You swept into the shadows
of all that once was, last night,
like a blur upon the light,
not quite right,
not quite.
I’d slept beneath his covers
after he’d taken off, one night
and you’d caught me in your sight
hoping that I might
well, quite.
You’d found me in a rainstorm
as Christmas day became christmas night
and I the gift that you could bite
as anybody might
and you were right.
I fucked you in his absence
as if to be alone would not be right
and who was I to fight
the stranger in the night,
all right.
You watched me as I slumbered
tangled up beside you, that night
as if you’d somehow seen the light
of all that wasn’t right,
well, not quite.
I left you in the morning
before attachments grew too tight,
before the morning shed its light
on all that wasn’t right,
not quite right.
I left you in the morning
but wondered what occurred that night
when he was back in your embrace, behind the light,
I wondered if you made it back to right,
like you’d felt with me that night
when everything seemed right,
well, not quite.

All Words and Drawing by Damien B. Donnelly


under onwards colour

Washed over
in whiskey and rum
and falling, on a street,
by a bridge in the lamplight
as the river rushed under us
onwards and out of sight,
falling into each other
in foreign lands
into foreign hands
sliding along foreign bodies,
lean and slender,
twists and thrusts
of bodies curious
to what they’d not yet tasted.
You danced around me
on stages, in my head
in stages, on my bed
above the water
that never stopped moving
under us, onwards and off.
Falling into you,
our own echoes
reverberating into a dance
we were generating,
a tale of three acts;
the fall,
the fairytale
and the future unfolding
more fierce than we’d foreseen
and those hours,
always the hours,
slipping in between,
splitting the space around us
like the water that night
beneath the bridge where we kissed
rushing under us, onwards and over us,
dissolving us without consideration
a gradual obliteration
and yet my lip still tingles 
from all we thought we were
in the moment the movement made us,
falling through time, through a space we couldn’t name, 
stretching skin and bending bone into a structure unstable, insubstantial,
kissing and courting and covering up the parts that could never be,
trying to be what we never were and ignoring the bits that we didn’t want to see. 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph of the Blauwbrug bridge on the Amstel Canal in Amsterdam, The Netherlands



Reflection . Connection
Make the connection
Water Earth Air
I can be fire
The fire

I walk on water
I dream I walk on water
I see stillness
I dream I walk on the stillness of the water
I hear the silence
I am the silence dreaming of the stillness that walks on the water
I am the reflection
I am the silent reflection of the dream that once walked on the stillness of the water.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Swallowed by the stillness, 
all life now a reflection
of what was once movement,
of all that once beat against the current.

He walked along the wood,
slipped along the steps
and swam into the stillness
that settled on the silence
Of the morning not yet woken

and the trees beside the river
reached down into the water
as he slipped beneath reflections
letting go of all connections

out into the water
down below the surface

and all that he once was
became the light that broke the day
and all that he had feared
in the water washed away
and all he had seen
rose back up to the surface,
now a reflection on a surface
that looked into the sky
while the sky looked down from high
Into his reflection
in the water

and it watched as he dissolved
beneath the milky mists of morning 
but in the wood he left his footprints,
on the steps he left his hold
and the water took his worries
and in its bed his feet found root 
and in his flesh the fish found taste
as he let go of the morning,
as he let go of the waste.

Swallowed by the stillness,
all life now a reflection
of what was once movement,
of all that once was a beat against the current.

All words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

I am following in the footsteps of the wonderful and adding audio as an extra with Soundcloud



A Short Scary Story.

        I’d been back a month, the city of light they called it, Paris and all it’s lovers, everyone hand in hand, lips locked like they were lynching the breath from each other and there I was, alone. It had become my city of shadows; dark, devious and doomed.
        Why did I come back here, of all places, the one city that had ripped us apart, literally? It had found us, cracked us open and drained the beat of life that bound us, blood seeping onto sidewalks, terrorising terraces, drowning the river in crimson currents, from your veins to its bed.
        I was back in our home, on our balcony, waiting, wondering if I’d catch sight of you. I lost nights chain smoking, drinking, hurting all over again. Everything inside still aching from that night, even the dust felt your absence and clung to your chair, your brushes, your side of the bed, your box of sharp, sadistic tricks.
        It was the end of October when it happened, when the shadows gradually began to find their shape in the darker tones of the season. Breath hung in the crisp air when you exhaled, like an entity all of its own. It was almost midnight on that most hallowed of all eves, I was wearing your scarf, wrapped tightly around my neck. I had the feeling it was your hands wrapped around me, almost to the point of choking me, when I saw the shadow approaching. An icy shiver cut through my veins like I’d swallowed blades, large and hole. I froze to the spot. I recognised the shadow as it came closer and, as the form found its shape, I knew it to be true. I held my breath as it came to the gate, flipped the latch and entered the garden of dying flowers beneath the spell of the moon. The door downstairs groaned opened, followed by footsteps creaking their way up along those old steps, the ones you always demanded me to fix, I wish that had been your only demand. Keys rattled next in the hallway until one twisted in the slot of my door, which used to be our door. The lock clicked just as I stepped in from the balcony. My pulse was beating so hard it felt like the veins of my body were being strangled.
        The form stepped into the dimly lit room and I recognised the scent immediately as tears burnt into my face. I opened my mouth to scream but your hand caressed my cheek, wiped my tears before you put your lips against mine and I was captive once again in your dangerous embrace, after so many years of being without, being lost, being broken, regretting it all. I thought I was dead. I didn’t think I could move until you whispered to me to hold you and, without knowing it, without controlling them, my arms wrapped themselves around you and held us together so tightly that I thought we’d break.
        This is death, I told myself, I exist now among the dead and yet I could smell you, feel you; your cold lips, that putrid perfume I’d always hated and your body bolt against mine.
        I didn’t know how it could be, how you were standing in front of me, touching me, your tongue piercing its way into my mouth. And then the doorbell rang and shook the silence of the entire moment, the entire building and maybe even the entire world that had flipped on its axis in a matter of moments, in the encounter of a kiss, a kiss from death itself.
        “Those kids,” I said, as if everything was normal, unsure of what else to say, “it’s halloween… you always hated when they found their way into the building, begging for candy.”
        You turned and somehow you were instantly out of my grip, standing by the door, turning the handle, but I hadn’t seen you move. You stood in silence regarding the children outside, dressed as ghouls, monsters and one peculiar child hidden from head to toe in a princess costume, perfectly in character except for the gaping wound on her neck. She held a knife in her tiny hand, as real and as sharp as a butchers pride and joy.
        “You shouldn’t be playing with this, my sweet, you’ll get blood all over your costume,” you said to her before you took the knife from her tiny fingers and instantly you were back again, standing before me, looking right inside me.
        The children were still standing in the doorway as you raised the blade, cutting through the thin breath of air that separated us, as if that was all that separated us.
        “I don’t understand,” I said to you, knowing time had deserted me, realising I’d wasted my freedom, watching the shadows, terrified of what would one day arise from them, “you were dead,” I said, “I saw you bleed out on front of me.”
        “I know, my love and I still am. The dead don’t come back to life, not after their lover has killed them, they just come back for what they left behind,” she said as she slashed the blade across my neck, just below her scarf and the warm blood gushed from the inside out. She grabbed me and pulled me close to her as the life drained from my body, bringing her lips down on my neck and savagely sucking what was left from my veins.
        “You killed me because you discovered my desire for slicing up life, so I’ve returned to show you that very desire, first hand,” she whispered to my fading life-force.
        “Happy Halloween,” were the last words I heard her utter as I dropped to the floor while she took the hands of the children who watched from the shadow of the doorway and lead them off with a vengefully demonic laugh.

All Words and Drawing by Damien B. Donnelly

Originally appeared in the literary Journal Issue 9; Halloween Special



A Short Horror Story.

       I don’t remember what happened before, no clue as to who I was, what I was, but afterwards, everything that happened afterwards is a completely different story, because when you open your eyes after death, you discover a whole other way of living.

Tick tock, tick tock.

        There is darkness mostly, she left me no eyes to escape the blindness but I can see when I want, when the need fills me. I see shape in sound and smell, these are my senses now, she left me those. Guilt, regret, remorse, those weaknesses have no part in what I’ve become. I’m no longer accountable to the standards Men hold as law. I am beyond law and now, as I’m technically dead, I’m beyond Man.
Tick tock, tick tock.
        “I remade you, better than before. You were a drunk, a drug addict with no direction. No one gave a shit for you. You would’ve died one day, I just gave that day a name. You should be grateful, I’ve given you something greater than life; indestructible, eternal death among the living,” she declared that day, the first day of my everlasting existence, as I realised the horror of what she‘d done. I wasn’t human anymore, this was true. I would be unbeatable, also true. But she hadn’t given me eternal death, it was eternal damnation.
        I recognised her voice from somewhere before death, a sound bite on TV, a ranting about experimentation, radiation, creation; bringing heaven to earth. “I’ll build a world that will never need creation again, all will be eternal,” she’d bragged. I remember that. I’ll always remember that. She won’t, not anymore.
Tick tock, tick tock.
        When I first awoke, to her recreation, I felt no pain at all, that came later, when I came to understand what she’d made of me. She was my Frankenstein, she’d remoulded me from her miscreant mind. “Without sight you’ll see much better,” she whispered to my naked form, strapped to a gurney, as forceps wrenched my eyes from their sockets. “The tongue just teases you with taste,” she insisted, “this’ll teach you to taste from within,” and she snipped the tongue from my mouth with a blade, severing it from service with a single slice. Afterwards, she stitched it to the back of my neck, to remind me of all that was now behind me.
        I was not a body of blood anymore, my veins had been drained, dried out like taunt twine that tore through my flesh from the inside out. My innards had been expunged, discarded, floor fodder for vermin to devour and they did, nightly, as I lay there, a monster metamorphosing. In my chest, empty of all organs except my heart, a machine of amorality maintained me, pumping a self-sustainable liquid through the little that remained of me; limbs that had been ravaged, a hand severed and replaced with a scythe, legs hacked at the knees, mounted on metal spikes while my manhood was slit, sliced and stuffed with the slivering tongue of a serpent, still hissing. I was a despicable demon, an envoy of evil, a punishment for a world that had dismissed her dreams of total autonomy as nothing more than an inhuman, unjustifiable, godless existence. I was her retribution. She believed I’d bring them all down for her but she misjudged who was master. A monster knows no master. A monster needs no master. Monster is master.
Tick tock, tick tock.
        Monster let her believe she had control while she trained me, taught me to walk, to hunt, to appreciate the divinity of my own damnation. Monster appeared grateful to his creator and her darkness, monster acted thankful to his creator and her inventiveness until one day when monster stabbed his spikes into his creator’s feet as she leaned against the wall, smiling at the completion of her own genius. Monster smiled as his scythe slit her from nipple to neck and his one remaining hand reached inside her and disgorged the heart from her blood bathed body before her face even had time to register fear. Monster left her there, in her darkness, in that heartless body, further fodder for the vermin who’d already begun to sniff her out.

        That was 4 years ago. I can finally admit I’m grateful to her. I’ve lived more in death than I ever could in life. I don’t need food or drink, don’t shit or sleep. I exist as if everyday were the first, do you understand? Can you understand me now, now that I’m standing behind you, so close that your skin prickles with fear as I sliver my scythe around your neck?
        You came looking for me, didn’t you? Foolishly searching the shadows for the monster you thought was myth. Well, now you’re truly the fool because this monster is no myth, nor a white knight. I am the Blind Assassin, devoid of compassion. She removed that from me when she raided my body of blood and being. Do you hear the ticking clock? Tick tock, tick tock. It’s inside me. It goes where I go. It counts down humanity while I continue on, slaying it. I feel nothing for you people anymore, nothing. And in a moment, you’ll feel nothing too.

        And he was right. In an instant blood spewed from the gash in the human’s neck and splattered onto the glasses that covered Monster’s eyeless sockets and down onto his tongueless, grinning mouth as the clock continued counting…

Tick tock, tick tock.

        He’d killed his creator but he couldn’t extinguish the desire for revenge that she’d transplanted into his useless, still beating, eternally damned heart.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 17.06.58

Oh country, my country,

once born in your troubled times
and raised by the banks where your Liffey lies,
I followed the paths of generations moved on
to see what they’d built, to see where they’d gone,
but returned to a home now seriously lacking
a nation of consumers complaining and attacking.
Where are your parishioners, the pride of your isle,
your Emerald’s glory once renowned for its smile?

Oh country, dear country,

now bigger than ever in girth if not majesty,
in greed if not glory, in makeup if not unity.
What has become of those simple smiles,
captured in bar songs of other times?
Is summer gone, have the flowers died
did Danny not return to his father’s side?
A nation once raised on songs and stories,
of people poor but proud of their glories.
Are you better beings in designer labels,
Gucci in hand and louboutin’s under tables?
Maleficent muttons playing innocent lambs
slaughtering histories with blood stained palms.

Oh country, once my country,

there’s no truth to your hunger or depth to your drunkenness,
no moral in your manners or reason for your forgetfulness.
Who’ll be your heroes in the years still to come,
who’ll hear your cries and who’ll beat your drum?
Collins was martyred and there’s no more de Valera
the last of your greats were the end of an era,
now it’s fools fickle to the latest fashion fads
tarted-up teenagers and under aged dads.

Oh country, fallen country,

once a force of marching freedom
while looking to other lands for asylum,
now turned and twisted into narrow opinions
while others seek help and die in their millions.
How has racism risen so loud
in a place once paraded as peaceful and proud,
where its people filled ships that sailed on the seas
in the hope that other lands would hear their pleas,
can you rise again from your Holy Ground
adding names to the list of your heroes renowned?

Oh country, lost country,

where Mary’s cries still ring out to the sea
for Michael who told her nothing matter’s when you’re free,
have you washed down too much of your own importance
and forgotten the fight for your own independence?
Can it be that the tiger, in departing, took your best;
your heart and your soul and just spat out the rest.

Oh country, what country,

how can I find my way back to before
when all I once loved has slipped from your shore?


All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken at across the fields at sunset in Lusk, Co. Dublin , Ireland



He wrote you a love song,
A sonnet full of substance
but it quivered
on a quaver,
piercing it,
smacking it
separating it
from any sense of
drowning it
in dissension,
all reminder
of resonance,
burying it brutally
in the blues,
bare and broken.

He wrote you a love song,
an oscillation of collaboration
that could’ve been,
it should’ve been
a summation
of supple notes
and fervent fingers
but it was
a fabrication,
a falsehood,
a flat note,
a rhythm raiding
the reason
and an opus
attesting to obliteration
without ovation.

He wrote you a love song
This is how it ends!


All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly




I see you, this morning
in sweeping reflections
in the waters, reflected
in the sleeping stillness
of the morning’s silence

as if the world was looking up
as if the sky had fallen down.

I see a tree, a weeping
sea of a tree, leaning,
reflected in the waters,
reflecting its reflection
into milky mists of morning

and I wonder if the world is truly what I see
or if my reflection is the truth
staring up
at me.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly