BIRD SONG

 

I stroll in soft sundown across the cushioned grass,
the earth a pillow I never stopped to consider,
I consider going in, inside to where the light looks neat
and named but a bird calls from a branch I cannot see,
sight comes in second after his song- soft, slow
and cycling back on itself like time, tide and your touch,
at times. Time was never our lover until it left us,
until we saw how quickly we aged in its agonising absence.

The night holds less time, with less light to cast shadow over,
with less sight to see the hands surge around the circle.
I move in circles around this garden of cushioned grass
while the moon comes out to feed, we eat what we can,
sleep when we must, the birds sing songs and only when lost
do we permit ourselves to stop and ask of the meaning.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE

 

And we are all a sum of circles spinning,
spiralling, circling something, orbiting our own atmosphere,
seduced by our own stratosphere, (oh, how we smell)
chasing our own tails; can circles have tails or is it just dogs?

Although Plato portrayed us as circles split apart; restlessly
looking for the rest of ourselves, worrying the best half
is the other half that was snipped away.

So are we circles or just the unfinished sum of a circle?
Are we accounting or just counting our own charisma?
Fragmented fractures trying to add positives with only negatives,
semi-circles circling the greater circle of life, some all-seeing,
some all-knowing, some too wrapped in the self to see the shadow
and oh, how the shadows can settle over the oh-so-indulgent.

And she calls and she cries and she sees nothing and no one
as needy as she caresses her own concerns and she combs
long shining strands of sustained soliloquies over the silence, shivering.

And he sleeps and he cries and he needs all and everyone to see
how suffering stifles his strength to see beyond the self, and he breathes
his burdens over brothers he believes are blind to his behaviour.

Oh the poor ones, oh the pity; pretty girl, pity boy, how they want you
to see them as a star, bold and bright, to see how hard it is to be them,
to stay so bold and…

make way for the music; see the swines strumming the sinew as the crows
cut through callous cords and the vultures make violent overtures
on the violins and cut to crashing crescendo!

If only fortune could free them from the self-satisfying shackles
they slip over themselves. Shackles too shiny to ever enslave.

And she calls and he cries and they see themselves as singularly central
to the circle and not just a number in a sum of an incomplete equation.  

  

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost of a poem from my Joni Mitchell Series for this week’s stars and moon theme

COLOUR IS WAITING

 

And still we will come to lick the honey
from the purple petal and still we will come
to root out the weeds of worthlessness in gardens
where others eat up all that is beautiful. Time turns
and we, in turn, follow its path, suns set and the moon
shows us its song, hold hands and then release,
hold hope and then move on, we only own the moment.
Mothers may still hand over their hearts to other mothers
waiting to be wanted, fathers may rise to be fearless
or choke on the root of their own fear, those black-cloaked
women pouring water from windows onto withered plants,
who’ve buried their living bodies in a bitterness
for all that life has lynched from them, will continue
to cry as flames flicker out along the Seine,
like their memory, revealing structure still standing
but soul no longer settled. They will still pour
their buckets of tears down the aging walls of a city
that cannot see beyond its past. If we cannot catch colour
then we too will be cremated in the concrete. But black
is only shadow until it finds a reason to ignite in light,
bark is dry but the branch bares blossom. Eat the storms,
Mother said, remember? Boil the beds of bitter blackness
until the dream rips through the rain and translucent
turns them lighter, brighter. And still we will come
to that lake where language lingers, still we will sink
beneath its depths to slip ourselves from the reflections
we have once worn and now outgrown. Still we will sink
kisses onto our starved lips and still come back for more
after love catches hold of kisses cradled on other lips.
Catch the colour, catch the kisses, catch the life
racing by in taxis, on trains with crimson carriages
connecting moments waiting to be made magical.
The starry night can be a bright light waiting for us
to paint it. Behold how much there is to love, to let go of,
to learn from. Let us be the design and not just the destruction.
Eat the storms, she said, taste the refreshment in the bright
blue rain. Colour is waiting just beyond the clouds.

  EBA745D1-36E2-45EB-B84C-61914EAEAF30

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

30th and final poem for National Poetry Writing Month 2019

RED INK

 

I love and lose in circles, scratching
at skin tipped in ink, trying to find
the truth beneath the colours
I’ve let others colour in, hiding
the paler flesh I held from view,
we always need to hold on to something.

I am not comfortable over quiet dinners;
too much stilled air coursing
through the courses as I question
the seconds ticking by, in silence;
will you find me failure and flee?
But I’ll always be the first to fly
since that first flight I had no hand in.

I stir the stilled air with performances;
shy boy in the spotlight singing songs
he can’t quite find the notes for
or find the right to call his own.

I love and lie in circles that spiral
back on themselves, that cast further
reflections, not quite clear, on the boy
now faced as man in the mirror,
that flood more ink into that fading flesh.
‘Chromolume No. 9, Georges?’ she asked,
once, in a play, how many more?

Variations grow stale, thought becomes
tension, creation becomes controlled,
breath becomes bearer, bleaker. My chest
beats too quickly to let in fresh air,
fresh flesh, compressed, repressed.

I cannot lie in these circles,
these spirals that seem to linger,
longer, no longer. I am looking
to find a new shape; turning back,
returning, recalling that first mark,
to measure how far from it I ran,
to see what was left behind,
to lay it to rest and find the rest,
the rest of me beneath the red ink
tipped into this fragile flesh.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

18th poem for National Poetry Writing Month