COSTINGS

 

I read you
through pictures,
past and fading,
fast forgetting what it was
to be free,
what it was to be healthy.
I read you in
leaves that fall
from twisted trees
when summer is still shining,
when autumn has not yet begun,
when seasons no longer come when expected.
I read you
in rivers that are rising
and seas no longer salty
but bashed by bitter tears
the years have pushed with pollution
in place of finding a solution.
I read you
through hope no longer healthy,
no longer worthy to the wealthy
who’ve drained you dry.
There is no blood in stone,
there is no money making motive left unturned
but we are turned,
but we are undone,
have undone this wizened world
and home is now hardly a harbour
but a broken boat
waiting to be tossed from a world
once known, once cherished,
now blown to bits,
scattered fragments
like falling leaves,
like rising rivers,
like discoloured waters,
like extinct animals,
fading in pictures of what beauty once was
before man made demands without counting the cost.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/costings

THE PRICE OF A STAR

 

And she sang of hope and harmony
in a borrowed frock on Tuesday nights
in a smokey bar below the Bowery
where the Irish downed their whiskey
while the Italians were always frisky

and they touched her, always, afterwards
her faithful followers fingering flesh
as if to caress the affection
she injected into lyrics, light and loving,
in the bar beyond the Bowery
where she came to entertain
the Irish and the Italians
who joined in the refrain

and they left her, always, afterwards
on Tuesday nights in the smokey light
with hope and harmony already fading
in that bar down below the Bowery
where the laughter never really
managed to linger for long after

and in the silence below the Bowery
as the stars all blew out one by one
she felt betrayed by what they’d taken
by the hope they had mistaken
to be theirs for the taking,
and felt betrayed by herself
by her need to amuse,
to be the muse in the limelight
but then alone in the shadows
that followed, always and forever after,
by that bar below the Bowery
where the light was far too low
to notice that her soul
had left her long ago.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken on the High Line in New York 

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/the-price-of-a-star