BOOKENDS; A CITE OR A SHADOW

 
A city and a shadow, a choice; to stay or leave,

to concede and crown myself as conquered and then be crushed
or to continue on as committed commuter,

to be complacent
or constantly curious for more light so as to comprehend the darkness,

to break down the barrier between all there is to fear
and come, face to face, with all there is to be.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This month is about looking back to see how I can move forward. A final goodbye to Paris before moving to Ireland. 

POTTERS ON THE ROAD

 

I am free in the morning,
in this morning town,
waking,

slipping from slumber
like skin from sheets,
like wings above clouds

conquering concerns
that come a calling
and I am falling
upwards,

falling in love with light

can feel it sparkling,
even at day break,
even when days break,

falling for all that caresses carefree,

I am not constant,
no longer, not caught,
I am on course like the stars

I course through clouds, up from down,

I am clear of connection, of weight,
of all that heaves over heart,
I am more made of mind,

romance redirected in songs scripted
from memories and moments measured

in the heights that held us
and not the fights that harmed us.

I am cutting from my own carcass my own canyon

in the soil of the soul,
more whole than helpless,

brave the bird that breaks
from the nest to find fortune in freedom.

Freedom is a solo flight;

to touch the stars
you have to know how to hold the night.

I am man now,
brave begotten from boy,
gotten braver, better, broader,

brought back to basic; the characteristic core of all creation.

Shadows are quaint covers now
that come in from the cold
when comfort is called.

Shadow is not all sinister, sun is not always safe.

We are starlight
making our way
through the darkness
before we fall to dust,

trying to decipher the difference
between delight and distraction
along the paths we are potters on.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly. From a series inspired by Joni Mitchell albums.

This is a repost for a week of Stars and Moons

LIQUID RHYTHM

 

Need is hard
(to give in to
that craving for connection)
‘Not yet,’ I said (to Time,
teasing along twitching ties),
‘Drink me not, dark angel’
(we are light still and far from brewed).
Joy is a dance
of liquid rhythm
(lithe are we, fluid forms falling into arms
not always favouring hold),
hearts bleed when opened
(steel we are not, though hard are we
to mould into mutual).
‘Make us a secret
though our embrace is concrete
so maybe we (can) linger longer,
(let’s drink ourselves slowly,
regardless of how time ticks roughly).

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost. I am reposting old poems at the moment as I am editing my novel and working on new poems for a possible chapbook and sending out others to literary magazines and planning the move to Ireland in 4 months and thinking about packing and doing life laundry and doing the day job for another 3 months and still a little hot under the Parisian sun. Fingers crossed for all, one or none!

IF ONLY

 

We are land birds,
bound birds,
we have made homes
in twisted trees
growing hallow,
growing hard.
We are land birds,
ground birds,
we have been deluded
by illusions
growing careless,
growing cold.
We are land birds,
drowned birds,
in a dying desert
growing doubtful,
going dry.

If only
we had been sea birds,
crowned birds
in a current caressing,
wings wild
at the will of the waves,
weightless instead of weighty,
free falling
on a bed of floating foam,
flexible instead of friable.

If only…

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

From the series A Month With Yeats

Photographs from Barbie exhibition at Musee des Arts Decoratifs, 2016, Paris

COLOUR IS WAITING

 

And still we will come to lick the honey
from the purple petal and still we will come
to root out the weeds of worthlessness in gardens
where others eat up all that is beautiful. Time turns
and we, in turn, follow its path, suns set and the moon
shows us its song, hold hands and then release,
hold hope and then move on, we only own the moment.
Mothers may still hand over their hearts to other mothers
waiting to be wanted, fathers may rise to be fearless
or choke on the root of their own fear, those black-cloaked
women pouring water from windows onto withered plants,
who’ve buried their living bodies in a bitterness
for all that life has lynched from them, will continue
to cry as flames flicker out along the Seine,
like their memory, revealing structure still standing
but soul no longer settled. They will still pour
their buckets of tears down the aging walls of a city
that cannot see beyond its past. If we cannot catch colour
then we too will be cremated in the concrete. But black
is only shadow until it finds a reason to ignite in light,
bark is dry but the branch bares blossom. Eat the storms,
Mother said, remember? Boil the beds of bitter blackness
until the dream rips through the rain and translucent
turns them lighter, brighter. And still we will come
to that lake where language lingers, still we will sink
beneath its depths to slip ourselves from the reflections
we have once worn and now outgrown. Still we will sink
kisses onto our starved lips and still come back for more
after love catches hold of kisses cradled on other lips.
Catch the colour, catch the kisses, catch the life
racing by in taxis, on trains with crimson carriages
connecting moments waiting to be made magical.
The starry night can be a bright light waiting for us
to paint it. Behold how much there is to love, to let go of,
to learn from. Let us be the design and not just the destruction.
Eat the storms, she said, taste the refreshment in the bright
blue rain. Colour is waiting just beyond the clouds.

  EBA745D1-36E2-45EB-B84C-61914EAEAF30

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

30th and final poem for National Poetry Writing Month 2019

IN THE PEACE BY THE PURPLE PETAL

 

Lather us in lazy,
let us lick the honey
from the purple petal,
let us lay down dreams
upon the velvet veneer
of the plump peach,
slip us into a dream of sleep
where all language is lulled
into a lake that lingers
in stilled thought
that tickles tongue upon first taste
with the truth of who we are,
where we shed the red thorns
that have twisted flesh
and bequeath our blues
to the bed at the bottom
to form a base as we rise
in a garden of purple pride
as honey pours
from our once starved lips.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

1st poem for National Poetry Writing Month 2019

IMPRESSIONS

Gentle breath
All as yet an impression
Morning yawns with uncertainty

Thoughts flicker on skin
Hairs rise to signal the day
My body stirs to the stillness

Feathers flap
Cracks are caught in the concrete
Roads are not the only route

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

A KISS OF A WISH

I kissed a wish once

when time was tender as flora,

to swim as I fish once,

I wished.

I kissed a wish once

when hope was all that I had,

to be fine as a fish once,

I wished.

I kissed a wish once

when cornered by courtiers too curt,

to be free as a fish once,

I wished.

I kissed a wish once

but time was not to be told,

I lost my freedom, once,

but now have wings that unfold.

All words by Damien B. Donnelly

Inspired by a twitter poetry challenge from @WrittenRiver asking us to draw inspiration from the painting of James Christensen above.

RED CARPET, day 24 of A Month with Yeats

 

I’m running behind on Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry challenge but better a tad tardy than a no-show. Yesterday’s inspirational quote was: ‘We know their dream; enough to know they dreamed and are dead; ‘ —W.B. Yeats ‘

My poem is called RED CARPET

 

We dream

of what can be,

not of what was, we

are here because of what

came before, what we will be

is based on what we believe,

on what we have learned

to be true. There are

footprints already

in place,

already paved,

a path already plotted

by the brave, those hung

by their own hope, those trampled

by the trust they held in the truth. We

walk this road, lined with lives lived

and lost in the fight for fairness,

freedom, friendship, fidelity.

To dream is a given, to

live out our truth is

the right that

was won by

the red

carpet of heroic blood beneath our feet.

 

All words and photography by Damien B. Donnelly