BOOKENDS; AMATEUR STATUS

 

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.

RUNNING THROUGH THOUGHTS IN A PARK ON AN ISLAND BY A RIVER IN PARIS

 

I slipped off to the edge of the city,
this morning, where the stream found a stillness
and the air a crispness that kept confusion at a distance.

I stood beneath the bridge
that took the traffic and its tension far from me
and found the swimming swan rising higher in the stream,
the follow-on from the floods that now seem so far
with these skies of blue, speaks of colour
in a park, on a Friday, in February,
where an artist once came to paint.

A park, in Paris, on an island,
by the Seine, where the waters wash with colour
when you look beyond the shadows, a new rise
basking in the glory of what was once regarded
as great, by those who regarded the value of greatness.

Straight and tall, shiny structures shoot up,
like soldiers, by a stream ever in movement,
ever following the route,
today’s design will be tomorrow’s sign
of an age the river has outrun.
I see trees towering tall in waters,
once rising, now falling, still strong, still weathering
the storm, still willing to be remembered, like an artist
captures beauty, captured beauty, in a park,
once, on a Sunday in a time since parted.

Nature is not in our control,
nature is willing to withstand all our wilfulness,
will not drown in these days of destruction,
will not worry, as we do, will not bend
but will let life flow around it,
in hope, in harmony.

In a park, on a Friday,
on an island, by the river,
in jogging shoes and sweatpants,
I ran through days already distanced
and tried to make connections between the road
winding onwards and the trees rising upwards, like the water,
rushing onwards like time, ever at play with its participants,
with all that it connects, with benches for the breathless
to recapture breaths and wheels
to help us follow the stream.

And in the windows
I saw reflections of those towering trees,
never to be forgotten, blue of sky in the beauty of light,
light and harmony, colour and shade, captured in what is new,
a hint of what knows the bounty of age.

And on the river, by the park, on a Friday, in Paris,
I stopped and saw my reflection in the gentle waters
and in the waters saw colour, colour and light,
by a boat, in a park, in a city ever changing,
where an artist came to capture it all on a Sunday,
a simple Sunday, not a Friday but a Sunday, searching
for something between the shadow and light,
between all that will fade and all
the rest that cannot stay.

   

All words and photographs of Ile de la Jatte famed by Georges Seurat by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost for a week considering creation and how it flows around us

IMG_9664.jpg

CAPTURED ON CANVAS

 

Connie was caught by colour in the corner
of the castle where curtains collected
carnations. Connie was captured courting
curious on the canvas of a castle in a kingdom
condemned. Connie was caught by the kiss
of a courter in the courtyard where calla lilies
were cut. Connie missed the caution in the cut
of the calla while her courter crept away
with her coin. Connie’s forever captive on that canvas
in colour in that corner too curt with the kiss
of that courter now a cancer on her complexion
that no carnation covered curtain could ever conceal.

  

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost for a week of colourful imagination. Photo taken at Musee Bourdelle, Paris

AMATEUR STATUS

 

November rains in the park-
Trying to be an artist,
Attempting to capture it all
In a quiet corner
Behind the trees,
Away from the winds,
Beyond eyeshot from anything daring,
Sheltered in a huddle instead of in the midst of adventure.

I thought I had found myself
But it was safe fake lies;
Pacifying the ego,
Trying to paint a Picasso
With colourless pencils.
Frozen by mid-afternoon,
Not suffering for art
But merely suffocating
In all that surrounded me
That I wanted to be part of but knew not where to begin.

I sat in your garden
And sketched you
Devoid of feeling and life,
I failed that day to capture
Or even comprehend you
But hung you on my wall
Nonetheless, as if to remind myself
Of all I still had to do-
I needed to paint you from within
And not just with colours sketched from the tips of my fingers.

Your multi-layered canvas
Was a daunting place to start
For my amateur attempts
At early adventure,
I was only dabbling
In shadow and shade;
Lightless and lifeless,
Playing with untapped possibilities
And dreamed-of doings
Instead of head-on,
Opened-up, fearless, dive-into, unknown experiences.

One million options beneath my feet
Waiting to be walked
And I picked the solitary seat,
On a Saturday afternoon,
In a secluded setting of your park
That stretched for miles
And bloomed with life all around me-
But not beside me,
But not for me, not with me.
I was as lifeless
As the painting I had sketched-
Fast movement needed
Least winter winds would wipe me forgotten before begun.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly