And as they bit into the apple
they lost their right to the garden.

Hands are tipped now with guns,
now, instead of gold, instead
of gloves. Rage is the new ricochet
where once it was rock and roll;
bullets are the new Beatles.

Facebook has alerts, now, to say
you’re alive, now, after, after the breath
is stopped, after the blood is splattered.
It used to connect, now it just confirms.

Listen closely, for the loud sparks
are coming closer, closing in, sparks
like forest fires or that ripening fruit;
rage and temptation, heat and hunger.

We are the breath or the blood. We cannot
be both. Though we cannot exist without the other.

Leaders are born liars now, learning
earlier, leaning into lecherous, rights
are now redundant as the right rears
its rage over the left, ridiculous
are the rabble rousers, raising nothing
but their own cocks in their own hands,
tweeting about their own thickness.
Twitter was once 140, now it’s 280.
How much more space
do they need to spread their shit?

On Jeju, by a volcano, now sleeping,
now silent, some asked us, before
I lost breath and we lost the identity
of our Us, if barriers could be broken,
if divisions could be undone and I looked
back to the green covered mountain
and wondered how long it would take
before it became a monster once more?

Only then, only when the earth decides
to flatten all that we have taken,
only then, will the barriers be broken.

And as they bit into the apple they lost
their right to be governors of the garden.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

Photograph taken on Jeju Island, at sunset, South Korea, July 2018. Before.



  1. Very powerful (full-on for me to read first thing in the morning!) We’re incredulous at the ongoing Brexit mess.. unbelievable. Curious about the “some asked us” part. Is that poetic device or real? ..contrasting the questions with the sleeping volcano makes a big impact.

    • Well good morning down there!!! Hope you’re ready for a good week ahead! Still coming to the end of this one here. Do warn me if I need to watch out for any highlights and sleep through the disasters.
      The questions were true, last year in South Korea while the ‘trump talks’ were happening in North Korea. People asked us how we felt, what we thought, was it possible for the two countries to be united again with the help of that dimwit! They were beautiful people in a beautiful country that embraced simplicity as a jewel, looking for unity in unbelievable places. The volcano was my breaking point, my climb to the truth of who I was pretending to be and how much I was giving away of who I was in order to give support to the person I was with at the time. I climbed to see a sunrise that offered only clarity on a cloudy morning that covered the actual sun. I thought I was having a heart attack but it turned out to be a panic attack and my body telling me it had been broken enough and was time to find the breath again. I think the world too is saying the same thing, it needs to find its breath again before it implodes. We are only built to bare so much. Deep breaths and small steps forward and maybe we can find a way, somehow, through all the shit. Maybe.
      Thankfully I have found my light again. With the help and support of you all 🙏🤗😘⭐️

      • You’ve been through the wringer and I’m so glad you’ve found your light! and I like how you can look at what happened and apply it to the world.. wish more people could look at things in that way. Recently you said to me ‘every fall a new way of learning how to rise again’. I hope this world can rise again!

      • 😂😂 Nigel’s a hoot! Giggling up here in frog land!!! No baking but heaps of writing and soon dreaming! Be good you two 🤗🤗

  2. You need a dose of happy. It’s hard at the moment, or should be for every right-thinking human being, but add personal unhappiness to it and we have problems. Get down off your volcano and breath fresh air again 🙂

  3. That feeling of rage hits so close to the bone. And yet it’s too intense to keep it up, it eats us alive. Jane is right. We need to care for ourselves in order to be of any help to the world.

  4. There’s always so much going on in your pieces, and being absent for so long, I missed quite a bit. I remember your trip to South Korea and your beautiful photos. Its hard to imagine from viewing them that you were in the midst of a very trying time in your life. You were on fire. We are on fire. The world is on fire. And, it is hard to stay positive in the inferno of reality. Yesterday I was thrilled that John Bolton was fired by the shitgibbon. Can you believe that?! I guess we should take the light wherever it shines.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s