In days now distant we were back side, one-up,
apartment dwellers whose viewless windows
enabled us to see more through the darkness
than the light that might have deceived us.

Tambourine Therese tapped her tunes of truths
not yet tasted, sweet tumble leaves freshly fallen
from the trees in the apple orchard with the pink
ladies and golden greens begging to be bitten into,
we were innocence eased into a micro mini
of voluptuous velvet and the brown eyed boy
already broken on blue, we were scavengers
seeking the scent of salvation on the shiny streets,
saving up to buy into beginnings we could cut
cords on, we were lyrics yet to be licked
looking to Mitchell as muse; we were wild
in the old days and covering Carey and cases
of whoever might come calling on the Casio
in our little corner as we careered through
the no longer muddy marshland in search
of suggestions to rise in us seductions, thirsty
for tattoos to plot paths along our pale pinkness
so we could track our trajectory. Gone
from the garden we were growing into city,
held up at first in a hotel, hostages of homelessness
were we sang songs in the ignorance of our sorrow,
sweet birds of youth busy building nests
in the confines of concrete, blind to the battery,
we were born for the bloom but forging
that famed forever on a friendship
that failed us like the lie of a lead balloon.

In days now distanced from all that was once dream,
I have found form as lonely painter on a canvas
of winding words, the connoisseur of cutting cords,
often curt and callous, in the challenge to manage
the malice, trying to be fateful only to the fate
that awaits but caught at times, by cords
that cannot be cut, whose curious concerns
come a calling from cold corners I’d considered
closed. I hear you on the wind sometimes
still tapping those tunes I thought I’d forgotten,
as veins rethread the trajectories already taken
through my skin, no more so pink, no more
so fresh. Fruit fades but we find ourselves
reformed into fractures of what once was,
fragments unfinished, like filigree too fine
to unfold, like a dance as yet undone, a song
we had still to sing in this city I’ve now returned to
while moving on, slipping forward through shadows
now past, still building nests, still seeing better
in the darkness and touched, in that half-light,
by the purity of your sprite, once so fair, one so rare.
We fell so fast to finished and yet, as she sings
of the songs like tattoos, I’m reminded
of that one flight up that can never be diminished.

All words and photo collage by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:


  1. Songs like tattoos and winds from Africa. Get and your cane and silver, and drink a case–at least in memory. πŸ˜‰ Lovely, Damien.

      1. I do have a top hat, and just for that too! And a lamppost and bench outside on the street! All in need is a little rain and the beginning of a soft shuffle!!!

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