BOOKENDS; BOY SO BLUE

 

Sitting in a park in Paris, France as kids
climb trees they’ll soon outgrow and birds busy
their feathers in a dance of freedom we’ll never know.

I fall through thoughts as someone tickles strings
on cords too distant to be discovered and wonder
where you sat; on the orange carpeted concerns
of the girl growing through her song of sorrow?
By the guy with the hat and harmony, probably,
the guy guarding his guitar from the bright light
of the, as yet, starless sky as if he knows already
how celebrity will one day cripple his creativity.

A blackbird bows before me, burrowing burdens
into the road, looking for crumbs since cast off,
for a little refuge, like you did, like we all do,
looking for a little distraction from the circling sun
and shining skins blustering under bland or blander.

Sitting in a park in Paris, France, as if in a trance
from 22 to 42, recalling how I first found favour
with following you; back room, no light, bedsit;
we were masters of the Marais, simple singletons,
senselessly sinking innocence into the marshes,
courting kisses of single sparks and rising over losses
we thought at the time to be insurmountable disasters.

But they were just dances, like these tiny birds
around me now, prances we perform, up and under,
over and through. We are all naked birds flirting
with honesty and invisibility under a sweltering sun,
sometimes recalled, sometimes forgotten before begun.

Sitting in a park in Paris, France, still trying
to understand the message in the melody
underlying and still trying to comprehend
the cords forged in the flesh of the boy so blue.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly. 

This month is about Paris and letting her go. This photo was taken at the garden on front of the Musee Picasso, in Paris where I lived in an apartment right next door at the end of the 1990’s with a young Irish girl who introduced me to the music of Joni Mitchell. On my return to life in Paris in my 40’s, I wrote a series of poems, while sitting in parks during the summer, based on the albums of Joni and this was a nod to the album Blue. Like tattoos and all things that stick.

This was the original self portrait I used when I first posted this poem as Joni painted or photographed all her album art…

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GLUTTONY HAS GOT THE GOAT

 

There is a goat
dancing in the parking lot
and this train cannot proceed
along its track,
interlopers interrupt on intercoms;
there are packages of suspicion
on the trail up ahead
and a goat in a lot
dancing round the cars.

There is a goat
dancing in the parking lot
as a woman tells tales
in the seat behind me
to a girl with fingers
fixed on her insta-fame,
on Instagram,
while a goat
with shameful notoriety
throws shapes in the parking lot.

There is a goat
dancing in the parking lot
and a plane descending
like a sub into the sea
while a package has been placed
in positions of pedestrians
and a woman complains
to her daughter about her day
and her daughter captures it all
on Snapchat to ensure it exists
as a goat in a parking lot
continues to dance.

There is a goat
dancing in a parking lot
and this train has lost the thread
of its tracks
and in a synagogue
on the sabbath
in a state out of states,
someone opened fire
while the goat in the lot
continued dancing.

There is a goat
dancing in the parking lot,
trying to distract us
from the collisions
he can’t cover.

Winter is already here.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly