It’s Poetry Day Ireland so I am supporting from abroad. This year’s theme is Truth or Dare so throughout the day I will be posting a few of my older poems on Truth and a few more on being Irish…

Salmon Dancers

And so swim the salmon, against
the rising stream, foam flushing
against fins as falcons fly overhead
in the fight for freedom, destiny
is not a dance that can long
be distracted, shiny specks of silver
dancing, darting, borne to beat back,
to wage against the rushing waters
as they make their way west. And so
swim the salmon, along the corroded
current of Connacht, that Atlantic
sojourn, that shore still swaying
in the shadow of those ancient songs
when souls set off in search of security
overseas, burdened boats battened
down with the beaten and the broken,
culled like cattle in the rain, boats
with bodhrans and fiddlers, singing
and dying through their dreams
of a new world, already mourning
the old lands, the homelands
they’d been swept from, kept from.
And so swim the salmon
as the storms rage, as they battle
onwards, salmon dancers, skating
on the waters, leaving trickles like stones
once tossed by hands now lost, tracks
to follow for others who’ll follow,
as others have followed, as others
who’ve fallen, their faces now faded.
And so swim the shining salmon,
off into the world with the sound
of home in every stroke.


All words and photographs of Dublin by Damien B. Donnelly

SALMON DANCERS for Poetry Day Ireland

3 thoughts on “SALMON DANCERS for Poetry Day Ireland

    • Oh thank you so much, I am very fond of this one and just read it at an open mike-night here in Paris, their theme that evening was Ireland 🇮🇪 🤗😘

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