November rains in a park, trying to be an artist,
attempting to capture it all in quiet corners,
beyond earshot from anything daring,
sheltered in shadow instead of off in adventure,

thinking I’d found myself but it was safe, fake lies;
a pacifying of the ego, trying to paint a Pissarro
in a Paris park with colourless pencils, not suffering
for art but suffocating in the subject that surrounded me,

your multi-layered character was a daunting place to start
adding colour to this blank canvas, I was but amateur
attempting astounding, dabbling in shadow and shade;
more lifeless than lit, more stilled life than filled with life.

One million options beneath my feet waiting to be walked
and I picked the solitary seat, in the shade of a Saturday,
in a park, in Paris, a spot speckled with strokes of life
but my own form had yet to be found within the frame.

I was as lifeless as the simple scene I had sketched
but I hung you on my wall nonetheless, as a reminder
perhaps; fast movement was needed least winter winds
would wipe this foreigner as forgotten before begun.


Words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly. This is a month of looking back at my life with Paris in order to start moving on. I wrote this poem at 23. I was 22 when I first sat in le jardin du Luxembourg and tried to painted a canvas with colourless pencils.


  1. memadtwo

    Very perceptive for 23. That might be something I would write now, if I could remember my younger self with any clarity. (K)

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