In the supermarket
on Saturday
in the 14th
on the 14th
in numb November
in Paris, their Paris,
our Paris, my Paris,
people push grief
in comfortless trolleys
down shadowed aisles
of silence, strangers
claiming their spaces
in solidarity, in queues
of slow-moving sorrow,
seeing shadow in places
where once there was light,
terror in crowds
where once there was music,
death in their streets
where once there was life.

In a supermarket
in the 14th
on the 14th,
as the numbers rise
on a Saturday morning,
there is nothing available
on a single shelf
to fill the void
of what we lost
in the night.

It’s not the whole world,
it’s not the end of the world
but it’s far too far from a perfect world.


All words by Damien B Donnelly

This poem was first featured in Nous Somme Paris, published by Eyewear Publishing to commemorate the Paris attacks of Friday 13th Nov, 2015.



Gardens grow,
trees get taller,
clouds gather.

I see you
in the movement,
in the air that rushes past time turning,
in the scent of sweetened summer
now swept into corners now shaded.

Clouds gather,
trees get taller,
gardens grow smaller.

Eden is an illusion lost.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost for a week looking at clouds 



And as they bit into the apple
they lost their right to the garden.

Hands are tipped now with guns,
now, instead of gold, instead
of gloves. Rage is the new ricochet
where once it was rock and roll;
bullets are the new Beatles.

Facebook has alerts, now, to say
you’re alive, now, after, after the breath
is stopped, after the blood is splattered.
It used to connect, now it just confirms.

Listen closely, for the loud sparks
are coming closer, closing in, sparks
like forest fires or that ripening fruit;
rage and temptation, heat and hunger.

We are the breath or the blood. We cannot
be both. Though we cannot exist without the other.

Leaders are born liars now, learning
earlier, leaning into lecherous, rights
are now redundant as the right rears
its rage over the left, ridiculous
are the rabble rousers, raising nothing
but their own cocks in their own hands,
tweeting about their own thickness.
Twitter was once 140, now it’s 280.
How much more space
do they need to spread their shit?

On Jeju, by a volcano, now sleeping,
now silent, some asked us, before
I lost breath and we lost the identity
of our Us, if barriers could be broken,
if divisions could be undone and I looked
back to the green covered mountain
and wondered how long it would take
before it became a monster once more?

Only then, only when the earth decides
to flatten all that we have taken,
only then, will the barriers be broken.

And as they bit into the apple they lost
their right to be governors of the garden.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

Photograph taken on Jeju Island, at sunset, South Korea, July 2018. Before.



We were meant to be nothing more
than the compliment to you,
calm and considerate
not the conqueror;
covetous and carnal.

We were meant to be nothing more
than the guardian of you;
grateful and gracious
not just gluttony
grounded in greed.

We were meant to be nothing more
than the homemaker in you;
humble and harmonious,
not all harmful,
hungry and hoggish.

We were meant to see the beauty
and not become the beast.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost



Heaven’s howling!
Summer forsaken, storms converge,
heaven’s howling!
We have flittered too long fowling;
nature forsaken, gods now purge
our wasted ways, our sloth, our splurge,
heaven’s howling!


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost.



See, he says
to the child by his side,
see how the water rises.

Wait, he says
to the child by his side,
to see how life surprises.

Dark, he says,
is the black of night,
the stars too far to enlighten.

But day, he says
to the child in his wake,
brings a light for the willing to find sight in.

I see, says the child
by the side of the man,
feeling his ancestors were blind.

All words and photographs by Damien D. Donnelly

7th poem for National Poetry Writing Month




Behold the delicate daffodil,
spirited squirrel,

moist moss of early morning in green garden,
towering tree thriving through winter,

the peace that dawns with the dust,
the blue sky afloat on still water,

absorbing, reflecting, meditating,

the simple root the river runs,
the rustle of the red rose tipped with thorns,

the flowering moonlight over stony soil,
the secrets Spring’s sun whispers to Summer’s stock.

Behold how nature nurtures

while man disappears beneath his own destruction.

Behold how much there is to learn from.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

4th poem for Nation Poetry Month 2019



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



Blackened hands hardened
over the heart exposed, expunged,
red roses rubbed into ruins,
‘We are no more
than the dust we leave
after death,’
a curse forgotten,
a force too rooted to be released.
Black heart burnt to broken,
banished to the ashes
of her aftermath and he cannot
cry, but he can crack,
like a mirror, now marked,
shaped into shards now,
splinters to spilt the skin,
grown thin, torn.
Blackened hands hardened
over the heavy heart,
bloodless, no longer
bound to the beat,
no longer whole.

‘Kiss her and curse her,’

and so the curse was cast
but they were young
and too busy kissing to take time
to listen to the whispers
of the witches of the wood.
All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Beat away at breast;
a lie of love grown to lust,
grown repulsive,
‘Whisper who we were,’
rose water, a shadow symphony
drunk on a dream,
smooth shot to sordid,
bitter chocolate screams
beneath the sweaty skin
of a summer storm.

All words by Damien B. Donnelly

Inspired by the magnetic poetry oracle