Firefly Magazine and The Fable Online


Today, two online journals are featuring my work and I am so proud to be a part of both of these amazing literary collections.

Today was the launch of the first issue of Firefly Magazine, a journal of luminous writing, showcasing poetry, flash fiction, short stories and art. Check out issue one through the link below. You can find my work in the poetry section. There are some amazing talents to be found in this brilliant new journal and check out their submission page as they are always looking out for new voices and artists. Congratulations to the Firefly team and all their garden elves for producing such a beautiful and impressive first edition. I wish them continued success.



The Fable Online today published its 9th Issue, perfectly in time for Halloween and I am thrilled to be among the Flash fiction features with a suitably ghoulish little story of love, longing and the sweet taste of revenge in the shadows of Paris. There are 13 new pieces of work in total with a mixture of spookily flavoured Flash Fiction and Short Stories.



#Getting Creative

Happy Halloween, Happy Writing, Happy Submitting, Happy Autumn


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

(this photo was last week during a stroll through autumn in the Jardin du Luxembourg)



There is a man, in the rain, in a hat,
getting wet, growing mad,
calling connards to the penguins
of Parisian pedestrians plodding past him.

There is a man, with cigars and a beer,
by a bin, full of madness, next to tourists
lost in maps as the rain pours down
on the wrong choice of shoes.

There is madness descending
on cursing cars and pelting rain,
on pedestrians pushing and babies crying,
on tourists tutting by one man who laughs
at them all, at it all, at nothing around him
and the chaos inside him.

There is rain on the man
on the side of the street
with a certain kind of scent,
who stores papers on his pockets,
the written worries of the world,
a madness that his mind cannot fathom.

There is a madness manifesting
in multiple ways in man and his muddles
next to puddles in the rain, by a bin,
on a street, at a pedestrian crossing
Where tourists are waiting their turn.

There is a fine line that divides
all the roads we can cross
and the madness
we cannot seem to conquer.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



We are gender bred, not born into who we are
but told forever after what we should become
by people, parishioners, preachers, pariahs,
parasites, philistines. He is boy not because
of an apple that long ago lodged itself in his neck
or a cock that swells so often by his bowels. She is girl
not because of the comforting curve of her form
or the coveted curiosity of her cunt. We are
the persuasions of a thousand teachers, telling us
tainted truths, a society of susceptible species
separated into sinners and sheep, the fornicators
and the followers, the wilful and the weak.
Would the world have withered if it was Adam
who asked Eve to eat the fruit, to bite his banana,
to sliver and slide along its shaft?
They say She offered Him that first succulent taste,
that delicious decent into the depths of deceit,
of hell here on earth. Would the She that she became
still have been seen as the serpent if the tale
had been twisted in other hands?
He can be action man, aviator, astronaut,
anything he wants. She is the princess, in the palace,
painting her nails, waiting for her prince to awake her,
revive her, alive her. He is Cock, craved and conquering,
she is Cunt, shunned and shamed. From his mouth
the cunt is the sweet summation of comfort
commented on in casual conversation. From her lips,
the cunt becomes a dirty thing, a degradation,
but cunt is a just word, a name given by living, breathing,
robbing, raping, hungry men. When will it be her word,
heralded for all its bounty? When will it be her strength,
her Cunt, just like his Cock, pecked, playful and proud,
worshiped not just for the warmth within its walls?


All words and Sketches by Damien B. Donnelly


the side of
the cemetery
where Sartre and
Simone lay sleeping,
trees line an alley, swaddled
in sunshine, testifying to today’s
teeming tenements, tiny tents pitched
by penniless people on pavements echoing
existentialisms very essence of existence,
regardless of which came first, existence
or essence, life or death, rich or poor,
the tragic truth of man condemned to be free,
were they not their very words, weighed down
on a world without creator? Shadowing their situation,
on either side, money in multitudes is burnt and buried
in plots beyond the walls, honouring and housing the dead,
long since departed. On a tree lined alley, on a sun filled day,
the poor in Paris are populating tents, with less rights than corpses
in coffins, confirming the causes of those left behind, left condemned to be free.




(Translation: In French, en grève means on strike, which is as much a part of everyday life in France as les baguettes, les fromages and shoulder shrugs, and most recent of all strikes was this weeks Parisian rubbish collection strike.)

The streets are steaming with unwanted waste,
The shit of a city smeared on its stones,
The air is fetid, foul, as if bowels have burst
In bins, unbreathable, unbearable, the streets
Are swayed with followers of fashion,
Chain smoking, chain gangs in trends too new,
Too numerous, in sharp and shiny stilettos
Sinking into the shit beneath them, unnoticed.
It is grave, grave, en grève, tu sais, on strike
They say, again, encore, toujours, our fortunes
On our backs and our faeces by our feet.

The sun is out, the shades are on, the shirts
Are off, the terraces are teaming with tourists,
The sun is out, the shades are on, the heat
Is rising and the shit is stinking. It is grave!

I miss coffee breath!


All words and photos by Damien B. Donnelly



We should dance, he said, as she passed,

Dropping the shovel with one hand, taking

His hat with the other, sun bleached

And straw weaved, but there’s no music,

She answered, but there’s no one watching,

He replied to the crimson cheeks

Of her porcelain face, neath a crimson bonnet

And he reached for her hand and his arm

Took her waste and his nose found her scent

And her skirts began to rustle and the cords

Coursed through the corset and the branches

Behind them turned movement into melody,

For a moment, in the sunshine, in a park,

On a Monday in May while he watched her

And wondered how long she would stay,

I won’t always be a gardener, he whispered

To the curve of her neck, to the twist of her ear,

To his work weary hands, battered and bruised,

To the part of him who longed for a wife,

But I will always be a widow, she said to herself,

As she smiled and left his hold, and the trees

Stopped their singing and the man picked his shovel,

This stranger, this gardener, this man who heard music,

This man who brought beauty to life, but the bonnet

That she wore was her husband’s favourite,

The dress, the last gift he gave, so she walked off

Alone, in the park, on a Monday, with her grief,

Which was all she had left.


All words and pictures by Damien B. Donnelly



In the shadows of the night
He threads his way, carefully,
Like a needle running silk,
Through distant dreams
He yearned for in younger days,
Carefree then, the dainty drifter,
The doe-eyed dandy with a want
To witness the world, to flitter
And flap like a starling in first flight,
To seek sustenance in substance,
To search himself far from the familiar,
Far from familial ovations
Too treasured to be trusted and trophied,

I have no idea how long I’ll stay,
He told a perfect stranger
In a yellow raincoat and ruined
Leather shoes, in a bar,
On a Tuesday, in November
As the rain ran down the window.

In the shadows of the night
He mildly meanders his way
Through the myriad of memories
Of what once was, recollections
Recounted, fleeting follies, temporary
Footholds in rugged rocks
And misconstrued meanings
He fortuned to be forever
In the hands that held him,
In the hearts that hungered him,
Hampered him, hung him,
Tempted and twisted him,
Like gum turned by teeth,
Conformed him into complacency,
Seduced him with a security
That never existed, packaged him,
Boxed him in, labeled him
Incorrectly, return to sender,
Destination unknown,

He opened his eyes on their third night
Together to find him watching him sleep,
How do you know when love begins,
The man beside him asked,
But he had no answer
So he moved in and held him,
Knowing this wasn’t love,
But there was comfort, nonetheless.

In the shadows of the night
He recalls the role plays,
The stages and scenarios,
The sensational sets
That serenaded him
With a roaring crowd,
The ostentatious ovation,
Bowing, with applause,
Into the gaping abyss
Of the void that lies within,
That truth tentatively twinkling
In the fading spotlight
Before each fall,
Before every failure,

You’re a wonderful person, they said,
But it wasn’t what he remembered
He recalled the line ‘but we can’t keep you,’
Realising that bullshit covered
Head to toe in a tailored suit of sugar
Still smells like shit in the end.

In the shadows of the night
He leans in, towards the light,
To the places made precious,
The moments moulded into memory,
To the faces that favoured him,
Fed him, found him, for a while,
Along the line of life, he bows
Down to all the embraces
That bedded him, bettered him,
Made him and mattered to him,
The naked truth of naked bodies
Kneading and knowing, counting
Not the cost, not the length,
But the height of unhindered
Happiness, held and heralded,

In a basement restaurant,
6 of them ate together,
At an old round wooden table,
Told jokes, swapped stories, made plans
And only later, days later, did he discover
That they had all been strangers, all been drifters,
All just seeking shelter from the storm.

In the shadows of the night,
As he slumbers, he slips along
The paths once taken,
The routes that enriched him,
Beneath the palaces
Of huts that became shelters,
Stop gaps, the humble home
He dedicated to the spirits
Of all the souls
Who lead him there,
Hail the voyage,
Of all the voices
That joined him there,
Repeat the chorus,
Of the kind creatures
Who cared for him there,
Savour the sacred,
And the trusted travellers
Who rested for a while
From their journey
And left him there,
Smiling and satisfied,
Sleeping in the presence
Of so many souls
Who still salute him
From the shadows.


All words and sketches by Damien B. Donnelly


On a break from posting poetry, I am sidelining, for a moment, into my ‘studied’ trade of pattern maker and avid admirer of all things fashion orientated.

The Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, France, located along the rue du Rivoli wing of the Louvre, recently unveiled its latest exhibition entitled KoreaNow, bringing to the attention of Europe the often overlooked delights and brilliance of Korean artisans from Craft, Design, Graphics and Fashion.

The largest selection of the 700 pieces of work, by over 150 artists, features a visually breathtaking collection of Korean clothing, showcasing how ancient traditions have evolved into modern day trends. Serenely laid out in darkened rooms where each piece steps out of the shadows to instantly mesmerise the viewer, the collection is divided into bolts of colour, ending in the purest tones of white. Intricately folded, pressed and twisted papers are turned instantly into the most ornate head decoration which accentuate without distracting the viewer from each piece. Aside from the fashion on display in the upper rooms and the graphics section, where videos explain how the Korean alphabet Hangul came into being under the reign of King Sejong in the 15th century to distinguish Korean from Chinese, the exhibition also showcases Korean excellence in jewellery, ceramics, lighting and furniture of sublime form and timeless simplicity.

Here are just a few of the pieces that began to stir my inspiration:

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So, after a lunch in the unexpected but much appreciated October sunshine, I flew home, on a high, literally, excited, inspired and itching to get creative and this transpired:


I grabbed bolts of fabric, the sharpest scissors, chalks and the threads, flamed up the sewing machine and let the moment take me, Korean style, on a journey to make my own Hanbok (Korean Kimono).

Resulting in this…



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Get Inspired today

All words, photos and homemade Hanbok by Damien B. Donnelly