We held hands over hearts
housed in other folds, ink
had tipped another name
into your flesh as we fell
into holds, harbouring no more
than musing moments, the south
going north for something different,
something foreign, someone fresh,
perhaps that was all we ever were;

a diversion from all that was defined,
from all that was assured. I was never
going to be anything more than something
to adorn an ordinary day in a city far away,
I would never be ink penned in permanent,
signed in the shade of your skin where
sorrow had somehow settled into shadow,
we were too thin to be anything more
than temporary, a painting the artist
considered too crude to be continued,
too confrontational to be anything more
than crass. We were hearts folded
into the hands of other houses, however
hopeless, however harmless, however much
we kissed and cavorted, teased and
twisted, we were branches bound
to other roots, ties are eternal to the trunk;
foolish is the fragile foliage that always falls.

Time turns tides, suns set,
touch is only temporary,
a kiss can be enough to curse.

I hear you, in the wind, at times, messages
that come calling from places I cannot picture,
from sheets I have never set my skin to,
from sweltering stones I will never step upon,
whispers of what once was, a wish
for something that was momentary
to have meant something more monumental.
But not every harbour hides hope, not every
hope is enough to hold a heart. We were
brushes, tipped with colours that weren’t
compatible, merely complimentary enough
to court a spark in a corner where comfort
felt a little less cold for a while. You called me
beautiful, at midnight, on a Monday
and I called you mine neath the gaze of your eyes
and we laughed our way through all that was truth
and all that lingered on the other side of our lies.


All words and photographs by Damien B . Donnelly

From a poetry series inspired by the albums of Joni Mitchell.



  1. From the related post I see that previously in the title you’ve used “Could have been more” but this time it’s changed to “Could not have been more”. The slight shift intrigued me and I wished to jot it down here.

    • Hehe, I love that you noticed my little change. One of the lines in Joni’s song is ´you could have been more´ and I originally went with that but when I was reformatting the poem recently I realized actually that this connection/flirtation could not have been anything more than what it was and so that ‘not’ arrived.
      Greetings from Ireland where the 40 weathers in the one day are on show! But thankfully no 40 degrees like in France! I hope you lovelies are feeling better. Big hugs and shamrocks 🤗🤗☘️☘️

      • I’m a detail person! Thanks for explaining. 40 degrees is horrifying, just awful. I’d rather have 40 weathers in one day. Hugs from DownUnder, also sending a ‘silver fern’ 🙂

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