BORDERS AND BOUNDARIES, NO.30, NAPOWRIMO

 

We are born

through barriers that break,

water carriers through canals 

into comfort and concerns 

were borders are built

to nurture nature

while we are compartmentalised,

still, more silent, less severe;

fortunate, less so, white, less so,

gay, straight, one gender, 

less gender, clever, less so, 

a part of peace 

or placed into parts 

where peace falls apart.

We cross borders 

not all, not everyone, 

not the fortunate, not those

who can do so comfortably 

but the others, the less so,

running from rage, rape, ruin, less,

running to refuge, reprieve, relief, more. 

We build barriers to keep us safe,

to keep the flowers in focus

and not the fragility 

beneath their bloom.

We build barriers, bigger, higher,

sharper, not to shelter but to shield 

all we don’t understand, all we fear

until we are left inside with fear itself.

We are born

through broken barriers 

but fall too quickly to forgetful.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly

JOY IN BETWEEN

 

Bones break,
hearts hurt,
love is lost,
birth
is the beginning of death,

in between there is joy:
waste not being weak

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Poetry prompt Weak from Micropoetry on Twitter

THE STARS, A SHORT LIFE/STORY

IMG_1847

She was a married woman, with stars in her eyes, by the age of ten. She’d seen him in the back yard at 9 ¾ and in seconds had painted their future together. Mrs. Mulligan’s daughter would be Mrs. Michael Menkas and at 12 she dropped her bike at his gate and, upon his stoop, told him so.

At 13 he kissed her upon the lips; clumsy, sloppy and unaware of what to do with his tongue. But she was unaware that it could have been any better. At 14 he held her to his heart and promised her the earth, the moon and the stars but at 16 he heard the call and got wrapped up in a flag with stripes and other stars.

His letters came home twice a week at 18, from the front lines, they said, tales of heroes covered the pages while between the lines she saw the smudges of fear but they always signed off with a kiss.

When he first came home, he held her in his 19 year old arms. He placed a ring upon her finger as she glowed from head to toe in a white dress his mother had made her. She was a woman now whose breasts filled her bodice and eyes still sparkling stars beneath her veil while he, in uniform, played his part but the stars in his eyes had blown out.

For 20 days they played house, like in their childhood dreams long gone. Nights of passioned love making that ran far into the dawn before dreams fell to sweaty nightmares and she held him to her heart afterwards as if someone could pull him away from her at any moment. The truth of his imminent departure seeped out of every thread on the uniform that hung on the side of the closet.

At 21 she answered the knock at the door with a hand upon a swollen belly. Two men, too young to be adults and too young to be delivering the burden handed her a letter that ripped her apart before she could rip the envelope.

At 22 she bore his child and a tiny girl roared into the world. When Mrs Michael Menkas looked at her daughter, a tiny ball of wrinkles and wonder, her heart broke all over again for the tales she would one day have to tell her daughter of a husband and father now lost in the stars.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

TO GIVE BUT NOT LET GO

Give
give him
she gave him
she gave him life
but she couldn’t keep him.
Give
give him
she gave him
she gave him a name
but she couldn’t call him.
Give
give him
she gave him
she gave him something better
she gave him something brighter.
Give
give him
she gave him
she gave him that forever 
she gave him that forever after.
Give
give him
give him up
she gave him life
and he gave her thanks.
Hold
hold him
she held him
she held him once
before they took him.
Him
her son
he; her boy
he; who was her baby
he; who was her sacrifice.
Give
give him
she gave him
she gave him up
but she never let him go.

 

All Words and sketches by Damien B. Donnelly