BETTER BOTTLES for Poetry Day Ireland


It’s Poetry Day Ireland so I am supporting from abroad. This years theme is Truth or Dare so throughout the day I will be posting a few of my older poems on Truth and a few more on being Irish…

Better Bottles

In the shadows
not yet departed
from former students
since departed,
confined in Parisian compartments
the Polish left to the Irish,
red vinegar wine
(as vulgar as the vultures
who drowned in its deluge)
caught itself in corners
still not drunk
by the blow-ins
still bleating
about the burnt beef
and sodden soil
as we made smoke chains
in our simple chambres
to choke a distance
between the homes we had left
and the hands that hadn’t
yet let us go. We may have been
from the same barrel born
but we, in truth, had desires
to be labelled in a better bottle.


All words and photographs of Dublin by Damien B. Donnelly



It’s outstanding
what odours
can own,
how biographies
in bottles
can board,
how illusions can lie lay
in liquids,
how subtle scents
can be savoured.

I sprayed you
on my hands

-so cold to caress-

from a bottle,
a simple bottle,
in a shop,
a simple shop,
in a city
that never saw us,
in a land
that never heard us,

or knew
what we felt
or how we smelt,

that never caught
our connection
shattering into pieces,

leaving nothing
but a sweet scent
on the sheets
of other beds
in other streets.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly