Corners come crawling from the fine folds
of memory when the lavender was long
with laughter beyond the bridge
where the lazy water twisted her sky’s blues
through rough rock and tufts of gold tainted
grasses that I captured on canvas
and you kept in glass cases crowded
with curated curiosities and empty wine bottles.
We were in your Queen’s country; Balmoral
and all her bounty without a breath
of any Brexit. They had a tin can
of baked beans in her local store
and a couple of packets of butter biscuits
in a coating of plastic tartan and I wondered
who had the midnight nibbles
after the summer’s sun had settled
over the north that so wanted to snap
from the south. We’d sat in a church
with the Ma’am herself and all the family,
a tiny little thing (both monument
and monarch) cut into ragged rock
on the turn of a heather hewn hill, clinging
to its own existence like the family
and the faith and the kingdom. Later,
we gathered with giggles in a glen
as little Miss Sydney crippled us
with comedy and the Ling heathers
bloomed in the buoyancy of her laughter,
a daughter of the Commonwealth
now no longer common. All things come
and go, like the scent of cut lavender,
culled and so peacefully plain, its colour
now lighter, now longer able to be amethyst.
Memory too folds and fades like the colour
of each encounter, like the bloom and
the border, the lavender and the laughter,
the freedom and the procession, the family
and the faith, the country and the conqueror,
like all entrances and all their unexpected exits.


All words and water colour by Damien B. Donnelly

21st poem for National Poetry Writing Month



  1. Lavender does seem to conjure remembering, and a bit of melancholy too. We can’t keep the past from leaving us. What will rise to take its place? (K)

  2. Ages ago Jake did a post about every exit being an entrance. It made a big impression on me so I was quite struck by your last line! It’s interesting looking at your painting. It draws me into the distance and yet the positioning of the bridge seems to gently suggest that our path will lead in a different direction. This may be rather over-fanciful on my part 🙂 You have an interesting signature, I’ve never seen capital “D” like that before.. looks nice.

    • The world turns, doors open and close, every entrance will have its exit in its own time, we are the plodders along the path that is never truly ours, each companion along the road opens us up to another option waiting to be explored. We fall distracted by the view at the end of our nose and notice not that our feet has chosen a different turning. Be fanciful, I enjoy it!
      Thanks for liking my D, I worked on that a lot 🤭

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