We stood in arms, two boys at play
as the sea swept the shore below,
as the wind wound its way around us,
trying to cut through us as a bird
battled above for the right to go left
though the current had other thoughts,
saw other connections in this flight
of feathers fighting the force of rising
and falling, of coming and going,
of getting to and moving on.
We took the boat that took our breath
as it waged through waves, past homes
housed on hills born from the water
that held no shelter (can it still caress?)
that offered no comfort from the cold
(where to find the heat?) as you slipped
your hand into mine in this foreign land,
you and your foreign hand already feeling
so familiar, coming in, coming closer,
going out and coming back stronger
like this boat that sweeps the shore
from city (of sexy trams traversing
and curved girls smiling) to the walled
edge of nowhere, where the guns
sound the silence in the shadows
of a ghostly grandeur where soldiers
once stood to secure their settlement
and I told you I would fight dragons
for you if we make it through the waves
that come and go, these motions that make
or break the connections we are now
curious to keep current, these arms
we want to keep so close.

On the train I left you and climbed
the steps to the east of elsewhere
as you continued along the tracks south
and then so far south that the sun
still shone, both with other connections
to catch but aware of the current
of comfort we had begun to create
and I wondered if the bird found its way
home before the guns roared again
through the sky. And later, I wondered
if it were that bird, that same bird,
that echoed through each of us,
as we made our way, separately,
through the night.

We take tracks on lines ever crossing
but are bound to circles ever spinning
like echoes calling back on themselves.

We are tides torn between the depth
of the ocean bed and the safely
of the sandy shore.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version 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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