I laid on the floor and touched
the marbled perfume of the ocean
as it washed over me, waves
of flying feathers, a fluid fire
of salted foam.

I kissed the poison of your lips,
once, and did not die as you came
over me, next to me,
inside of me.

Decay is not a breaking blue
nor a pout of ruby red.

I have drowned more, before,
on quiet corners, in safe seats,
in non-comforting crowds;
a desert of dozens all searching
for their own spotlight in place
of a single soul.

Spirit is often lost in too much light
that I wonder if the blind
see any better?

The day can be a dark dance,
fathers can decay in a garden
of wilting words
hope cannot weed out,
mothers are sometimes made
beyond the cord that was cut
from the blossom of another’s labour,
bleeding can be a rite of passage
like letting go, moving on,
blood is not always the thicker bond,
flowers can find a rhythm
in a rickety red room where the will
is willing to wait
and not be weighted.

We cannot all be angels
but we can rise upon the air we eat,
the touch we have tasted,
the flesh we have crept from,
swept upon, found a fondness for,
even in singular rooms
where naked blushes bright
upon the walls we have washed
with waves of a red raw hope
that finds root in a simple light.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly

25th poem for National Poetry Writing Month


  1. Ms. Liz

    Just came back for another look and the drawing draws me. In. Is it in pastel? So beautifully detailed and shaded, the blending delicate. I don’t know what questions to ask so please just tell me what you will about the drawing.. oh, and I’ve just realised that “angles” is “angels” isn’t it? I didn’t tumble to that on my first reading!

    1. deuxiemepeau

      Thanks for the heads up, I completely overlooked this. 🤭
      It is a collage of paint on the background ‘room’ and pasted on top is a pastel rose and leaf. I guess it’s a mash up. I also used a pencil afterwards on the painting to detail certain areas. I was writing the poem yesterday on my lunch break with the painting in mind but I realized it needed something else when I finally got home last night and looked at it,so it became a collage to emphasize the strength of nature and hope.

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