CAST OFF

Along the river bed,

long running with water

already washed through our hands,

long is not the hold we have to harbour,

long running with this water

no longer light at its level,

no longer smooth along its sands,

along this bend of river

I cast into the current, like a kiss

no longer catchable,

this weight no longer workable,

now on route to dissolvable.

From breath to bubble,

bobbing

bubbles,

from breath to bubble and then trouble,

then off they blow,

splashing as they sparkle

and splutter on to spent.

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I cast you into this current,

where shamrock slips to sapphire,

to let the past depart,

not sad of heart, not hard,

just a shadow of blue

in a bend of the bank

at the edge of expire.

To slip from soul like a skin

now shredded from recognition,

a cast off of character no longer cast

in this current condition.

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We knit until we are knotted,

we weave patterns;

loops locked under chains,

some stitches saved and others slipped,

connected to a comfort

until they struggle under strains,

a fragile filigree

we cannot always wear,

hands can only hold

what wants to be held,

we are not fortunate

for the future to foresee,

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we can not always follow,

sometimes even sheep

must make their own route

before they are wound as wool

or substance to swallow,

even the river bed must turn, in time,

twist at others, we are no straight line

but a collection of corrections

cast on and cast off,

kick off

pay off

drop off.

We are more than characters

or thinly drawn caricatures,

I am more than this flesh you see,

you see; I can fester or I can be free.

I shed this skin of a former self,

here by the edge of this river running,

running onwards, searching for its shore,

searching for something more,

for its share of the truth,

I shed this skin to let the other

parts of me find their sea.

I cast into the river bed

this weight so the rest

can float and form and be.

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All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/cast-off

TEDDIES AND TIDES

I held on so long to a comfort

stuffed into the curve of my arm,

on nights when no one noticed

the child behind this mask of man.

I held on to a space outdated,

to a void I thought I’d vacated,

crouching into a cramped corner

of considered claustrophobia,

convinced I was more the victor

than the victim

(at times we can be both).

I held on so long to a tear

I thought time had torn but tides

are temperamental, unlike teddies,

they fold back on themselves

and we are swept again under, later,

long after, as if they had waited

to defy expectation

(we are experts at expecting to be the exception).

No one and nothing drowns

in the first wave. All and everything

is a cycle, tides come and go

and then return to take some more.

We are children and then adults

until adults lost in longing,

longing to understand the hold

of the child behind this mask of man.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

HALF LIGHT, HALF NIGHT, day 17 of A Month with Yeats

 

Today’s quote for Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats comes from ‘Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’. ‘The blue and the dim and the dark cloths of night and light and the half-light,’ —W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/a-month-with-yeats-day-seventeen/

My poem is called HALF LIGHT, HALF NIGHT

 

And time finds them folded

between all that had been lost

and the hope of what yet might come.

And night finds them falling

between the dark clouds covering

and the hands that caress their bodies.

And the kiss finds them feeding

on a hunger they thought exhausted

beneath the truth the darkness can’t hide.

 

And in the half light,

half starved,

he fell beneath her dark cloths

cast in shadow

as if half forgotten,

half starved

for that blue light

once burning bright

in the dimming night.

And in the half light,

half jarred,

she sank beneath his old hold,

reborn in bold,

no longer

half accepting

that half starved

was the whole picture

as their hunger

pulled them tight.

And in the half light,

half scarred

from being alone but not alive

in this scrapyard,

they each half held

that half light,

half bright

and held each other

in a hope

below the night.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

MOMENT AFTERWARDS 

 

In absence

lips lean out

in longing,

clouds gathering,

a chill in the air,

the warmth slipping.

 

Memory is a playful thing,

you tease and turn

over and back to before.

 

We kissed,

I feel it intensely,

I see it clearly

in the mirror

still marked

from a night now over.

 

Cold showers

call out

from the falling rain,

seasons come and go.

 

Moments linger longer.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

LIQUID RHYTHM 

 

Expanding on the magnetic poetry oracle…

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 by Damien B. Donnelly

DEEPLY ROOTED

 

In a patch of the park
bench and bark are bound
like hands that once held hearts
on seats in summer
when days were only dawning

in times now twisted
into memory like roots
now turning in the turf
beneath bench and bark
in a patch of the park.

In a patch of this earth
shadows slip over soil
and all that once was
whispers on the breeze…

Break the benches
where we once rested,
cut down the trees
where we once sheltered

but roots,

roots are like hearts held

their impressions last longer
than benches and barks
in patches on parks.

All words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/deeply-rooted

FLEETS OF TIME

 

Touch tenderness
such tenderness
touch time
such fleeting time
tender the time we take to touch
we touch so tenderly through fleeting time
through fleets of time
like sailing ships
caressing seas
amid serenity
amid storms
such storms
stay the storms
time will teach us what we can weather
whether the waves will wash over us
or tear us down
each tear can fill an ocean with tears
each touch can bring us closer to the shore. 
We sink or swim in time
though time
through this fleeting time
in tender holds
caressing
and touching tears
digressing.

Touch tenderness
touch time
so tough to hold tenderness throughout time.

All words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available at Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/fleets-of-time

CATCH THE KISSES

 

Catch cotton kisses
blowing briefly over bodies
on beds, on beaches
basking, baking.
Catch kisses
cuddled in cotton sheets
freshly laid kisses
caressing carefully closed curtains. 
Kisses cuddled
on sandy beaches as tides tick through time,
tickling time
with waves washing over us.
Clean, crisp
cotton kisses, candy kisses,
too delicious to last too long,
long kisses
on cotton sheets, worn with laughter,
folds of light laughter,
making movements of moments,
moving moments,
catch the moments
of bodies on beds, on beaches
where tides kiss toes,tickle toes,
wash away woes.
Summer kisses,
cotton candy kisses
on soft sheets of surrender,
like the sand surrenders to the shore,
like the sea caresses the sand,
kisses
in waves never lasting
though sinking so deep
below the surface.

All words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/catch-the-kisses

BLUE

 

And there, by the winding road, it watched

and there, by the rushing waters, it took anchor

and there, neath commuting clouds, it found no freedom,

her song; locked to the land

waiting as the tides retreated

wailing as the breeze bolted

out onwards and over
always and forever
while there, by the winding road, by the edge of the baying blues

her song;
bound to the shore
unlike the tide
unlike the tempest
unlike the sands of time

blue said the sea
not I said the sky
nor I said the clouds
nor I said the sand
but I sang the song
there on the shore

her song forever tied
forever more…

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken in Skerries, Co. Dublin, Ireland