I live in a country
where people say thank you
to the drivers of busses-


In the mornings, on school runs
and city excursions,
a country where people say thank you
to the drivers of busses,
even at middle door exits
where they’ll nod, all the same,
to the front, to the driver
in that cordoned-off cabin-
in case of commotion-
they’ll throw down a gesture
or the wink of an eye
that says thank you for the bus ride,
that says thank you to the driver
of the bus who’s inside.

I live in a country
with those giggling girls
I could’ve clattered this morning,
those giddy little girls with their gangly limbs
which they swung across aisles
like granny’s long knickers
in the garden on lines,
swaying our patience
off the handrails, this morning
like J-Lo’s but younger.

I live in a country
where these 5-year-old rascals,
who I pictured pounding beaches
for equally thick things to trample,
all scurried off the step
while saying thank you to the driver
of the bus they’d just battered,
Thank you, sir they said
and then jumped into a puddle
and splattered.

I live in a country
where people say thank you
to the drivers of busses

and I realise why I came home.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Audio available on Soundcloud:


9 thoughts on “RANDOM REASONS

  1. LOVE! I’m glad you’ve done a recording with this one too.. loved listening to you reading it. I live in such a country too and remember being quietly pleased that many people yelled out a thank-you to the bus driver when I lived in Dunedin, not just me. Yelling that is, if you don’t exit from the front >> THANK YOU, DRIVER 🙂 And thank you Damien! Hugs from NZ.

    • Oh, it’s so nice to here this is not an isolated experience and other countries have the same considerations. It made the short little bus trip so much more enjoyable this morning, inspiration turning with the wheel and feeling so far from all that stuff and nonsense I dealt with elsewhere. Beauty fades but a thank you can be eternal, hugs right back to you and thank you 😘🤗☘️

  2. What a joy to hear your voice, Damien. Your words about your country take on greater significance when I hear them with an Irish intonation and pronunciation than those same words spoken in my head with an American accent. I am simultaneously gladdened and saddened by your poem–happy that politeness and decently still reign in Ireland, but saddened that those same traits seem on the decline in my country, particularly in public discourse.

    • Thank you Mike. It’s these little things every day making life more attractive and my reasons for returning more and more valid. I am sorry to hear of this decline in the States. I hope you’re keeping well and 2020 is so far proving charming. Best wishes my friend 🤗☘️

  3. Ah, lovely Damien. I’ve always thought your poems should be read aloud – it’s so great to hear it. I like this one very much, so well observed. That small fact is a way in to something so much wider and deeper.

    • Thank you Sarah, and it’s so true- even with the small kids, the greater meanings shine true. Sending shamrock filled hugs to you ☘️🤗☘️😘

  4. I love this, Damien. I had the same experience as Mike Powell hearing the words with your inflections and accent, so different from mine, and also the same feelings of being glad for you and sad for me that these small courtesies are usually not followed here.

    • I’m saddened to hear this, I have an American friend Trey, he’s from Austin, Texas and he was over with his wife at Mum’s house once and since then Mum refers to him as that gentleman as everything was Yes, Mam, thank you man and she thought he was the most polite person ever.

      • I think it varies from person to person and from region to region. The US is a big place with a diverse population. I think there are many very polite individuals, but I’ve never seen people get off a bus at the middle door and yell thank you to the driver. When my daughter lived in Boston, she said you could tell who the native Bostonians were because they never said hello to strangers in the street, or even to other residents on apartment stairways. I have to ask her if it’s different in western Massachusetts. 😉

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