On foreign soil
I laid my feet
in foreign arms
I kissed on foreign streets.

In other beds
I gave my body
on other beds
locked in naked bodies.

In fleeting holds
I found my needs
while fleeting was
the hold that let me feed.

In other hands
I saw you take
wondering what
hold in mine you’d make.

On tender lips
I left my taste
on other lips
I lingered long on waste.

On sleepless nights
I laid awake
twisting nights
the darkness could not break.

On salty sands
I walk on waves
and salty tears
I cast for time and tide to fade

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


under onwards colour

Washed over
in whiskey and rum
and falling, on a street,
by a bridge in the lamplight
as the river rushed under us
onwards and out of sight,
falling into each other
in foreign lands
into foreign hands
sliding along foreign bodies,
lean and slender,
twists and thrusts
of bodies curious
to what they’d not yet tasted.
You danced around me
on stages, in my head
in stages, on my bed
above the water
that never stopped moving
under us, onwards and off.
Falling into you,
our own echoes
reverberating into a dance
we were generating,
a tale of three acts;
the fall,
the fairytale
and the future unfolding
more fierce than we’d foreseen
and those hours,
always the hours,
slipping in between,
splitting the space around us
like the water that night
beneath the bridge where we kissed
rushing under us, onwards and over us,
dissolving us without consideration
a gradual obliteration
and yet my lip still tingles 
from all we thought we were
in the moment the movement made us,
falling through time, through a space we couldn’t name, 
stretching skin and bending bone into a structure unstable, insubstantial,
kissing and courting and covering up the parts that could never be,
trying to be what we never were and ignoring the bits that we didn’t want to see. 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph of the Blauwbrug bridge on the Amstel Canal in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In search of a Still Shining, Fading Star

I was once silent

Amid the noise,

Shadowing the world in stillness

While all else-

But I-

Found its motion.

I watched as dreams

Slipped swiftly

Through my fumbling hands-

Hands powerless to awaken my slumber to the realm of reality.

I’d been held

And felt nothing in that very touch-

Nothing but the visceral arousal of man

At his most primal.

I’d seen a lifetime of possibilities

With single glances

And built worlds in my mind

Before blinking them away.

I held a man’s hand

In a taxi

As we raced through a foreign city-

Once my home-

While my mind ran to thoughts

Of someone else

Before remembering a touch, from long before.

Once, I circled the globe and returned home

To find that home

Was but a word-

A word that wakes a memory

To plot a beginning,

As weightless

And mobile

As the drifting traveler.

I am-

Like you all-

No more than a burnt-out,


Fading star,

Sparkling in front of you

Although my future’s already faded


Light years away.

As I hurtle through this voyage

My eyes fall sleepy;

Looking for rest,

Looking- always-

For the rest of me.

I saw you in the midst of these feelings

Early one morning

While December raced towards fairy lights

And tinsel toe-

Snowflakes speckling you in white-

An untouched canvas of pure potential,

No longer revolting in your bureaucratic bundle

Of mass and confusion-

While scarf-clad, gloved-up,


Shoulder-shrugging Frenchmen

Tutted as they wedged their way

Through the Metro turnstiles

That my blonde haired friend had just disappeared through-

Journeying back to her beginning

To start anew

And leaving me with no more than the distant memory

Of her laughter

That swept off on a breeze

And swirled around trees

Whose branches bared down to their earthbound roots.

No more the sharing of days and nights,

Mixing cocktails to our own design,

Toasting birthdays in Chinatown

For April’s fairest fool

Or surprise visits from friends

To break the daily routine.

No more lunches at Lina’s

With sandwiches too big to finish,

Dinners in white wolfed restaurants-

Leaving notes on toilet mirrors

For cute boys

On far flung tables.

No more spinning of bottles

And tempting of firemen

And late night parties

With boy bands

And dart players.

No more the sound

Of her click-clacking heels

Heard in the distance

Long before her arrival

Into that bar where we worked

And thought of as that very word-


She’d been the small town girl

More grown up than her years

And yet still a child as white

As the snow now falling.

As I saw you like this-

My dear city-

I wondered

How much more

Would fall away from me

And what else would take its place

As swishing snows let teared icicles stream down my face

While icy crystals fell from your skies-

Washing to white those famed grey rooftops

And smokeless chimneys

That had ingrained themselves

So indelibly

On my mind,

All the while hiding from me your cobbled streets

Through which my feet had sailed,

Feet that now disappeared

Slowly in the snow-white earth,

Leaving me to question where I’d be

When spring uncovered me

And pushed me back-

Once more-

Into the noise

And motion

And storm

Which I’d stopped that day to watch

In stillness

While another fine friend

Fell away.

I had once been silent

Amid the noise

But on that morning-

Speckled in white,

All was silent but for my heart

That raced with the beat of life.