GIVEN TIME

 

Rushes rustle a calling to the rain

mimicking
the sound
of those
molecules
of moisture
they long
to feel
against
their
sharp-
edged
skins.

We all
learn
to mimic
what we
must,
let go
of all
we can
not
hold,
lean in
to what
we love,
fake all
we can
not
feel.

Gulls
squawk
overhead
for prized
position
whilst
wings
spread
out
to claim
all that
eventually will come down from the clouds.

  

All words and photos by Damien B. Donnelly

 

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FOR BREAKFAST, FOUND POEM FOR BLOOMSDAY

 

Relish inner organs,
beasts and fowl-
roast heart, slices of all kidneys.

In the kitchen, breakfast,
light and air, out of doors,
everywhere peckish.

Coals reddening.
Sideways, squat. Soon. Mouth dry.

A leg with tail, on high, fire.

Lithe black form- sleek hide, white butt.

She understands. She wants.
She can jump her nature-

curious squeal.

Seem to like it.
Shame.

He
poured milk
on a saucer, on the floor.

She cried, running.
Weak light, she licked lightly.

Wonder is it true,
if you clip them?

  

Found poem by Damien B. Donnelly

based on opening page of Calypso in Ulysses by James Joyce for Bloomsday 2020

MY THREE FATES

 

I- The original

 

Water                            floods flesh

From carnal comes forth     creation

Washed in sin

and they watch. In judgement

Water releases               hold

Sign away the rights                to his name

 

II- The Second Coming

 

Tears flood                   drained desert

She will be  an ocean             once more

Blood             is not the only bond

Longing leans in                  with twice the light

while they watch. In judgement.

Her tears           taunt their dried lips.

 

III- The Journey

 

You are ocean endless   and I worry

about growing                tired.

Sides streets         hold songs.

Every cobble     a connection for collection

Born from one and raised                by another

Now the road    is the mother

Feet turn    on judgement.            I found the refuge

The final fate          is on the road.

 

All words by Damien B Donnelly

WRECKAGE, AFTER THE REVERIE

 

Restless morning after night’s twist.
From day we’d split like shadows
Into the swallow of darkness
But dreams are billowy breaths
That toss ships under sheets
Of stormy seas and we- single sleepers
Under the blindness, washing up
And through time and buried thought.

Restless morning after night’s twist.
Lip trembles at dream’s touch
As I reach out to pinpoint position
Upon this shore of subconscious
Where desire is an abhorrent beast
And we, single dreamers, fooled
Into thinking that one night’s hold
Can stir day into a sweet surrendering

Of the isolation drowning on the shore.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

LENGTHS

 

Spring has left us shy.
We flirt like sheep- cute but clumsy,
forgetting what it was like to fold a summer
into forever. Words come but feel cumbersome-
you can only swallow so much of those ocean eyes
before drowning. Sheep don’t swim
and wool doesn’t do well in so much hot water.
Be careful with the laundry- no white flag yet in sight.
Spring has left us shy.
We never unfolded another summer to flock to the flirt.
You do or don’t- the tide isn’t ours to play with.
Sink, swim, shrink or drown. And I was never good
at lengths- length of time, length of hold,
length of hope.
Sheep need to be shepherded
or they lose their way. 

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

COME THE GLEAMING

 

New leaf climbs old tree-
this ivy will not be held
down is no direction,
dynamic is the trail of this root
now gleaming on the hallow wood.
Sometimes empty centres are for holding
hopeful hearts.
Layers of leaves come like coats of zinc-
a wrapping for these times were comfort is craved.
Nature nurtures freshly cut back bark
by the side of the garden
where thought had been neglected.
Not everything will survive-
not all bark, not all breath,
but hope, when held, can be as simple
as a trail of fresh branch
born around a broken bark.

 

Words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

WHAT YOU WISH FOR

 

Remember
When all we wanted was a little distance?

Remember
Starting out with a cushion on the sofa,
A pillow in between the folds twisting against us,
One word less
And then another.
Every move a single mile.

Remember
How all we wanted…

I wonder-
While watching shadows growing stiller
Beyond the window of this other room,
Here, at the end of all these miles,
At home with our wants,
Without a word-

If we’d held a little tighter
Would we have survived the distance now?

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

BOOKENDS; STUMBLING THROUGH THE DREAM, WIDE AWAKE

 

I was silent once amid the noise, stumbling through smothering,
a bare canvas cradling nothing in arms that had promised everything.

I circled the globe once to find that home was just a word,
a word that makes a memory to plot a beginning,
not weighted but weightless.

I am, like you all, no more than a burnt-out, used-to-be, fading star,
somehow sparkling in front of you though my future has already faded
somewhere light years away.

As I hurtle through this voyage, my eyes fall sleepy, looking for rest,
looking, always, for the rest of me.

I am the sparrow, lost to its nest, forever flying in circles, catching
your scent on every other breeze with the hope it will, one day,
fly me home on your courant d’air.

For all that I have become, it is because of all you’ve shown me,
for all that I lack, it is everything I left in our bed.
Sleep softly on it.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

 

This month is about looking back at my life in Paris in order to say goodbye and this poem is a collage of a group of poems I wrote just after i left Paris, the first time, in 1999.

NORTH OF THE NOISE

 

And so I come north
where the air cuts colder,
where daylight is a breath
that barely bays, night
a blanket bound to days.
I am not here to stay but
on a sway through ticking
time, to see what rests
where the light is less,
where day finds end before
being truly bent, where life
harks to harder as the day
hangs darker, dreams now are
the comings and goings,
the stuffing out of hours
before a bitter blanket of
blinkered blindness. Sad hearts
grow sadder, they say, grow
seasonal into sombre, into
the shadow of a city standing
still, waiting for the will. Days
fall short, are gone before
they can be caught, like hours,
like time, like the hand in that taxi
I once held, like all we cannot
hold, like all that ticks onwards,
all that moves off with the light
while I come here to the land
which time has left behind it.

  

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

From the poetry series A Month With Yeats

AT THE SETTING OF THE YELLOW LIGHT

 

I held your hand
in a taxi, once,
while thinking of another
as you whispered into my ear,
a sound I no longer remember,
a scent now a breath away from touchable.

I cannot hold everything anymore,
not everything nor everyone.

I recall the yellow light
yearning to hold its own innocence
stretching through the window
burning hands still holding onto a truth
that had turned away from white,
I remember the highway
that hurried us out of the city
as I wondered if I’d packed enough hope
for us both.

But I cannot hold everything, anymore,
no more. The elastic cannot be recalled,
the weight was too wearisome
for just one heart.
I hope now to hold clarity, to hold happy,
happy to be free. Happy me,
now lighter, brighter

reaching out for that plant pot
with its purple petal planted, long ago,
in a garden I am returning to.

A garden where I will sit
and watch the dance of the dandelions
till the yellow sun has descended,
where I will empty all the jam jars
of their collected lies
and draw the sound of the moon, at last.

   

All words and photography by Damien B. Donnelly

Penultimate poem for National Poetry Writing Month