I imagine holding mine
in my hands, beating organ-
fleshy and fumbling and trembling
between my thumbs and fidgeting fingers

bringing it to my mouth-

my lips- their caress, my tongue- its tease.

I imagine holding mine
in my hands and bringing it in
close enough to bite.

If I ate it,
would it slip right back inside,
into place, perhaps a better place

than where it’s been before.

I imagine holding mine
in my hands, like you did
and wondering if I could bring myself
to tear it apart

with my teeth.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly



We used to hold hands, a quiver
along the skin
at touch,                     do you remember?

You handled me like I was food,
to be prepared pealed back,
to find the taste within.

I was advised not to- but I had hungered,
had grown ill                      without.

A cold cut cannot survive without the fold

of the fridge.

Or were you the oil and I                     the onion?
Having already been cut,

sliced before being found. Remember?

But we’d been spared                     the tears.
We tasted of a thousand nights
that had never known                     any stars

and then we wanted to taste                     it all.

Do you remember? No,
you don’t.                        I forgot.

We only held hands in my head
in that room I shared

with the one                     I shared the tears with.

Still slicing.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



I had a hand 

in every bone 

that was broken 

on this body.

I had a hold

of every hack

that was heaped

into this heart.

I held that hand

while thinking of another 

once forgotten

before imagining someone else

I hadn’t even met,

as you watched out the window

as connection passed you by.

We are not broken by others,

it all depends on how willing

we are to bend, be bent

or play blind.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly


There is a shadow,

like a dream too delirious

to light with language,

whispering more of what swam away

than smears this still water

I trudge through

beIow a bitter moon

that’s made his garden

in this breast of man.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly with the aid of the magnetic poetry oracle



What to report?

To what port must you swim,

in how little can one drown

(shallow is often

the sister to shady)

air is not anything

until it is nothing


and nowhere,


(sometimes existence

is only revealed

through disappearance)

are you someone

until you are seen

in the eyes of another?


What to report?

to which port do we reinvent,


is it possible for one to prevent,

(can prevention deter

a discernable direction)

fear is not anything

until it is everything


and everywhere,


(this skin does not tingle

until it’s been touched

or torn)


is there still a light

in the darkness

of the ransacked room

of this ravaged organ?


What to report?

How do you report

the trust that was taken (for granted)?


I tied to report it

but trust,

once taken,

cannot be listed

as things stolen

on a police report.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Inspired by the magnetic poetry oracle and filling in the gaps between the lines…
Remember the magic
(even malicious learns to linger)
marble smoke in sacred sky
(we twisted like timbers burning into embers)
candy kissed in caramel
(no support can be so sweet)
a dark poison
(my veins, your vice)
blushed and broken;
we were a prisoner to your perfume
(my hold and hope; both haemorrhaging)
bleeding on bluegrass
(sharp notes plucked on tender strings)
no peace in her poetry
(even her pen grew to pierce)
desire devours delicious
(hunger harbours not a healthy hold)
porcelain can be as cool concrete.

All words by Damien B. Donnelly



Left burning
in a bed of broken
limbs and lies

winer was wild
but her summer rain
settled beneath his skin
and sunk with a sting.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Poetry prompt of Summer Rain from @ShapePoetry on Twitter


Day 21 National Poetry Writing Month #NaPoWriMo

Pulled are we
(OFF; no more)
from under and over
and pushed (panting)
by fleeting fate when we fail
to trust (when THRUSTS grow frail)
and the body rolls off, recoils
and the mind rethinks, returns. Let go,
did you, of that hand ONCE held
in that taxi ONCE, while thinking of another,
in that BED while sniffing out that longing
for SOMEONE missing while growing tired
of the taste of someone PAINFULLY PRESENT?
Fine is the line between decision and destination,
(that fine line that COMES quickly before it curdles)
between the CHOICES we make in a moment’s PLEASURE
and the paths that reposition our POWER.
Is it held by the BOTTOM or by the TOP?
We are FREE to release, (across your chest,
across our chains) we are free when released,
(emptied, exhausted) free from confusion;
untangled; no KNOT cannot be undone,
double negatives should never be done,
but we are UNDONE,
undefined or redefined,
reduced again
to that single state

                                MY, ME, I.

How quickly
we slip from tongues touching
all that is SACRED to a solitary scrubbing
of all that’s been SOILED.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



There was a heart
like a plant
in a garden
in a garden
like a plant
a heart
under sunlight
and sometimes shade
a gentle shade.

A heart
in a garden
a quiet garden
with a fence
a pretty picket fence
around a house
around a home
and that garden
tending to the heart
like a flower
under sun
and sometimes shade
the gentle shade.
A heart
in the garden
like a flower
till someone picked it

pulled down the fence
and picked it

still growing
still beating

and then dropped it
on the sidewalk
in the shadows
when they saw
across the street
something different
something else
something new.

There was once a heart
growing in a garden
but cut
like a flower
and now
no water
no waiting
no nurturing
no tending
can bring it back to life.

A heart once
growing in a garden

now only a hole
that never seems to fill

untended in the shade…


All Words and Paintings by Damien B. Donnelly


Audio version available on Soundcloud:



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