BEING BETTER 

 

Beat down, beat deep

below the root, there is work

to be done, there is dirt

to be drawn from this soil,

this stench, this space made

for more than just a trench.

Beat down, beat deep

under skin grown pale,

grown greedy under ale,

there is movement still

to be made, meaning to be

molded from all this matter

lately grown lazy, grown fatter.

There is more to be made

of the soil, of this soul

than simply burying

bodies within it.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

SHROUDED IN HOPE 

 

Even
when shadows
settle over me
as shroud,
beside me
rests a light;
a faith
in what might
still be allowed.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly. Photograph taken at the Dior exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. 

CAST ALONG

 

Lost in a current
capricious,
a cast of confusion,
but the river
remembers its route.
The water wades
into the ocean
& the drifting ends.

All words and photograph by Damien B. Donnelly

Inspired by a Twitter prompt from #WrittenRiver

THE DEPTH UNDER THE MOON

 

Moonlight
melts
languidly
on liquid lakes

like suds on dishes
like snow on windows

like thicker skin over age old scars.

Moonlight
floats
momentarily
on rippling reflections

like the tingle after kisses
like the scent after sex

like the pain after parting.

Moonlight
flirts on the water

to divine
whether the depth

is worth the dive.

 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

ACCEPTING UNCERTAINTY

 

If this is love
then ask no questions
I cannot answer

so disappointment
cannot distract us
from determination.

Accept the uncertainly
of this rocky road
set out before us

so doubt does not
divine disaster
before it dissolves us.

See today as the future
and tomorrow a bonus

least time tests us
with what has yet to be

and teases us with what
we wasted yesterday.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/accepting-uncertainly

 

HARD TO SWALLOW

 

I bowed on bended knee
on foreign shores             on silk cushions
where no one knew me
to an invisible deity.

Did you see me?
Did I exist for you?
Did you believe in me?
Did you exist within me truthfully, invisibly?

I bowed on bended knee
into the light that flooded the floor.

They told me once you liked floods,
you liked to send floods,
to send down your floods
I never saw it,             did anyone really see it?

But they told me,
they told me as if to flood me with fear,
a flood to frighten the faithful.

I bowed in that foreign land
as the dragon’s breath drew a veil upon the sky
as if to cover the heavens from curiosity,
from temptation,
funny what rhymes with salvation,
salvation from what,             from whom?

There is faith,
there is belief
and then man names it all religion.

I bowed on bended knee
within that temple             that foreign temple,
it was not my temple,
I don’t build temples,
I have palaces in my head,
private palaces             private places,
filled with my beliefs             private,
flooded with my teared steams             private,
flooded with my fate           private,
my faith is not called any religion.

I bowed on bended knee
where others knelt before me
while others knelt behind me

StrangersWorshipersBelieversFaithful

foolish?

In the invisible             we place our fate
in man             we place our control.

Can you see them?
Can you exist for them?
Can you believe in them?
Do you exist within them honestly, truthfully?

Do you exist             as I exist?

I bent and bowed             I lowered my eyes,
I followed the flock of faithful foreigners
I confess it was just to conform
so as not to confront or be confronted.
I was a sheep following the shepherds
who shuffled around me
who looked at me             unsure,
who wondered to themselves
if they were the sheep and I was the shepherd.
Seriously!

Seriously,
how did I end up there,
bowing on bended knee
feeling too fair and too foreign
in that place             within that facade
behind that face             my own facade

and I asked the light

ContritionConfessionCommunionConfirmation

Is it all a Con?

ConspireContaminateCondemnConfineConform

Connect,
remember,
I remember once…

I wore a white suit
at 8, at communion;
my first communion,
I took the white bread,
they told me it was his body;
white, light and pure.

It stuck to the roof of my mouth.

It was difficult to swallow

            even then.

I bowed on bended knee,
I did what I was told,
I did what they expected of me,

I saw what they told me to see,
this religion they called a community,

            no more.

I bow on bended knee
in my own palace
far from their atrocities.

I bow on bended knee
and the light is so much brighter

the light inside me
the light within.

We can be the light
we can always be the light             alone
with our faith             our fate
without the hate             without the fear
            far from the floods.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken at a temple in China.

 

THE LIGHT WE ARE

 

There is a light,
Amid the shadows,
Within our slumber,

There is a light,
That never flickers,
That cannot stumble.

There is a light,
In the very breath
That feeds us,

There is a light,
In every loving eye
That sees us.

There is a light,
In every dream
We dare to hope for,

There is a light,
In every joy
We try to reach for.

In the grace
Of every waking day,

In the rise
Of every starry sky,

In the person
That we can still become.

There is a light,
And it shines
Beyond reproach,

There is a light
And it burns
Beyond decay.

There is a light,
I can see it
Right before me,

There is a light
And within it
Lies my story

Still waiting to be told…

 

THE ROAD

 

I,
In the face of all
That came before me,
I,
In the hope of all
To be put before me,
I,
Accepting of the many times
I’ve fallen,
I,
Rejoicing in the many times
I’ve risen
See,
The future as an empty canvas
Stretched before me,
See,
Now the wisdom in all the words
Once bestowed me,
See,
The rhyme and reason to the roads
That lead me here,
See,
The distant faces from my past
I still hold dear.

I,
The inquisitor along the winding road
I’ve taken,
I,
A single soul so often foolish
And mistaken,
I,
The poet penning prose
Beneath the silence,
I,
While wearing masks to be let in,
To shun the violence
Remember,
Each and every laughter
Life has brought me,
Remember,
To raise my head to whatever power
Reins above me,
Remember,
The lengths of love
Which others shared,
Remember,
To see the hope,
To keep the faith
And not be scared.