TURNING CARDS

 

In tarot
I turned over cards
like time turns darker days
into enlightening nights,
fortune found me first
in the Fool’s hold;
a kiss of ignorance
upon freedom’s feet,
a deep dive into depths
I processed no questions for.
In the World
I saw the circle close in to caress,
a formation of balance
at my finger tips,
the elements clear
in corners to comfort,
a sphere of strength;
a celebration of the fine fragility
of my frame, naked
as it found its form
before the scales of Justice,
judgement residing
in my own hands
so long abandoned
by the satisfaction of self serving
while Doubt; the dark knight
in a brighter battle,
cast his concern to the cracked cup
and not the chalice overflowing.
Later, the Lovers
watched the light in its rising,
no longer grounded
by the mountains I had to climb,
no longer fearful
to let the light shine
while a family
stood beyond the bluebirds,
below the rainbow of 10 chalices,
waving me onwards
or calling me back to a home
I had never known;
accept the unexplored
or set a quest to uncloak the confusion.
I turned careful cards
like age turns knowledge
into something more tangible,
more truthful, and I saw myself in the end;
man-child on the back of the bravest of beast,
casting off the shroud of scarlet,
sighing under the glow of the internal Sun
as flowers bloomed over a library
of words waiting to be written.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Tarot reading by Alice.

CAST OFF

Along the river bed,

long running with water

already washed through our hands,

long is not the hold we have to harbour,

long running with this water

no longer light at its level,

no longer smooth along its sands,

along this bend of river

I cast into the current, like a kiss

no longer catchable,

this weight no longer workable,

now on route to dissolvable.

From breath to bubble,

bobbing

bubbles,

from breath to bubble and then trouble,

then off they blow,

splashing as they sparkle

and splutter on to spent.

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I cast you into this current,

where shamrock slips to sapphire,

to let the past depart,

not sad of heart, not hard,

just a shadow of blue

in a bend of the bank

at the edge of expire.

To slip from soul like a skin

now shredded from recognition,

a cast off of character no longer cast

in this current condition.

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We knit until we are knotted,

we weave patterns;

loops locked under chains,

some stitches saved and others slipped,

connected to a comfort

until they struggle under strains,

a fragile filigree

we cannot always wear,

hands can only hold

what wants to be held,

we are not fortunate

for the future to foresee,

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we can not always follow,

sometimes even sheep

must make their own route

before they are wound as wool

or substance to swallow,

even the river bed must turn, in time,

twist at others, we are no straight line

but a collection of corrections

cast on and cast off,

kick off

pay off

drop off.

We are more than characters

or thinly drawn caricatures,

I am more than this flesh you see,

you see; I can fester or I can be free.

I shed this skin of a former self,

here by the edge of this river running,

running onwards, searching for its shore,

searching for something more,

for its share of the truth,

I shed this skin to let the other

parts of me find their sea.

I cast into the river bed

this weight so the rest

can float and form and be.

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All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/cast-off

WHITE NIGHT, day 4 of A Month with Yeats

 

Day 4 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats Challenge and in a day behind but onwards we roll. The quote comes from To some I have talked with by the Fire “…till the morning break and the white hush end all but the loud beat of their long wings, the flash of their white feet.” W.B. Yeats

The link to Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/a-month-with-yeats-day-four/

My poem is called White Night

 

We are vessels

either being filled

or being emptied,

portraying pretty

or rotting as rebels.

 

We are angels

dancing in the darkness

of our own worth,

feet of feeble footing,

flapping wings

within our cages.

 

We are flowers

never quite knowing

our beauty,

pruning the potential

out of others,

never the full bloom

unfolding,

fighting the true nature

that is ours.

 

We are winged warriors

flying through the fog

of our fate,

not knowing

that decision and destiny

are like oil and water,

like light and dark,

like love and hate,

like hush and horror,

like a beginning

and an end,

beating breasts

to be fighters

instead of followers.

 

We can be angels

but choose too often

to be anger.

 

We live in dark days

and only dream through

the white night.

 

All words and photographs by damien B. Donnelly

BEING BETTER 

 

Beat down, beat deep

below the root, there is work

to be done, there is dirt

to be drawn from this soil,

this stench, this space made

for more than just a trench.

Beat down, beat deep

under skin grown pale,

grown greedy under ale,

there is movement still

to be made, meaning to be

molded from all this matter

lately grown lazy, grown fatter.

There is more to be made

of the soil, of this soul

than simply burying

bodies within it.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

CAST ALONG

 

Lost in a current
capricious,
a cast of confusion,
but the river
remembers its route.
The water wades
into the ocean
& the drifting ends.

All words and photograph by Damien B. Donnelly

Inspired by a Twitter prompt from #WrittenRiver

A KISS BEFORE THE FALL

 

I stood on plains,
broad & boisterous,
as our ancestors whispered
the wisdom fickle fellows
have since forgotten
and on my cheek,
as if the final fall
of grace from greed,
the kiss of zephyr
washed it’s hand
of what’s to come.

Allowed and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly 

Inspired by a Twitter poetry prompt from #DimpleVerse

SOOTHING SOULS

 

Mass has passed

and dolled up dames
roam the rues

with coiffed up curls
and cardi’s over shoulders
in summer
as Scholl’s sooth souls soles,

widows
window shopping
for treats to tickle time

that has left them behind.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

FIELDS OF HINDSIGHT

 

There are fields beyond the trees,
fertile fields never turned or sewn,
ploughed or pillaged, lands his course
never crossed. If he had hindsight
would he still till the same lands,
plant the same roots, seek substance
in the same sunlight, find a farmer’s
favour with the familiar falling rain?
If he had hindsight would he seek
solace in the same fire that favoured him
in winter, in those fantastical flames
that nourished him, revived him,
that thawed his sorrow, caressed him
to comfort? There is music
in other rooms, alive on other keys
and strings he never played,
he never knew, he never cared for
or considered. If he had hindsight
would he still sing the same song,
words that were whispered to him,
music that made him, moulded him,
find reason in the same rhythm,
character in the same chorus?
If he had hindsight what use
could it be, what peace could it bring,
what would it make of him,
how would it change who he was,
who he loved and all he has still to be?
There are fields beyond the trees,
fertile fields never turned or taken,
their grass has other offerings,
their leaves all sway to other sounds,
their fortunes spark other interests,
there is music in other rooms,
alive on keys and strings, tunes
of other tenors, sounds from other
singers, they are not his sounds,
just as they are not his fields,
they have not made him,
will not tempt him, they can never
change him; hindsight is to hopeless
as happiness is to hopeful.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken just outside of Lisbon, Portugal.

THE RISE AND FALL OF HE

 

He is forward flying,
A novice to noise
And nuances
Of staggering streets
Unknown and numerous,
Honed to the humming
From the surge and speed
Of manoeuvres he can
Meddle through
Mingle through
Move through

He is a nubile note,
A minor chord
In a major movement,
Braced for a rebirth
By foreign fingers
Forging him finally
Into a signature
Of sonic structure,
A rhythm and rhyme,
A tune to tingle
And temper him
And a chorus to call
And encourage him

He is a leaning leaf
Balanced on the brow
Of a branch, braced
For worthy winds
Of foreign fields
To find him, float him,
Carry him to clouds
And dive down deep
Forever after
Into the chaos
And cacophony
Of life and it’s longing
And the lust among the living

He is made of math,
The sum of every smile,
The addition and attrition
Of a world of worries,
The multiplication
Of a multitude of thoughts
Mixed and mumbled
And the subtraction
Of scars and fears,
He is the solution in full
The joy and the tears

He is the beating body
Of festering flesh,
Tasting and tasted,
Touched and taken,
He is the brittle bone
Stretched over skin
And the shroud of skin
Bound to the bone,
He is whole,
Wholesome,
And hungry,
Growing, groaning, gaining,
Rotting, renewing reigning

He is the devil
In the darkness,
He is luminous
In the light,
He is the form
Finding features
In the forces
In between
The growing greys
And the shifting shades,
He is the something still unshaped,
He is the someone still unseen

He is forged of fire,
Flames flickering
In front of him
Fierce and unfailing
As the particled past
Blazes behind him
The life already lived
Echoing all that will finally fall
A hundred years from now
A forgetful fading
Of all he wanted to become
And all he managed to be,
Everything remembered
At once as the light descends
On the rise and fall of he.

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All words and pictures by Damien B. Donnelly