Clouds congregate under summer skies, standing towers,
still, waiting for Napoleon’s rise. Up close, only echoes
of history hit the hollowing rock below- coming in
to slip out with more, in search of possession on another shore.
There are footprints on the beach- horses hooves
whose metal shoes now feel the rust of the sea’s salt.
Up close, the scent of his wet coat is carried on the current
like a boat that twists and turns until it hits someone, out of sight,
who wonders why the wind carries on it the might of something wild.
I watch from the seat of a bike, wondering why I fear the water
and if I will end up as a ghost to the island that watches me
from every cut of this curious coast. Up close, my heart begins to trot,
in anticipation of movement, of having undone the knot, seeking out
new scents, climbing old towers where well-sighted soldiers
where once posted, spreading my footprints along the edge
of the tide before the waves wash them far and wide.
Black horse dances where windows once watched for war.
After falling, you can only surrender to beauty.
All words and photos by Damien B. Donnelly