TRUTH OR DARE, for Poetry Day Ireland


It’s Poetry Day Ireland so I am supporting from abroad. This year’s theme is Truth or Dare and this final new poem recalls older days when this Irishman was still a growing boy on the streets of Paris…


Truth or Dare

At 22 we locked the bar at 2am
and turned empty bottles around
tittering tables, wishes weaving
into comrades’ ears of who to pick
and who to kiss; the ex-pats in Paris,
running an Irish bar like it was
their open bar, even when it was closed,
eager to acquire a taste for foreign desires,
no one ever wanted to know the truth,
we were too young to be serious
and too stupid to know that it mattered,
that taste didn’t lie on the tongue,
though it later laid lies on our lips. At 22
we closed the bar and dared each other
to dive into anything other than the truth.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly, except for the one below as that’s me pulling my last pint in the Irish bar in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.



5 thoughts on “TRUTH OR DARE, for Poetry Day Ireland

  1. merrildsmith

    Ah, youth. I wouldn’t mind having that energy again, but I wouldn’t want to go back.
    And I’m sure you had lots of kisses. 😉

  2. memadtwo

    It’s not often we actually dare to tell the truth at any age.
    Like Merril, you make me think of my youth as well. Not a bit of sense in me at all. I would like to say that now I know better…(K)

  3. sarahsouthwest

    God be with the days…I kind of miss the roller coaster of youth…or do I?

    Yep, I do.

    Anyway, you capture it beautifully –

    we were too young to be serious
    and too stupid to know that it mattered,


    I have a dear friend, Siobhan Mac Mahon, who’s a performance poet primarily. She does a piece about leaving Ireland, that this reminded me of. That youthful drive for experience.

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