I slipped off to the edge of the city,
this morning, where the stream found a stillness
and the air a crispness that kept confusion at a distance.
I stood beneath the bridge
that took the traffic and its tension far from me
and found the swimming swan rising higher in the stream,
the follow on from the floods that now seem so far
with these skies of blue, speaks of colour
in a park, on a Friday, in February,
where an artist once came to paint.
A park, in Paris, on an island,
by the Seine where the waters wash with colour
when you look beyond the shadows, a new rise
basking in the glory of what was once regarded
as great, by those who regarded the value of greatness.
Straight and tall, shiny structures shoot up,
like soldiers, by a stream ever in movement,
ever following the route, today’s design will be tomorrow’s sign
of an age the river has outrun.
I see trees towering tall in waters,
once rising, now falling, still strong, still weathering
the storm, still willing to be remembered, like an artist
captures beauty, captured beauty, in a park,
once, on a Sunday in a time since parted.
Nature is not in our control,
nature is willing to withstand all our wilfulness,
will not drown in these days of destruction,
will not worry, as we do, will not bend
but will let life flow around it,
in hope, in harmony.
In a park, on a Friday,
on an island, by the river,
in jogging shoes and sweatpants,
I ran through days already distanced
and tried to make connections between the road
winding onwards and the trees rising upwards, like the water,
rushing onwards like time, ever at play with its participants,
with all that it connects, with benches for the breathless
to recapture breaths and wheels
to help us follow the stream.
And in the windows,
I saw reflections of those towering trees,
never to be forgotten, blue of sky in the beauty of light,
light and harmony, colour and shade, captured in what is new,
a hint of what knows the bounty of age.
And on the river, by the park, on a Friday, in Paris,
I stopped and saw my reflection in the gentle waters
and in the waters saw colour, colour and light,
by a boat, in a park, in a city ever changing,
where an artist came to capture it all on a Sunday,
a simple Sunday, not a Friday but a Sunday, searching
for something between the shadow and light,
between all that will fade and all
the rest that cannot stay.
All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly