LE LION ET LE RAT

 

Small teeth free big paw
The rat is brave before lion-
More time and less force

The Lion and the Rat

Petites dents libres grosse patte
Le rat est courageux devant le lion-
Plus de temps, moins de force

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

PERMISSIBLE TO ASK?

 

I take the boat out on the water,
rowing out to come into the stillness
in this place where space is still displaced.
Chez moi, c’est quoi, c’est où ?
Il est permis de demander ?

Merci, I say, still, when I should just
stay still, like this water where I row out,
stretching limb, exhausted, after the search
that brought me back, to pacify.
Pacifier- je peux le toucher, presque…

but these movements, however measured,
deprive peace from pacify, remove the stillness
from all this space I am, still,
struggling to reach. Mais.

Priver, je ne veux pas, non, non plus.
Je ne regarderai pas mon nombril, pas comme avant.

Moi- I shed who I was, am, along with time
but not breath- I lost breath, once- tu te souviens,
tu étais là, non ? Oui ! Tu ne te souviens pas.

Regarde ce bateau-
hope is a delicate placement of desire upon wish,
of wood upon water.

Je suis le bois, ou non ? C’était toi avant,
Mais tu as été viré. Viré. Fired. Sacked. Sack.

Meanings can give way to so many misunderstandings,
like translations- so much gets lost in the turning,
in the movement, going out and coming in,
with each row

further out. On the water.

Sometimes thought is not what is needed but stillness
within a world that cannot stop.
Arrête. Stop

but that word is too final.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

MY MUSE

Dance with me for a while you asked
And how could I refuse?
The belle of the ball at a soiree of cities
You are lady and goddess, the muse.

Deep in your heart I walked through you
To see you for what you are,
The product of passion and maker of magic
Like the light from a glorious star.

Home in your arms I was in you
And welcomed in from the cold,
You shone out your soul as you filled me with music
While your palaces shimmered with gold.

Comme La Petit Prince I came to you
Questioning life and romance,
Well I learned how to live ‘neath your city of light
And found real love in a solo dance.

In Père Lachaise I wept for you,
For the heroes you have lost,
The sparrow of Piaf, the spirit of Bernhardt
Seurat and Balzac and Proust.

Canvas of white, a child again
At play in the fields of you,
You opened the doors to your present and past
From the Palais Royal to the Pompidou.

You kept a watch both night and day
Lit a light for me to glide
From your cafes of jazz to your muscles of men
I inhaled every smoky dark side.

By Sacré-Cœur I looked on you
Till my eyes were pools of tears,
From La Tour Eiffel to your grand Musée du Louvre
I’d surrendered in you all my fears.

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