is changeable.
Can be changed.

We cut down stress
in the back garden of our woes,
in the back garden so neighbours
cannot see our fears spread out
across the lawn.

We stew it out
in solitude so we can shine later
after the dust has found its antidote,
after the touch is again tolerable,
after the new grass grows over
these rotten weeds.

Can be changed.
Light is changeable.

We sit,
this evening,
in the late light of the kitchen
behind the glass partition
and watch the sunset.

Its last light
changing everything it touches

into shadow.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


7 thoughts on “THE SHADOW OF LIGHT

  1. I’ve just come back and re-read this and almost felt like I’d been hit when I read the “into shadow.” at the end – it was unexpected. I don’t think I noticed it on the first reading As a reader, it’s like this poem has a sting in it’s tail and I didn’t see it coming. Would enjoy to hear a comment from you about the ‘sting’ ending – how you as the poet see that – your take may be very different to mine and I’m curious to know. To me this writing, this poem is wonderful, as is the photo.

    • Thank you for your questions- I had to think about it too. And reread the poem. I’ve done 49 new poems over the last few weeks based on poetry prompts on twitter! There’s hardly time for toilet breaks with the poetry gardening and interior decorating and baking and eating 🤭🤭🤭❤️

      • You’ve sure been productive! I read this poem out loud to Nigel and he got all enthused with ideas for responding to your later comment – so I left him to respond while I made coffee (which I’ve just dubbed coffee-opathy much to his amusement). Re toilet breaks I don’t know if you saw my RT of toilet humour on Twitter … a person had very cleverly made a toilet-roll cake and it was so cool! I’ll dm it to you ’cause you may not have seen it 😉

  2. Thank you my friend and sorry for the sting, I’m more teddy bear than bumble bee usually. For me the shadow refers to something not currently touched by light, with the idea that it is in waiting- for either- for hope or whatever the other option is. Things seem to be in a cocoon state right now and we are all waiting, by our windows, watching to see what comes out of the shell, afterwards. I started reading The Day of the Triffids recently. Maybe that’s mingling in! 🤭

    • Hi Damien, Nigel replying. I see your poem as about the actions (non-actions) we need to take (avoiding touching) under Covid, with the ‘sting in the tail’ being the alternative; into “shadow” i.e. into the shade (of death) – from Homer’s Odyssey, sentiment may also occur in Old Testament I see this as a very valuable poem for living through the pandemic – arts and poetry are essential as a counterpoint to overwhelming data.

      I may have absorbed some Dark Mountain philosophy and it has come out in my reading of your work here, DM are fearless in facing and re-solving the very real realities we face.

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