WHEN I DREAM OF WHO WE WERE

 

We used to hold hands, a quiver
along the skin
at touch,                     do you remember?

You handled me like I was food,
to be prepared pealed back,
to find the taste within.

I was advised not to- but I had hungered,
had grown ill                      without.

A cold cut cannot survive without the fold

of the fridge.

Or were you the oil and I                     the onion?
Having already been cut,

sliced before being found. Remember?

But we’d been spared                     the tears.
We tasted of a thousand nights
that had never known                     any stars

and then we wanted to taste                     it all.

Do you remember? No,
you don’t.                        I forgot.

We only held hands in my head
in that room I shared

with the one                     I shared the tears with.

Still slicing.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

THE SHADOW OF LIGHT

 

Light
is changeable.
Can be changed.
Exchanged.

We cut down stress
in the back garden of our woes,
in the back garden so neighbours
cannot see our fears spread out
across the lawn.

We stew it out
in solitude so we can shine later
after the dust has found its antidote,
after the touch is again tolerable,
after the new grass grows over
these rotten weeds.

Exchanged.
Can be changed.
Light is changeable.

We sit,
this evening,
in the late light of the kitchen
behind the glass partition
and watch the sunset.

Its last light
changing everything it touches

into shadow.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

FINDING OUR WAY

 

I woke early, attention tethered to the bird call
as they build their nests within the walls
we once lit fires between. Regardless of season
we must all find ways to shelter and survive.

I ran early, out into the open morning where air
was still yawning and I thought about sleep
and what it takes to catch a dream at the far end
of the wood when you aren’t sure of the way back.

I climbed the slow hill, with flattened breath
and caught two moons under the still grey light
kindly carved into the edges of memory
in this growing garden we water with tears.

I came early, to ponder position by tall towers
no longer watchful with feet that haven’t settled
while the sun, I cannot see, casts its light
onto two white moons above a thousand eyes

no longing seeing.

I woke early and still came up upon the moon.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

THE THINGS WE LEARN, AFTERWARDS

 

In a fat box by the skinny bed
in a dusty room rarely regarded
covered clumsy with crushes
are the contents of a childhood-
lost letters of love- all penned
but never posted & cut-outs
of pin-ups next to wrist bands
friends twisted & time forgot.

In a lost room fallen to dust
hope was a cradle of comfort
in this box her father opened
when she failed to come back

from a war she never wanted.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Written as part of the Cobh Writers and Readers #PoetryPrompt featured on Twitter. Do drop by and join in the creative distraction. @CobhWR

AFTER THE TIDE

 

Light.
These are the days
were we look to see
where the light lingers longer.
We rise like crabs
up, after the tide has fallen,
up, through solid sand now sinking,
we can only wait so long-
can only hold so much weight
(in these days where we cannot hold at all)
before we cannot wait any longer
to touch the light,
catch a breath,
feel the sun.
Burn.

Come,
catch the light-
a bright distraction in the darkness.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

 

Inspired by a #PoetryPrompt on Twitter from the #PoetInResidence Catherine Anne

Cullen at @PoetryIreland 

QUACK

 

Solitude will guard gentle breath
as I slip from darkened day to dream,
even if the daffodil, now bright upon the bank,
comes despite concern.
I smile as the memory of this kindhearted bloom
unfolds within the shadows of this stilled room,
here, where corners ponder the importance of a cell.
In the distance, I hear a duck quack
as I return to the credit of comfort the pillow provides
and close my eyes to the sounds of madness.

 

Written as part of the Cobh Writers and Readers #PoetryPrompt featured on Twitter. Do drop by and join in the creative distraction. @CobhWR

SNOW WHITE

 

I saw you, one morning,
blanketed in white,

a speckled canvas of virgin purity,
all colour lost out to a simpler shade of simplicity.
No more that magnificent mass of contrast and contradiction,
just quiet and gentle unencumbered distinction.

Distant laughter carried on a breeze
swirling round trees caught motionless in time,
branches bare but for the kind kisses of that slow falling snow.

I saw you like this, one ordinary morning,
as tears formed icicles on my face, snowflakes falling
from your skies to hide your valleys and hills

as my feet disappeared beneath the snow-white earth.

I saw you, like this, one extra ordinary morning,
and that long lost smile

reappeared.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Merry Christmas everybody, Dami xx

THE THAW

 

Blue is the breath,
blue is the earth, morning, early,
the sky a clean canvas of white and the earth; blue,

a bed of frozen blues born from dawn’s breath,

a blanket of freshly fallen slow snow,
trembling along the hairs of the land, caught
in the calm before the crunch, before the footprints
mould into mud all that is now a myriad of mystery.

There is beauty in blue,
there can be beauty in being broken,
in time being frozen, in the breath baying.

I twist and tremble between these sheets
still fresh upon these old shadows, still crisp
over this drying skin. I twist and tremble through this season
to be unsure, falling into blue, into time, time is frozen

along with all that is born in this bed,
a blanket of fallen findings; some things
I thought to be more, some things
I hoped to mean less,

like loss; less loss,
less time, less breath, more blue,
the mystery is already moulding into mud.

Blue is the breath and slow,
soft as the early morning snow
so slow, awaiting nothing more than
the affirmation of an approaching melt.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

 

 

THE PRICE OF A STAR

 

And she sang of hope and harmony
in a borrowed frock on Tuesday nights
in a smoky bar below the Bowery
where the Irish downed their whiskey
while the Italians were always frisky
and they touched her, always, after;
her faithful followers fingering flesh
as if to caress the affection she injected
into lyrics light and loving, in that bar
beyond the Bowery where she came to entertain
the Irish and Italians who always joined in the refrain.
Though they left her, always, after,
on Tuesday nights neath the smoky light
with hope and harmony already fading
in that bar below the Bowery where the laughter
never managed to linger for that long after
and in the silence below the Bowery
as the stars went out one by one
she felt betrayed by what they’d taken; by the hope
they had mistaken to be theirs for the taking,
and felt betrayed by herself; by her need to amuse,
to be the muse in the limelight but then alone
in the shadows, always and ever after,
by that bar below the Bowery where the light
was far too low to notice that her soul
had left her long ago.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost of a week of moon and stars 

A SEAT BEFORE CREATION

 

Silent in her own darkness
she takes a place
by the canvas of creation
and before its stillness
she lets the light
pour over all
that has slipped
between the shadows.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost for a week of colourful imagination. Photo of La Fee Electricite by Raoul Dufy from Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris.