The years are waning
and rivers overflowing,
paths and positions
into puddles,
into pools
raging with reflections,
reflections of connections
and rejections,
of what has been
and what’s slipped away;
the debris and decay
as we stop
and stand
and mourn
for all that’s no longer ours,
all that’s been tempted
by the tides touch,
taking pictures
as it passes,
as if the memory
is no longer
canister convenient
to load, to log,
to catalogue
all we wanted
to hold on to
but never thought
important at the time;
the feel,
his taste,
her scent.

And the years
still wane
and the waters
still rise,
taking us deeper
and deeper
from any depth,
from any clutch
to cling to
and the black widows
still throw water
from their balconies
as if draining their hearts,
as if that can save them,
and I catch myself
in those rushing waters
looking up at me
through trickles of time,
a memory now
meandering downstream,
for we are no salmon swimmers,
turning on the ripple
after the stones
been thrown,
after the bloods
been shed,
how much more
can we loose?
and I see myself
in that sinking shadow
caught on the current
of what once was;
back in that taxi
holding his hand
while thinking of another
and wondering,
all the time,
what is love
and where will it take us?

This foolish feeling
that flows recklessly
like this river,
this river I thought
to skate away on
or so she sang,
this all consuming complicity
that floods my heart,
breaking boarders and banks
while I just wanted
to wade for a while
in the warm waters,
to feel its touch tingle
but time is not tender,
tick tock, tick tock
and, in another twist
of the tides,
I see, with my own eyes,
the I who I was
flying through Paris
on the back of that motorbike
that mesmerised me,
holding tight
to the back of that man
that mystified me,
oblivious to how fast
the wheels were turning,
ignorant to how far
time can take us,
to how much
it can take from us,
chasing curiosity
and comfort
that lasted no longer
than a single drop
of water
in a river running
forever onwards
and I was never
fast enough
to keep up,
to keep hold,
to draw breath
from a heart
that was always
a stranger to caution
like these floods
that wash over lands
and pour over paths
we’ve taken without hesitation,
breaking the beds
we’ve only newly broken in…

and all the while
the years
keep waning
and the rivers
keep sliding
and the question,
never answered,
never changes;
what is love
and where will it take us next?

Cause I’m back
where I started,
on the same path;
left side, boho chic
where Sartre laughed
and Oscar died
and drinking where
Anais and Miller
lapped up lust
but the heat’s
been turned down
by the rivers rising
and the path’s now paved
in puddles,
Paradise is gone
Miss Mitchell
and 40 is the older 20
and paying for bills
replaced playing at parties
and there are conferences
on climates
and consideration
and conservations
while Paris piles up paper
cause it doesn’t want to change,
as if we ever had a choice,
as if it hasn’t really noticed
the tensions rising
and the people rioting

the river,
like the years ,
eroding all that was once familiar

and I wonder
what is left to love
and where do we go from here?

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio available on Soundcloud:

Published by deuxiemepeau

Published poet, writer, baker and former fashion maker, with footprints in Paris, London and Amsterdam but currently back home in Dublin with sights aimed at leaving a mark on the West coast one clear fine day...


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