of noise.


In the Architecturally Fashioned Memory of Modern Made Man


I am of an age that is ageless,

The very essence that lingers somewhere

Between shadow and light;

That indescribable grey matter separating

All that aligns itself with black

From all that derives its purity from white.


I am the illusive thread

Which ties the journey together,

Twisting and twirllings of threads

Weaving together past, present and, as yet,

Briefly imagined future.


I am the force between that barely dreamt dream

Of what will be and that longing, lodged firm in the memory,

That leaves logic out to recall that single

Moment of magic from that day, long ago lived.


That room in the mind that holds so tightly

To that taste once passed over lips, ripe for the tasting,

I am the emphasis of purity in the remembrance of that very taste.

All else, long since, fallen by the wayside

Or lost out amid the uncertainty of what is remembered

And what was real.


I am the playfulness of the light

You see cast bright on your sky high towers

With their windows onto the world.

I am the linear contrast of urban lines,

Rising sharp and structured amid the chaos.

I am the smooth sleekness

Untwining myself from a frivolous mess.

I am the seduction salvaged from the superfluous.

I am the impression left on the skin long after I’ve parted,

The mark of what once was, what is and what will be.


I am what makes the melancholy magical,

Every mood a melody;

The manufacturer of the moments

The mind will muster.


I am the lines that will lead you on,

Latitudes to rise upon and longitudes to fill your form.

I am a city seen from above

With straights of sky-scraping streets;

Lean lines, lengthy and lasting,

Marching triumphantly forwards as if to herald mans rise

Out of confusing chaos and stake his claim to stand above,

Alone, assured and reassured,

Calm and confident,

Always exceptional, occasionally eccentric,

Uniquely independent and always individual.

Modern man made in a blend

Of what is both memory and what has yet to be.


I am everything you put on to be who you are.

Yesterday you dreamt of me,

Tomorrow you’ll remember me,

Today, you are me.


To the East of Ignorance

I had wanted to show you it all;

For you to revel

As much as I

In the magnificence I had seen

And felt.

Perhaps it was my fault-

In the extreme-

Maybe my blinkered view,

Like the race horse-

Seeing only the green of the track

And the glory of the win ahead

While missing the money hungry betters to the sides

And the jockey with whip behind.

But still,

The entire time your view

Saw only the concrete beneath your feet

As if you feared to place a step


And so lose your American footing.

You proved as cold

And impenetrable

As the surface upon which you walked,

Moved only by a metal banister

That you pleaded with me to photograph

Least your creativity

Failed to capture it.

Yet it was you who’d become captured;

Trapped in a foreign land

That you had longed to see

And yet failed-

So perfectly-

To look upon.

To create means more than just

Standing on the spot of inspiration.

You lolled about

Almost as inanimately

As the statues that surrounded us.


Their shadows appeared to sway

In the sunshine

With so much more gusto than yours-

At least, until you fell needy

And your dull American twang

Rang out monotonously

To disrupt the ambience

And civility

That enchanted me

And washed over you

Like you were oil-based,

Cardboard cut-out,

Dull reflection

Of someone else-

Hardly remembered.

Alcohol loosened you

Along with athletic fumblings

In a beamed ceiling room

In Saint Paul,

But we were neither drunk

Nor naked

All the time,

Although it felt like I had stripped

Bare for you,

To show you my secret

Parisian life

That, malheurusement,

Over half the world shared.

In that tree-lined park

Below the radiant sunshine

I feigned sleep and watched you

Behind darkened shades

And wondered

Where you were.

You noted it strange how the boys played


Instead of baseball

And I realized

That you had not even boarded the plane

Or removed yourself

From your ignorant States.

I chilled in the warmth,

Amid that sun-filled square,

On that Sunday afternoon

In July

As I watched you

Fall intrigued

By little boys at play

And your comic books

Became all the more

Disturbingly understandable.


In search of a Still Shining, Fading Star

I was once silent

Amid the noise,

Shadowing the world in stillness

While all else-

But I-

Found its motion.

I watched as dreams

Slipped swiftly

Through my fumbling hands-

Hands powerless to awaken my slumber to the realm of reality.

I’d been held

And felt nothing in that very touch-

Nothing but the visceral arousal of man

At his most primal.

I’d seen a lifetime of possibilities

With single glances

And built worlds in my mind

Before blinking them away.

I held a man’s hand

In a taxi

As we raced through a foreign city-

Once my home-

While my mind ran to thoughts

Of someone else

Before remembering a touch, from long before.

Once, I circled the globe and returned home

To find that home

Was but a word-

A word that wakes a memory

To plot a beginning,

As weightless

And mobile

As the drifting traveler.

I am-

Like you all-

No more than a burnt-out,


Fading star,

Sparkling in front of you

Although my future’s already faded


Light years away.

As I hurtle through this voyage

My eyes fall sleepy;

Looking for rest,

Looking- always-

For the rest of me.

I saw you in the midst of these feelings

Early one morning

While December raced towards fairy lights

And tinsel toe-

Snowflakes speckling you in white-

An untouched canvas of pure potential,

No longer revolting in your bureaucratic bundle

Of mass and confusion-

While scarf-clad, gloved-up,


Shoulder-shrugging Frenchmen

Tutted as they wedged their way

Through the Metro turnstiles

That my blonde haired friend had just disappeared through-

Journeying back to her beginning

To start anew

And leaving me with no more than the distant memory

Of her laughter

That swept off on a breeze

And swirled around trees

Whose branches bared down to their earthbound roots.

No more the sharing of days and nights,

Mixing cocktails to our own design,

Toasting birthdays in Chinatown

For April’s fairest fool

Or surprise visits from friends

To break the daily routine.

No more lunches at Lina’s

With sandwiches too big to finish,

Dinners in white wolfed restaurants-

Leaving notes on toilet mirrors

For cute boys

On far flung tables.

No more spinning of bottles

And tempting of firemen

And late night parties

With boy bands

And dart players.

No more the sound

Of her click-clacking heels

Heard in the distance

Long before her arrival

Into that bar where we worked

And thought of as that very word-


She’d been the small town girl

More grown up than her years

And yet still a child as white

As the snow now falling.

As I saw you like this-

My dear city-

I wondered

How much more

Would fall away from me

And what else would take its place

As swishing snows let teared icicles stream down my face

While icy crystals fell from your skies-

Washing to white those famed grey rooftops

And smokeless chimneys

That had ingrained themselves

So indelibly

On my mind,

All the while hiding from me your cobbled streets

Through which my feet had sailed,

Feet that now disappeared

Slowly in the snow-white earth,

Leaving me to question where I’d be

When spring uncovered me

And pushed me back-

Once more-

Into the noise

And motion

And storm

Which I’d stopped that day to watch

In stillness

While another fine friend

Fell away.

I had once been silent

Amid the noise

But on that morning-

Speckled in white,

All was silent but for my heart

That raced with the beat of life.


A Thousand Sweet Dreams


I will love you for a thousand years and a thousand years more
if only you’d ask and I would, you know, lock that love away
so it can’t be touched, tarnished or tampered with. I will hide it
so deep within my heart that every beat will be stronger for it.
I will love you for a thousand years though a thousand others
may come and go, to distract me, delight me, even deceive me
but you will remain, as always, the single force that lies within,
that assures me in the darkness you have been a guiding light,
that reminds me in happiness you made me smile. I will love you
for a thousand years as if we’d spent a thousand nights together,
as if I’d been kissed by your lips a million times, as if I’d dreamt
in your arms a hundred dreams, as if we’d always laid together
and I’d woken up to your gaze every morning since time began.
I’ll love you like this, I promise, for a thousand years and more
and will ignore what we really are, what we have always been
and will forever be. I will love you, truly, for a thousand years.
I will love you for a thousand years, behind shadows, in private,
you’ll be my sweetest secret, the hand never held, or lips kissed,
or arms ever wrapped in. I will love you for a thousand years
in that dream always dreamt, forever a dream, never to waken,
never to end. We were not meant for the harsh light of reality.
We were but briefly met, barely known and yet never forgotten.
We have become the stuff that dreams are made of, candy floss
and unicorns, fairytales and forever afters. We could never be
day-to-day, common place, product of routine, we’re the dream
of the dreamers, without beginning or end. We are the sweet
existence of slumber, you and I, sweet is the dream we share.


All words and graphics by Damien B. Donnelly

Not One Fucking Tear

Fuck it!

Fuck it, I keep saying

To myself

In the place of

Bashing skull against wall.

Fuck it,

I stripped it all down for you,

Laid it physically

And mentally


And emptied myself

Of all my silly secrets

And petty principles

And all for this-

This insipid accomplishment of nothingness-

The fucking empty vacuum

Of the little you gave, offered, shared!

Are you greater for all you have stolen,

Am I reduced from all you have taken?

Was I but meat on the bone

To be scraped off,



Was there a thought,

Any thought,

A fucking single thought

Towards feeling

Or stand you sensorially deprived;

Incapable of consciously considering

The character of others?

Fuck it,

I say again,

Over and over,

As I sit here,

Fucked again

By the failure to forsee

The futile future

And yet, you stand there still

As if wounded,

As if innocent,

As if exempt

From all blame

While my blood drips slowly

From your tongue to toe.

Fuck you,

With your polished pristine pride

And mirrored glances

To catch but your own reflection.

You- with your caloused hands,

Chapped skin

And impenetrable heart

And that blood still falling

From tongue to toe-

Not yours, once mine.

I bled for you as you bore

Inside me,

As you bore me,


Over and over,

Bored me sensless

Until I found myself

With skull against wall

Looking for a door to open,

A handle to get a grip on,

Just something to latch onto

And pull me out.

Fuck this mess,

Fuck this situation,

Again and again,

All over again.

Fuck the promises you pissed away.

Fuck the potential that should have been.

Fuck those changes we talked about.

Fuck the Us that could have been We

While all along you only cherished

The Me that was You!

Fuck those fears I had

Of being alone,

Of missing you,

Of starting over-

Fuck it all away.

Days are passing now

And I have not shed a single tear,

Not one fucking tear for you.

Fuck you- no more!


Courant d’Air


Lost somewhere in love’s language

Between bonjour and au revoir.

How is it I have strayed so far

From what was once so important?

I have travelled land and sea

But with each step

A part of you approaches from the past,

Present and possible future

To remind me of your existence,

To recall how much of you

Is rooted deep within me

And to confirm how much of me

I left behind in you in that time we had

And shared and made;

On your banks, along your cobbled streets,

Within your bars, on the lips of your men

Whom I kissed and your ladies who I danced with

And behind that grey door

And up along that wide wooden staircase

Which spiralled its way to my first home

Nestled in the oldest part of you.

It was here where Joni Mitchell

Rang out in my ears for the first time

Through the angelic tones of the blonde creature

Who lulled me from laughter to chaos

On that old templed street-

A stones throw from my first hotel,

The scene of my first French kiss,

Tucked away behind my favoured park,

Resting under the watchful ghost of Picasso

Where I would soon burn to a crisp

As summer’s sun found Irish skin to roast on.

How we laughed in that living room

With its viewless windows

Letting in only the bare minimum of light

As my musical Nymph rehearsed

Endless Irish dirges that would pay the rent

While the spritely hippy

That hid beneath her voluptuous body,

In green velveteen bell-bottoms

And tasseled honeyed hair,

Begged her to let loose, break free and fly like a bird.

I remember that morning as spring arrived

And I opened the windows to find warm air

Perched on our sills before I read her

My first French penned poem;

The Traveler Lost;

A young man drowns amid foreigners

Without words to express himself.

She laughed till her eyes brimmed with tears

And I, almost unable to finish,

Sobbed in a likewise comic and uncontrollable state,

Indulging in the unconsciously humorous overkill

Of the self-indulgent prose of a 22 year old child

Dancing about in grown up shoes.

And yet, in that very fact;

In the acceptance of our naivety and innocence,

We laughed our way, amid childish ignorance,

Through the best of times and dared each other not to care.

And yet now, so far from that very home,

How close its infamous memory

Ventures to mock me

For the distance I have let slip in between.

In all my dreams of traveling and exploring,

How was I to know that my feet would fall

So fast in love with that first touch

Upon your cobbled streets?

I am the sparrow, lost to its nest,

Forever flying in ascending circles

And catching your scent on every other breeze,

Unsure of why it calls me still,

But hopeful to one day be flown home on your courant d’air.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly