FOR BREAKFAST, FOUND POEM FOR BLOOMSDAY

 

Relish inner organs,
beasts and fowl-
roast heart, slices of all kidneys.

In the kitchen, breakfast,
light and air, out of doors,
everywhere peckish.

Coals reddening.
Sideways, squat. Soon. Mouth dry.

A leg with tail, on high, fire.

Lithe black form- sleek hide, white butt.

She understands. She wants.
She can jump her nature-

curious squeal.

Seem to like it.
Shame.

He
poured milk
on a saucer, on the floor.

She cried, running.
Weak light, she licked lightly.

Wonder is it true,
if you clip them?

  

Found poem by Damien B. Donnelly

based on opening page of Calypso in Ulysses by James Joyce for Bloomsday 2020

CALYPSO, AFTER ULYSSES, BLOOMSDAY

 

Transmigration.
Reincarnation.
All things
come round again.

Stale smells fester
like ripened leftovers
behind unopened windows,
taunt like tips of teased letters
pressed under brazened pillow.

Downstairs,
black beast devours
burnt flesh in the kitchen
next to the faint flavourings
of a urine scented
kidney.

Scald the kettle,
she calls and he does,
doesn’t he? Before relieving himself
in the jakes out back.

Stale smells fester.

 

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All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

TELEMACHUS BY THE 40FT, BLOOMSDAY

 

Dreams are big black cats.

There are ghouls that come in waves,
the Sea- a grey sweet mother
snot green, scrotum tightening,
come and look, smell-

wax and rosewood
in the distance, death has not yet departed.

Waves rise along rock,
bile is collected in china plate.

The sea is grey, the china white, bile green,
he is black but won’t go yet to grey

though he did not come to knee.
Beastly.

On a bed death has already delivered
mother kicks buttercups off the quilt.

Beastly is death and it’s deliverance
and worse, when it will not take its leave.

There are ghouls sweeping in over the sea,
cruel chewers of corpses

while dead Dignam has yet to be dug down.

Black cats are big in dreams.

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All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly. Inspired by Ulysses by James Joyce.

Bloomsday 16th June

THE HAIR ON THE BACK OF HIS NECK

 

You had long black hair, a horse’s mane
that I held as we rocked through early years
and a red furry coat I never stopped to question
while we rode across uncertain terrines that echoed
his silence and her longing to not give up anything again.
Even then, even at play, I knew their mask of a marriage ran
short of imagination. I cut your hair later, amid the tension
but before the divorce, when I would have cut any cord
at the time if it meant getting out, getting away, me
and a red rocking horse with a mutilated mane,
wishing, later, that things we cut could find
a way to grow back,

better.

  

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

THE TABLOID TELLS OF THOUGHTS FROM TEMPLE HILL

 

I read in the paper this morning
that we were hugged.
That sometimes a nun cried
when fledgling flew from her fold-
a sister of scripture sobbing for a son
she would never call her own.
We were just play toys
far from the playground-
touches temporary
while waiting to be wanted.

I read in that paper this morning
that sometimes someone sang to us-
before we knew what a song was
or what sadness meant
or how tears come not only in sorrow,
new born babies already waiting
on new names in the odd arms
of a caped collection of sacred ladies
singing us songs of selection.

  

All words by Damien B Donnelly

AFTER W.B YEATS

 

5 Poems based on lines from W.B Yeats…

‘And I shall have some peace here, for peace comes dropping slow,’
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
W.B. Yeats

Slow Falling

Snow falls behind the glass, beyond the reflections
this window cannot see. Snow, soft as the soul;
a canvas of white fleeting purity, as pure
as that first kiss; always caught, never captured.

Slow falls the first snow as fine as feathered fragility
like that first time, as tender as it was terrifying;
the feeling of discovery, the fear of being discovered.

Slow comes the season, and we are seasonal,
and we too are seized; were we not yesterday daisies
dancing on hilltops, a spring in our step and blind
to the slope, were we not once sensory below the sun,
bonds burning along bodies bare, but now,
beneath the snow, red reigns regal, enfants eyeing
the skies; hushed and hopeful before the innocence
falls from their belief, falls like this snow, this frozen
miracle already melting hearts we’ve had to hide
from the cold and we can be cold, like the morning’s
first breath beneath the crippling clutch of winter
when his touch is too far to find.

Slow falls the snow beyond the glass, beyond the shattered
reflections of a world of riots and reactions, slow falls
the snow and I think of peace and of people parading
under its hush of hope. Snow falls and I wonder
how it would feel to have a season of slow falling peace?

 

‘I wander by the edge of this desolate lake where wind cries in the sledge,’
Aedh Hears the Cry of the Sedge
W.B. Yeats

Buoyant

Is it here where the tears come to find peace
in this place of serenity?
I lay down this lake of loss,
hope for the soil to soak up the sorrow,
by the side sedge I wedge myself
up from the waste and bury all that turned base
at the bottom of this bed,
no longer sheets of cotton comfort but sludge
soon to be swept under, asunder.

Is it here where reality ripples into reflection,
the sinking illusion of what I thought to be
perfection?
An impression of light and shade, now lighter,
now shadier, now just a remainder
waiting for time to submerge.

I lay down in this lake; a lough of loss,
locked, lost,
waiting for the tide to wash over me,
waiting for the tears to dissolve within me,

waiting for time to refine me,
re-find me as buoyant instead of beaten.

 

‘And when white moths were on the wing, and moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream and caught a silver trout.
The Song of Wandering Aengus
W.B. Yeats.
A White Wing Rising

A starlit day, on a distant shore, as if summer had sent it
swarming like a snowflake; silken wings to summon
the sunset, a white moth to raise a sweet soul departing.

And there, as a star was added, the bright moon was kissed
in berry blush as the sun settled beneath the lake
where the lost trout turned through tresses of silver dancing
and he smiled at his love, since lost, now glimmering

in eternity.

 

‘And suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven.’
The Cold Heaven
W.B. Yeats

While You were Dreaming

And as you dove through distant dreams
just beside me, you left to my centre,
I woke to the night sky splitting above me,
the stars were burning, bleeding through
the darkness as the heavens opened,
their gates no longer golden as the
rooks took flight, soaring into my fright
here in this cold night as you tossed
through thoughts and I watched mine
beating, beaten with feathers on fire,
the disparate darkness drawing delight
in my downfall, in my blindness, and you
turned in sweeping motions, your back
to me as I should have done, as I could not
and I wondered where you had wandered
as I was culled into consciousness, frozen
by the flames and shivering, were you
moving through memories we made
or making room for more to come
in other beds, in other arms, and then
befell the bodies, bound, in chains locked,
in flames crying, cursing, trying to pull
apart bonds that should have broken,
and you turned again and your arm
came over my chest and the vision
was smashed in contact, reverie
retreating but the burning continued.

 

And a final poem recalling his unrequited love…

Toppling his Tower

What can I lay by the feet of such beauty?
What can I offer my love on this land?
A garden of roses, omitting the thorns
with this golden ring I hold in my hand.

But a garden of roses, omitting the thorns
is barely enough to garland your grace,
so I’ll pave you a path in the finest fabric,
a velvet so sweet to mirror your face.

So I’ll pave you a path in the finest fabric,
a cloth of brocade to comfort your cares,
a daylight distraction to hold your attention
from rebels and riots that are not our affairs.

A daylight distraction to hold your attention
to paintings and poems that hang by our side
in a tower I’ll build you to keep out the cries
of a world lost to power and drunk on its pride.

In a tower I’ll build you to keep out the cries
and a lark then from the meadow I’ll borrow
so she’ll sing of the stars and the moon that is ours
as we’ll lay in arms and let love sooth the sorrow.

But restless was her soul on the call from outside,
her beauty diminished by the sounds of their cries
and one day he lost her where his paved path divided
and he cut down her roses with tears in his eyes.

I gave her the finest, the fairest and fancy,
I gave her the beating heart of this man,
but she was bound to the call of the lost and the lonely
which now I have become and therein I see her plan.

  

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly. Inspired by W.B Yeats 

Today is the 155th anniversary of W.B Yeats. Thanks to Jane Dougherty from Jane Dougherty Writes on WordPress for running A Month with Yeats back in 2016

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LE LION ET LE RAT

 

Small teeth free big paw
The rat is brave before lion-
More time and less force

The Lion and the Rat

Petites dents libres grosse patte
Le rat est courageux devant le lion-
Plus de temps, moins de force

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

FORGET ME NOT


There are sink holes in the back garden

where I stash the stems of subconscious
longing along with feathers plucked
from the stale fights over ownerships
of books and bonds. When early morning
climbs drowned dream with blinding light
there’s an impulse to uncover boulder
used to bury hole and reach in to touch
all I threw out. Sometimes shadows shift
in said garden and the conscious is alerted
in time for consideration to be abated.
At other times, the arm always feels
blighted when it comes back up, empty
and unchanged but for the tiny pleas
the squashed stems have ripped
and rooted into fooled flesh- last shoots
from forget-me-nots I’ve tried to untie.

  

All words and photographs y Damien B Donnelly

 

HOUSE. HOME. HARBOUR

 

Spiral. Sea. Sound.
Snail shell. Seashell.
Cochlea.

Calm. Current.
Cacophony.

Hollow to house. Hollow to harbour.
Hollow to hear.

Slow. Sand. Sense.
Snail Shell. Seashell.
Cochlea.

A house. A home.
A harbour for the sound

of everything.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly