Sea claims what man can no longer cradle
but time’s tales can be freed from nasty nets
when the wreck is beyond want, when the cable
has been cut and we come to the call of the current.
Rough becomes rust becomes wrecked becomes ruin,
might becomes memory. Day is done but night unfolds
tales of tides that were tamed, slim seas that harboured
heavy hopes in trusted holds. We dive and then differ
on the return, are undone, unmasked, back to bone-
a battered beauty, once a witness to the wild waves.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

Written as part of the Cobh Writers and Readers #PoetryPrompt featured on Twitter. Do drop by and join in the creative distraction. @CobhWR



There will always be a part of me
standing by the water’s edge,
watching how much of us
got washed away and wondering

how much more sunk so deep
below the surface that it is now
a captive more to your careful concrete
than that ever coldly cutting current.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly.

This has been a month of saying goodbye to Living with Paris in order to move on. And so Stephen Sondheim comes to mind and the lyrics of the song Move On from the musical Sunday in the Park with George, based on Georges Seurat…

‘Stop worrying where you’re going, move on…
look at what you want, not at where you are,
not at what you’ll be…

I want to move on, I want to explore the light
I want to know how to get through, through to something new,
something of my own, move on…’


Here’s to getting through to the light and the newness and moving on. See you all on the other side… 

Dami xx



Water catches light
Like I once reached out
To catch a wave
Along this same stretch of water,
This same cosy current of canal
That has slowed, now,
Like my footsteps,
Like my stokes;
Coming back on the bend,
Finding favour
In the freshness
Of all that was once familiar,
Letting go of the longing
To swap steady stream
For seductive sea,
Finding comfort, now,
In the light
I’ve already swam in.
Settling back now,
Sitting down,
Watching the waters
Carefully caress that light.


All words and photograph by Damien B Donnelly

Photo taken earlier this week along the banks of the Grand Canal, Dublin, opposite the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design where I studied and dreamed of the future over 24 years ago.



The clouds quieted the stars above

as I, on bended knee, bowed to the river

and into its flow, in the growing light,

let my hand slip beneath its movements,

under its motions and waited to watch

as its sway of waters waltzed over,

moved through and flowed onwards,

while never stopping, never straining,

never staying and I saw, in that dawning,

in that simple second, how life flowed

around me, through me, and past me,

all precious moments to be borrowed,

to be begged for and to be bartered

before they will eventually break away,

leaving me more than I was before, less

than I will be tomorrow and certain today

that I will, like this current, one day,

as I weave my way through these wants

and wishes, find the way to my own ocean.

we never saw forever


As lithe breath called to morning and

the stars found their cover in the clouds,

I bowed to the river, forever bending,

forever mending, forever finding its form

along the bank and bed, amid the light

that lingers along the route and the darkness

that comes to call for but a while.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly


Breezes are back in bloom

and I am caught

by the curl of the curtain

as it catches

in the courant d’air

now coming in

with questions

for all that has slipped

into a sleepy silence.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Drawn to the river
where the sunlight bends to bleed
as the hush on the water
finds a hold among the 

Caught by the current
as if to slip from this climate,
as if we could lose what we’ve learnt,
as if all noise could fall to silent.

To wade into the water, 
to slip between the stream,
to break from beg and barter, 
to dive, to drift, to dream.

Drawn to the river
where the leaves lean in to whisper
to the salmon swimming silver
of the truth we failed to figure.

Caught by the current
as its trickle threads my toes,
we were good till we weren’t
and this the riverbed; it knows.

To wade into the water,
to slip beneath reflection, 
to swim from all man’s slaughter,
to be cleansed of all infection.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud



Hunger harbours its hold
like a boat
bent on the scent of the sea
and we are bound
to the pull of its freedom,
its current crushing all caution
as we fall folly to its friction
on bended knee in benediction,
on beds of bodies bare and breathless,
tongues tempted towards taste,
buoyant on the bounce,
fast to the flesh, I want you,
you feel me, I will leave you
famished for nothing but more
and more and more, as I walk away,
still parched, still famished,
but never foolish
enough to linger longer
than the afterglow.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



I am a being blown
from baby to boundaries
to bondage and breathless
on contrary winds
that offer no warning
and cast no conscience
towards direction, I am
a wave caught on a current
in a reversed ocean,
swimming up
to dive deeper,
going out
to come undone,
in my raw
a photo
that hasn’t been shopped,
an unfinished portrait
of a person
I haven’t quite become.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Based in a Twitter Poetry Prompt for #DimpleVerse



A bridge in blue
between me and you
no car can carry me
no boat can bare me
no bike can bring me


A bridge in blue
between me and you
too deep to dare
too cold to consider
too close for comfort

all connection crushed by the current.


All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Amsterdam at Sunset