This poem was originally a part of my Joni Mitchell series from two years ago but it felt appropriate to be a part of this series of Journeys…

I have been courted
by counts and clowns,
too costly to count,
too considered to be questioned,
too comical to consider courtly
while in cities crowded with crossing carriages
and calm corners curated in comfort.
I have been coloured in, cared for,
cooped up, critiqued, cried out
and carried on, careless at times,
cautious at others,
I am creature creative
within this creation
in constant recreation,
a commuter
on this continuing carriageway
as cryptic as these clouds
of cotton-like complexity I cannot catch,
this carnival carousel of colours
not always complimentary
but of constant curiosity
that keeps on careering
and I am caught, concentric,
in consensual contentment
on its current that cannot be caged.
I came to the city,
this city, a city, other cities,
on a calling caught,
to cast all caution into the chaos
so as to compress the cost,
to consider the curve of common cliche
and covet the calling of the unconventional,
to cast a cry into the canyon
I have cut from my own carcass
so as to be counted as contestant.
I came in from the cold corners of complacency
where the crows were cawing callous
with the canines of carnality
to carve my confession
upon the confines of concrete
so as to comprehend the kisses I’ve captured
and the cords I’ve become a connoisseur of
within these courts that have contemplated me
and these circuses that have certified me
as compliant competitor.
I can only compliment the countless confusions
that called me careless
and I considered too crude to be counted,
but they count as the catalysts
that corrected my compass to
its calling within this circle
I am committed to seeing through
to its conclusion.

Shine on, shadowed sky,
with your stars like songs
singing along their sojourn.
I see sinister no more in shadow
and sight not always in sun.
We are seagulls and snakes
and saints and sinners
in the same situation,
searching for stimulants,
singing in unison
of our struggles and our strengths,
striving to see salvation in the spotlight,
searching out that spark to court
in sex and sense
that will send our souls soaring
into the stratosphere.
We are songs being sung
in a simultaneous serenade.

We are stars.

We are not nothing and never will be.

See how we Shine.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


  1. merrildsmith

    I remember your Joni Mitchell series. Now I have to catch up on your journey–I feel like I’ve just hitched a ride a couple of times. πŸ™‚

  2. exploringcolour

    So beautiful and seems bardic to me, not that I actually know anything about the tradition. But I got happily lost in all those words and especially loved the 3 lines that start “Shine on…” and also the serenade line. Perfect photo too, where is it?

      1. deuxiemepeau

        Oh my! Dizzy in the morning! That was another one! This is a little folly on Ile de la Jatte on the edge of paris where Georges Seurat used to come and paint!

      2. exploringcolour

        Really! I like Seurat’s work. I don’t know that many artists but I do know of him! That just makes your photo even more delightful! Thanks Dami and have a lovely day πŸ™‚

      3. deuxiemepeau

        He painted β€˜Sunday in the island of the grande jatte’ here, his biggest work, at the time his biggest rejection and now his most loved and important piece. Off to meet old friends for the day, excited!

      4. deuxiemepeau

        Well actually I am sitting beneath the Eiffel Tower waiting for them to come down. I think it’s the last weekend of summers sun!

  3. Jane Dougherty

    That is a real tour de force of alliteration. I learned recently that alliteration is a poetic device the early Irish were very fond of. Looks like the art hasn’t died out.

Leave a Reply