A DEER BY A DOLMAN IN DUBLIN for Poetry Day Ireland

   

It’s Poetry Day Ireland so I am supporting from abroad. This years theme is Truth or Dare so throughout the day I will be posting a few of my older poems on Truth and a few more on being Irish…

A Deer by a Dolman in Dublin

Where you there, all the time, I asked myself,
for I have not discovered the powers of hindsight,
as our words wove like the wind around the whispers
the woods were once witness to?

Where you there all the time, I asked myself,
in that soft spot of spirit in the fold of our minds?

I had whispered, along the way, as feet caressed
the crumbling clay, as a heart trembled in a throat
that tried not to tumble through words,
I had wished for a grace to ground us like that curve
of concrete on the caress of the mound that grounded
what had once grown tired into the ground.

You were there, all the time, I told myself,
as I caught the river as it cast reflections
of trees rising up and roots growing down
and I realised we are not just man,
we are not just the mound we lay beneath.
We are inseparable, like these reflections
sinking into the stream, we are not one,
but the other, not beast or beauty, but both,
finding our way along the water to a bed to call comfort.

You were there, all the time, a dear Deer, by a dolman,
in Dublin, listening to our songs of the living
and the loving and the dreaming and the dying

laying our poems on paths already pressed
while the deer stood and wondered who would come next?

   

All words and photographs of Dublin by Damien B. Donnelly

I CAN DREAM AND YOU CAN LOVE: A KEVIN BATEMAN SPOKEN WORD EVENT

Last Saturday at 2pm in Ireland, Dublin, in the Phoenix Park, in the shade of a house and in the shadow of a tree in the sunshine, Kevin Bateman gathered together a group of poets for his latest spoken word event ‘I can Dream and You can Love‘ which went out live, as usual, on periscope and every poet was revealed there and then, no pre announcements, no listings of performers beforehand, as is so usual in these days of social media. Kevin indulges ingeniously in the mystery of the moments that unfold when a name is called before the camera rolling and their words fill the air and travel across the skies.

His choices for these locations are often sacred grounds, off the beaten track, forgotten by guide books and now, thankfully, reclaimed as the performances unfold. This last location in the Phoenix park was on the Hill of the Mariners were one of the oldest dolmans in Ireland is located, Knockmaree Dolman. Discovered in the 1800’s, two bodies were found in the tomb which dates back to almost 3500bc and the bodies were suggested to have been sailors, hence the name Hill of the Mariners. Watch the show and you will hear how it took Kevin almost 10 years to find this dolman that has been left to hang beneath a shadow of a tree, in the stillness of the silence, sometimes in the sunshine, often in the shade.

For this event, Kevin gathered 8 poets including himself and you can watch the video which had over 1000 views on Periscope in the first 24 hours of its life. The links below are for Periscope and YouTube.

The poets, who all performed 4 poems, under a theme of love, dreams and the current climate in Ireland, were, in order of appearance;

Kevin Bateman (on Twitter as @Bate_Kevin) drew us into the crime controlled streets of Dublin while leaving us tender with the line ‘…do not let the dead rest in photos, let them move on…’ from his poem A Room of Utter Sadness.

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Supriya K Dhaliwal (on Twitter as @supriyadhaliwal) painted for us a cornucopia of Indian colors and tears and whose poem Meet Me in the Morning on No Man’s Land will long linger in my ear as a beacon of hope.

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Jasmina Šušić enthralled and captivated us with her raw emotion, passion and her willingness to drop the guard and share her gentle side with We are Soft Animals but Our Hearts are Weak.

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I was lucky enough to be invited to perform among these precious talents which made this the first time to ever read my poems in public, to ever read in public! I read 4 poems which you can find here on my blog…

Spelling Peace https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2017/11/19/spelling-peace-day-19-of-a-month-with-yeats/

Carved In https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2015/12/05/carved-in/

Salmon Dancers https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2017/11/03/salmon-dancers-day-3-of-a-month-with-yeats/

Wilful in the Wild https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2016/07/27/wilful/

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Jessica Traynor (on Twitter as @JessicaTraynor6) struck a fire in our historic hearts with her gem of a poem Matches for Rosa, for Rosa Luxembourg and brought us right up to date into an Ireland of today, questioning the right for individual choice with her poem Tender Butchery, my own skin still shivering with the powerful line ‘…the world has no business wearing my skin.’

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Catherine Ann Cullen (on Twitter as @tarryathome), along with her ever listening dog,  carried us around the world on the triple spirals of the triskele and took us out and under the harsh waters of homelessness by the Royal Canal in Dublin with her poem entitled Flood, ‘…and they flooded the walkway… so she might float out of sight…’

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Eilín de Paor (on Twitter as @edepaor) pulled us in with unexpected treasures found along the way, a nod to lasting impressions still loved though lost and ‘an intimate poem for such an outdoor area’ Island Life where a woman surrenders to ‘…each suckling lap…’ of the first wave of motherhood.

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Maeve O’Sullivan ( on Twitter as @writefromwithin) also brought us to India and returned us to Ireland through two bejeweled haiku sequences and grounded the force of an ocean of love in the sonnet Fathomless ‘…the twist of your hair in my knuckled fist…’

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Periscope link: https://www.pscp.tv/w/bVcMWDFlUkV4cVlWVnhQUXd8MXZPeHdBTFhwRE1HQs6p0u7wzeWUvfUmOmse42HeaA_-COCeSHxdhfL9zQuH

YouTube Link:

Extra photos of the group are curtesy of Harry Browne who can be found on Ficker.com

And you can just see the deer above that was watching over us from the not too far distance…

A DEER BY A DOLMAN IN DUBLIN

Where you there, all the time,

I asked myself,

for I have not discovered

the powers of hindsight,

as our words wove

like the wind

around the whispers

the woods were once

witness to?

Where you there all the time,

I asked myself,

in that soft spot of spirit

in the fold of our minds?

I had whispered, along the way,

as feet caressed

the crumbling clay,

as a heart trembled

in a throat that tried not

to tumble through words,

I had wished for a grace

to ground us like that curve

of concrete on the caress

of the mound that grounded

what had once grown tired

into the ground.

You were there, all the time,

I told myself,

as I caught the river

as it cast reflections

of trees rising up

and roots growing down

and I realized

we are not just man,

we are not just the mound

we lay beneath.

We are inseparable,

like these reflections

sinking into the stream,

we are not one, but the other,

not beast or beauty, but both,

finding our way along the water

to a bed to call comfort.

You were there, all the time,

a dear Deer, by a dolman, in Dublin,

listening to our songs

of the living

and the loving

and the dreaming

and the dying

laying our poems

on paths already pressed

while the deer stood and wondered

who would come next?

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Group photograph by Harry Browne who you can find on Flicker.com

On Saturday 17th February 2018 renowned Irish poet Kevin Bateman gathered a group together on sacred ground next to Dublin’s oldest Dolman (even if no one talks about it, advertises it or sign posts it and it took Kevin 10 years to find it), Knockmaree Dolman on the Hill of the Mariners and poetry wound it’s way around the winds in the Phoenix park. I can Dream and You can Love is his latest brainchild and spoken word event and featured the following poets (in order of appearance) Kevin Bateman, Supriya K Dhaliwal, Jasmina Susic, myself, Jessica Traynor, Catherine Ann Cullen, Eilin de Poar and Maeve O’Sullivan.

You can watch the event as it was recorded live on the link below. More details will follow but I have to catch a plane now back to Paris!!

https://t.co/IVxOJIyGIw

You tube link: https://youtu.be/GAXG_vR6C6c

Audio version for this poem available on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/a-deer-by-a-dolman-in-dublin