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.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

30th and final poem for National Poetry Writing Month 2019

REGARDING REFLECTIONS, day 16 of A Month with Yeats


Day 16 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry Challenge and the quote today comes from ‘He Mourns for the Change That Has Come Upon Him and Longs for the End of the World’: ‘Do you not hear me calling, white deer with no horns?’—W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blogs is:

My poem today is called REGARDING REFLECTIONS


What follies the daylight

carries when then,

before the darkness,

a blindness banishes

the glitter we have

heaped onto our horns.

the night has no light

for lies and disguise.

Blood runs black

in the moonlight

and no one can

see your fear.


And there you stood,

somehow in the shade

of shadow, somewhat

in the mirror watching

and I, leaning on the light,

by the doorway, waiting

to enter your world,

your skin, your body,

and I saw your breath

as it billowed in the glass

all frosted, all fuzzy

and I took in your scent

there in the room

now vacant of all else

but you looking out

to see what the pale

reflection could offer

of the inside and me;

waiting for you

to come back from

that frosted reflection

within the mirror, darkly

shadowed by all that lay

unsolved, by all as yet

unresolved and then

we revolved and it was I

watching and you, my dear,

waiting for me to find you

and lead you back home.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud…

BIRTH, SO STILL. Day 1 of A month with Yeats


Jane Dougherty is not doing NaNoWriMo, let’s be clear about that. But she is busy doing something else equally inspiring- spending a month in the company of W.B. Yeats and asking us to join her- each day this month Jane will pick a line from a Yeats poem and write a new poem inspired by it and wants us to join in too! Below is the link, not only to this adventure but also to her wealth of poetry and short stories and links to her own novels- there are even wormholes!

Today’s quote is: “they will ride the North when the ger-eagle flies, with heavy whitening wings, and a heart fallen cold:” —W. B. Yeats

My poem is entitled: Birth, so still


And the babies were born, broken,

while the seasons still turned, maiden

mothers moved from baring to being left

barren as cowering cloaks cut through

cords, bitter brides in black, climbing

on their crosses, splitting the sin

from the so-called sinner, discarding

the truth with the afterbirth, no grace

for the births so still, no remorse

for the innocence expunged, the girl

grown woman too soon. ‘Fly north

little ones,’ the mourning whispered,

‘take comfort in the bright star,

the North Star, freedom lies beyond

the blackened wings these withered

women wear, they have not lost

to love, they have not shivered

in the absence of that first cry.

The eagle is on the rise in the night

sky and on his feathers you will soar.’


All words by Damien B. Donnelly

Picture from the Net.

Audi version available on Soundcloud…



We are all of us bats

beating against the darkness
to be closer to the heavens 

than the dungeons
hardly hanging on 

to tissue taunt
beaten down 

but not broken.
We are bats 

beating on
with a hope held out 

for that white night.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly 



I choose the path;

this winding way

though the midway,

battling though the brambles and briars,

I have stains on my soul,

I have splinters in the tissue of my beating breast,

beating, breaking, panting,

I have moments

when my feet no longer feel their footing,

when falling is all I can handle,

I choose this path;

this way of winding words,

stringing sentences into steps

that carry me to places

I never knew existed,

I have ink stains on my insides,

I have empty areas that have been erased,

their only trace now a vacuum

where vanity once ventured,

I choose this path;

this winding way

of silent shadow

and am grateful

for the break of light.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly 



when shadows
settle over me
as shroud,
beside me
rests a light;
a faith
in what might
still be allowed.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly. Photograph taken at the Dior exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. 



Seep, seep, slowly shifting,
sea skirts shore, holy water
washing in, anointing,

bless us, blessed, in warm
and wanted waves that widen
as we watch, as we welcome,
unaware of being too welcome.

Seep, sweep, seduce the shore
into submissive before you
break the kiss off and beat
the beach with your creep,


see it sweep, this cut of current
curving into claws, creeping
over sands now shady, shaking

under surface of the seas now
crashing, current rising,
drowning, desiring, destroying.


seas slashing, sand bashing,

creep, creep,

deep devouring, searching, scouring,

see it sliver and slice, cold current,
cold as ice, wicked waves, waging,
wanting more and more of the slipping shore.


creep, how they seep, how they
creep from calm and quiet,
serpents sweeping from seas
we thought to be slumbering,
now salivating salacious over skin,

tearing, taking, twisting.

We thought you wanted less
but you turned your tides to currents
cunning, running away with more
and more, leaving us with less and less.


Seep from this shore, this skin
now sore, ripped raw to the core.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly




perfection when
darkness descends
on daylight, when shadows
slip into the unseen, when sharp
edges slide from sinister,
when we cannot see
ourselves in the
glare of the glass that cannot lie.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Inspired by a Twitter Poetry Prompt form #SenseWrds



in the dungeons
of men’s minds, below
the dance halls and the giddy
galleries, deep in a declining darkness
holding no pride over permanence, appetites
edge on apps to ease entrance as dogs eat dogs.
These are no longer the days of Wilde’s wit
and wicked word play, temptations are
no longer teased from tongue
twisters but twisted from
tongues in the darkest
part of the night
where dogs prowl
the popper pool, sniffing
out stimulating stimulants,
playing with prey, praying for applause
to that great god ground down; credit card cuts
of white lines that can’t quite cut through
these savage times. Digging deep
in the dungeon of darker minds,
men make moves too difficult
to swallow. Dogs eat dogs
and I realise I’m more
captive to caviar

than canine.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud: