I whisper into wakefulness,
the body stirs before the brain,
the blood before belief,
I curl into colder corners of the covers
to encourage skin to come round
as sound slips in just before the sight,
light pours into eyelids slowly opening,
toes slip out to inspect the season
but the soul knows the truth;
I bear every season in a single day,
a snowstorm in the stench of summer,
in moments overlapping;
burning flesh on ice cold streets
(Paris can perish you
behind its postcard perfection),
springs of hopeful holds
that fall to less likely,
there is an unbreakable blossom
in this heart that covers
the precious particles
like once perfect snowflakes
that have since been shattered,
strings that have been strung;
strung out, strung up,
turned to taunt,
I recall the harmony
but am a stranger to the words
we wound into songs,
stretched into surrenders.
Your calls now drown us both
from the far end of another ocean
I thought to be tempered with tepid time,
phone floods forage
where even distance cannot dissipate
the despair that settles
on the floor beside me,
a shallow pool of strangulation
after the hang-up that always feels
somehow lighter at your end.
So much falls away,
so much falls to the ground;
shattered shards no longer capturing
its distant promise.
I watch the snowflakes
catch the wind carefully,
glisten for a moment
before it’s beauty losses breath
on the trodden tracks
of these treadmills
that take us to nowhere
and back again
as the bluebird sings her song
and the moon, even in the bright sky,
still retains its shadow,
ever watchful, ever wondering
when we too will find our time
in this fall, to fall.

All words and photography by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available at Soundcloud: 



And slow falls the heaven’s breath,
drawing on those days of dawns;
dewy with that blanket white crispness
below the song of the bluebird
(do you see; beauty can be blue
even when the bird isn’t black)
soft thrills trembling through the forest
as fine folds of frosty fur
find its form in frozen
between branches blithely bending,
l picture violins, their strings
being strung in a honed harmony
to hush the moon
now bitter to be beckoned
back beyond the blue,
(always the blue, always the time falling
on showers of snowflakes
that find their form
in their fluttering flight).
For a moment,
far from the fury,
the morning sighs itself awake,
(I see a baby draw its breath
and consider the corner of a smile
before it crumbles to a cry)
roots stretch and buds break
through the soil
the slow snow is intent on freezing,
for a moment, all is possible
but the snowflakes
that found the light beyond the night
turn to cracked crystals
of inconsistency
as they tip the truth
of who we are in the dark light
of these dull days.
They were golden tears
for but a moment,
spun into perfection,
swirling southward,
before they found us, falling
over an earth too far
from heaven.

All words and collage by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:



Barren Magazine, Issue 3


Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to be one of the artists featured in the latest issue of Barren Magazine, entitled Birch Black, Bone White, curated by Jason Ramsey, found on Twitter at @barrenmagazine and @JasonDRamsey

Website link: https://barrenmagazine.com/

This literary Journal, now in its third issue, is a powerful testament to the talent out there today, a collection of voices and visionaries from all around the world.  The themes are dark and the subjects often kept in the shadows but the veil has been drawn and this journal exposes the beauty on the bruises and the strength behind the falls.

Quote from the editor: This issue is dark, but it is glorious and beautiful to the core. — Jason D. Ramsey, Editor

Please take a moment to check out this new astonishingly bare and beautiful literary Journal for artists and note that submissions are now being accepted for issue 4; short stories, poetry, essays and photography .

Don’t miss out, there is true beauty to be found here…



Fragility falling
through fine flecks
of fair filigree,
perfect patterns
of individuality
speckled on
imperfect individuals.
Snowflakes melt
on steaming skin
thin on time,
too thick to break through,
you cannot always
sink below the surface
of an iceberg,
we cannot break through
all that lays beneath,
all the lies
below the surface,
it gets hotter
the closer you come
to the cold truth,
only in space
can a spec appear spotless.

Fragility falling
through the folds
of a snowstorm,
we are the swept
and the sweepers,
we must be swift,
icicles can injure,
perfection can pierce.
I can be broken,
I can be better,
I can be broken
but it takes time to rebuild.

I can be a snow-swept
filigree falling
through the perfection of time
and time, with all its perfection,
with its constant movement and minutes,
is as fragile as that snowflake.


All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:



The sky is burning,
the last light
eclipsed by the night
and we stop and stare
like fools at its blaze,
not seeing within this gaze
possibility falling though our hands
like snowflakes in a season
that has kept captive the summer.
The sky is burning
while we travel in taxis,
all of us back-seat partakers
being driven down roads
we know not where they lead
as our minds run tattered threads
along all the tracks
we wanted to press with our own print
but we cannot choose a direction
like a snowflake cannot control its pattern.
The sky is burning
with a fine filigree
of fire and ice,
with thoughts we try to catch hold of
but flames are ever changing
and no snowflake is the same
and we take hold of other dreams
others dreamt of
in other beds
under other skies blazing
through futile snow storms
and we melt, like a snowflake
in the dry heat of an early autumn.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud