I climbed you today in downpours
and falling snows, no snowflake
ever the same, no footstep ever similar,
I climbed you today in sunlight
and stealing shadows, in strokes of paint
splattered in your memory by artists
as foreign as they are familiar,
I paused upon your steps, your streets
of steps, the steep steps others have taken,
others have trodden on, to take possession,
to take pictures, to take part, to be a part
of all that once was and has fallen to dust
through depression and recession,
no sails blow any longer to the wind’s wills,
the winds upon your hills no longer home
to the mills, no more the spirits linger
green to the fairy’s touch, spirits are in bottles
now, corked and capped and cost too much
and the artists now are but a shadow
of what once was, shadows for sale
on the site of what once held cause,
on this martyred mountain in Montmartre.
I climbed you today in wind and rain,
the past and future present, in a reverie
of what can no longer be, I climbed you
and stood above you and marked out
the steps I had taken along you,
along your lines and lanes that lead me
here, to this day, to this moment,
to this place as this snowflake fell,
this unique particle never to be repeated,
falling through the delicacy of creation.

I climbed you today and could hear
the train beginning to pull out of the station.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

For a week of considering creation.



  1. It’s an ascent to the light with lamps to light your way.. of course you’ll not take with you the sadness! In our own way, we’re each moving on beyond our past.. so excited for you!

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