In the park
bodies are bare and bending
in sweaty forms,
see the skin still salivating
as if fresh from the frolics,
when we were fondled and found,
some born to be bound
and then others;
fickle fools thinking thrusts
were as true as trust.

But truth is told only in time;
touch turns from tenderly
tempestuous to temperamental
and all too temporary.

I had a king
in a castle in London
who showed me Soho
and Shakespeare
and Sondheim and song,
I had a home
in the confines of concrete
with textiles and textures
and people who thought
I shouldn’t want more,
I was a shadow
of winter in summer,
I was a peasant
unprepared for the palace
of people and places and graces.
I was the blue note in a home
where I didn’t belong.

I was caught
and caged in the concrete
I had pasted and painted
with colour to keep out
the cold.
I was the killer
of kindness in the castle
when I couldn’t keep track of the ties
too lonesome to hold.


Truth, like ties,
are tenuous,
like I told him once
and he laughed
and I knew I’d already lost him.
We were drunk then,
daily, ravenously rampant
by the river, raising the rafters
of romanticism into something
more erotic as liquor left us
more likeable,
more pliable.
More, you asked,
more of more and more
and we were whores
to the hunger, fools rocking
on a trust, that I had told him,
would turn out to be as tenuous
as it was temporary.

My old man
was a funny one,
a drinking man,
a bottle collector
who liked me like his liquor;
in cabinets next to cast offs
and collectables he could polish
at his pleasure.
My old man
was a fond one
of class and culture
who liked his treasure
in bottomless glasses
and freshly pressed sheets.
My old man
was the party clown
when the lights were leaving
and the drink deceiving
and despondent, at times, I think,
to think that he could have been more,
to think that we could have
had more.
My old man
was a bottle collector,
a drinking man
of class and culture
but there wasn’t enough room
in the bed for us all
with the more and more and more.

The sun is shining now
in this park, over sweating skins
poised for it to be permanent
while I watch the clouds gathering
just beyond the tress

where the vultures
are devouring their own virtues.


Alone now,
a flight of feathers
free from all shackles,
walking the single lane,
secure if it is to be
for a single day
or forever.
and casting off
the cages that once encased me,
feeling strength
that has long since slumbered,
heading along the highway
and holding all that is truly mine,
slowly retuning
to my natural state,
my own body embracing
its bounty, baring its beauty
like the womb; nurturing myself.
Loving alone now,
getting to know the curves
and the quite corners
of this midway of me
and the miles I am making,
true to the tales
of my own travelogue,
all natural states eclipse
for in returning
to this part of me,
once pushed aside,
once cast out of spotlight,
I am moved,
almost elevated,
parallel to that
which I am bound
into becoming.

I am the waters
no longer resting,
I am the stream swimming
from the city to the open ocean
and already I can feel the breeze
that those bound parks can only ponder.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:





    • That’s my dearest!!! And as I’m now apartment searching, time is about to tell more tales and hopefully inside the next new door I put my key into I shall find more truths! Fingers crossed 🤞 🤗

  1. Pingback: I CAME TO THE CITY, MY MUSE, MISS MITCHELL – Deuxiemepeau; Picturing Poetry by D. B. Donnelly

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