November rains in the park-
Trying to be an artist,
Attempting to capture it all
In a quiet corner
Behind the trees,
Away from the winds,
Beyond eyeshot from anything daring,
Sheltered in a huddle instead of in the midst of adventure.

I thought I had found myself
But it was safe fake lies;
Pacifying the ego,
Trying to paint a Picasso
With colourless pencils.
Frozen by mid-afternoon,
Not suffering for art
But merely suffocating
In all that surrounded me
That I wanted to be part of but knew not where to begin.

I sat in your garden
And sketched you
Devoid of feeling and life,
I failed that day to capture
Or even comprehend you
But hung you on my wall
Nonetheless, as if to remind myself
Of all I still had to do-
I needed to paint you from within
And not just with colours sketched from the tips of my fingers.

Your multi-layered canvas
Was a daunting place to start
For my amateur attempts
At early adventure,
I was only dabbling
In shadow and shade;
Lightless and lifeless,
Playing with untapped possibilities
And dreamed-of doings
Instead of head-on,
Opened-up, fearless, dive-into, unknown experiences.

One million options beneath my feet
Waiting to be walked
And I picked the solitary seat,
On a Saturday afternoon,
In a secluded setting of your park
That stretched for miles
And bloomed with life all around me-
But not beside me,
But not for me, not with me.
I was as lifeless
As the painting I had sketched-
Fast movement needed
Least winter winds would wipe me forgotten before begun.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly

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