We scold,

even at frightening distances,
you burn, there, at the centre of
the sun
and I roar back across the stars at you,
from this comet that cannot commit,
at how you could run
so cold.
Our landings

were nothing less than lumpy-
you wanted to shine so I caught you that sun
and I wanted to amplify time
so you considered for me
the moon
but were already consumed
by your own blaze
and I caught this cursed comet in its place.
I think of you

as I finally defy time
on the tail end of this burning star.
We lacked the gravity needed
to bring a balance to
any orde
but we each held magnets
that repelled the other to the far ends
of space.
In the distance

I see something great
that might be your light
and smile back

before I spit

across the sky
and wonder if it’s enough
to put you out.
We scold still,

even at these great distances. 


All words and photographs by Damien. B. Donnelly



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.



I lay me down neath the constellation
as soul seeks shade from observation,
this sky full of stars my sweet salvation
though tumbling towards obliteration;
how beauty blazes before cremation.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost. Photograph is Chagall ceiling at Opera Garnier, Paris 


Reflection. Connection
Make the connection
Water Earth Air
I can be fire
The fire

I walk on water
I dream I walk on water
I see stillness
I dream I walk on the stillness of the water
I hear the silence
I am the silence dreaming of the stillness that walks on the water
I am the reflection
I am the silent reflection of the dream that once walked on the stillness of the water.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a old post, reposted.



is fragile,
is not always conclusive
until called,
we do not command the waves
nor comprehend the clouds.
I tell you this sand
will be swept into the sea by night fall,
this baying breath of cyan
neath the stretch of those cerulean skies.
This smooth, salt-licked land
was forged from fire
before you were born,
when vultures had feathers
instead of hands and knives,
when volcanos were all there was to fear.
Faith is fragile,
we cannot see what once was
or what will come to be.
We are not the fire nor the future,
we lie somewhere
below the caelum
searching for a shred of security
on a spot of shore
before the tides return
and we, in turn,
become a grain of sand
that some being will one day look upon
and try to see what is no longer there.
It is ours to be the basalt
or to be



All words and photographs (taken on Jeju Island, South Korea) by Damien B. Donnelly

27th Poem for National Poetry Writing Month



Spring sun sweet on skin

that still recalls the rain,

(it is not just raindrops that fall)

drunk is the forest beneath

those blood red moons

(blind are we to the fires we started).

Will you swim through the shadow

to beat away these bitter blues?

Beauty is a ship of summer symphony,

we are whispers to be worshiped

before our season stops to sing.

All words by Damien B. Donnelly with the help of the magnetic poetry oracle.


A Short Science Fiction Story

          The first time it happened she was only 8. It was the middle of Downtime. Everyone else was reenergising in their personal preservation pods. The viewing portals were switched to black-out, concealing the constantly burning light outside. The overhead generators whizzed hypnotically as they blew frosted air through every compartment of the enclosed compound, containing an entire civilisation that hovered next to a burning planet. It was the 1st day of the 6th sighting of the 2 new moons in the year 2615AE. After Earth, she used to think to herself, what a funny expression. Was there also a Before or During Earth too?
          The second time it happened, she was in the observation deck of wing 153D in the outer quadrant, alone. She was 16. She had learned all about Before and During Earth by then. Monthly identity and history injections thought her all about it. A tiny needle inserted below the right ear had replaced the need for what planet Earth had called school. Earth had become an unsustainable planet, a drained dot in the universe, once home a race somewhat like her own but less advanced, less aware of their personal effect on the world around them.
          When it happened the third time, she was 24 and knew exactly what it meant and this time knew how to fear it. Fear had been a recent injection, one of the few traits from earthbound humans that her own race now injected into their civilisation in order to keep communities in check. Originally, they had irradiated all forms of weakness but it had lead to an uprising without the balance of weak and strong. Without the consideration of what could happen. Therefore certain characteristics, once thought to be essential to removal, had been reintroduced. Shame, guilt and finally fear.

          The legend had been hinted at, briefly, in one of the injections, but it was believed to be nothing more than a distant dream; a trait of the human heritage they had yet to shed. It foretold how one day someone would embody the power of their own planet which would in turn reinvigorate life on Earth, a world so destroyed by its own people that, after it had exhausted its own resources, the planet itself had turned on them; the seas reclaimed the land, temperatures fell and ice once again reigned triumphant as it had done in millenniums past. Many of their leaders still believed that one of their own would one day burn with the heat of the sun, a heat which would melt the frozen surface of the planet of their past.

          When she was 8, it has been a slight sensation that had awoken her, a tinkling along her right hand and up her arm that had felt alien to her. Temperatures in the sealed compound were kept at a firm minus 32 degrees. Their body temperatures had changed dramatically over the 500 years they had spent adapting to the heat of the sun around which they now lived, surviving inside a secluded floating system that prevented them from ever stepping outside or feeling the pressure of the planet they now called home even though they could never step foot on it. Water had trickled along her skin, a situation she was normally accustomed to, but this time it was not cold water, it was water generated from heat, a word she did not yet know at the time. When she was 16, standing on the deck, looking out into a terrain of volcanic fire and flames, she felt the sensation on her face. Her cheeks suddenly igniting with steam which hit the windows and crystallised with the frosted glass and fell and smashed on the floor by her feet.
          At 24, she wasn’t alone when the flames shot from her hands like flared talons that flickered with every single movement of her fingers. They were all gathered in the canteen, queueing up for their daily nutrient injections. Everything was injections; knowledge, skills, nutrients and fear too. Some people cowered, others ran, children screamed but the majority watched in awe as legend became life on front of them. Gradually they fell to the ground and bowed before 24 year old Agatha who now held the light and heat of their fate in her hands.
          No injection had ever mentioned the transporter that had been built 300 years earlier, that had been hidden and hushed but motored just in case fate returned. No knowledge giving needle had prepared Agatha for the faces of her family as they held her one final time to say goodbye. No understanding of love readied her for letting go of Paul’s heart so soon after she had found it, cherished it and felt it beating like her own.

          At 24, when the seal slammed shut, the engines challenged the very flames of the sun itself, she had barely begun to understand the secluded, cold cradled compound in which she had lived her entire life. She had no idea what air was like, what a breeze felt like when it brushed your skin, how the sun felt, from a distance, when you swan beneath it in warm waters. She had no understanding of the simple beauty a flower could offer or how it felt to walk upon a field of grass. No one was alive anymore who remembered such things. Now all that promise lay in the heat that had taken over her body, a body now worshiped like a god, a body now hurtling to a distant planet once filled with lush mountains, deep valleys and heated homes that housed warmth and life. She had no idea what would happen when she landed on the frozen planet but hoped that the heat now radiating from her heart was enough to ignite a whole new world.


All Words and Drawing by Damien B. Donnelly



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,
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.


All words and pictures by Damien B. Donnelly


There is a sea

On front of me,

Its waters awash

With possibilities,

Waves of wisdom,

Its tides tickle my toes

Tempting me into its depths,

There is a sky

Above me,

Rolling with clouds

Of cotton candy,

Pillows of potential,

Folding and flexing

And forming my future fate,

There is water in the sea

On front of me,

There is air is the sky

Right above me,

I stand on the land,

And I am earthed,

I feel the fire within me

And it is burning.

All artwork and photos always by Damien B. Donnelly


Like a bird in flight
Alive on the wind
Carefree to where it will take me
I rise and soar

Like a bird in flight
Viewing it all at once
The wide world beneath my movements
I look and learn

Like a bird in flight
Arms spread out
To feel the clouds, to touch the trees
To sense and see

Like a bird in flight
I am airborne
I am the sum of all my parts
I am the fire that warms the water
I am the air the feeds the earth.