COLOURS IN THOUGHT

 

Colours flap in the wind, colours catch
the feeling of freedom at daybreak
like thoughts taking flight in dreams
under blankets, mounding over molecules,
making matter meaningful. Dawn’s dew
delights in seeds now stirring under soil
just as stars shine significance on a mind,
on a pillow, at play. There is movement
beyond the trees and the run of the riverbed
if you can catch it. There is movement
in the dreamer beneath the blankets
and the shuttered eyes if you can wake it
to the colour, to the moment of possibility
in flight…

like colour on concrete,
like a bare bench in the waiting park,
like trees attending to shooting buds,
like a river of thought that cannot be abated.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost for a week of colourful imagination. Photo from Ile Saint Germain, Paris.

WILLING TO BE WONKA

 

Up and through, through colour to brighter,
better, perhaps. I’m next, she says, up
and over, following underfoot the man
with the hat who’s had enough. Off with hats,
top hats and hard hats, happy heads float
through colour, dissolve, he says, into columns
of colour, preconceptions passing now,
no longer cornered by constricting contraptions,
sink into that which was once solid, release
the routine with the briefcase, the blindness
and the budget and slip swiftly into a world
of hope on a wall, on a roof, there is no ceiling,
no limit, imagination has no holding in flat,
in all that seems futile, gone are the grey days,
grey ways, grey suits that ground down, freedom
is but a jump up, sideways, over and under,
this is just a waiting room, close your eyes, feel
the weight shift, slip, feel the worry ware away
between suggestions someone else has painted
on that which was once static, which was once
only a support, imagination is a jump up
and through, pink can be your sky if you rise
above those who tell you it’s blue, the sea can be
your heaven if you can get through the clouds.
Up and through, through all that binds you, bonds
are only walls waiting to be splashed with colour.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost for a week of colourful imagination. Street art from Parc Belleville, Paris.

PURPLE CLOUDS

 

In that garden
of the many meadows of my mind

plants grow down
from purple clouds

carved of cotton catchable candy

and seek substance
from the surface
and not the ceiling.

In that garden
of the many meadows of my mind

fences are painted
with faces familiar

and mouths to catch kisses if you’re quick enough

and embraces
sprout like brush
to cradle comfort.

In that garden
of the many meadows of my mind

music spreads like ivy
a chorus to cut the chaos

and a crescendo of colour like a flower unfolding.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost for a week at looking at clouds

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

THE CHILD INSIDE THE MAN

 

Oh child, sweet child, sleeping so
beneath these big shoes and ties
knotted to a life of change and choice,
but we had to run, had to keep going,
didn’t we have grow up so quickly;
stand up, show up, give up, pay up.
Oh child, sleeping child, so sweet
beneath this bitter battle we must wade
through, the waves come not solely
on the current, not timely like the tides
but in the solitude, in the silence
we thought to be a comfort, I feel you
twist through the dreams you still dream,
that I have lost hold of, that I have let
slip from a grasp now older, less bolder.
But you, dear child, sweetly sleeping
as I make movements meant to be manly,
meaning to be mature, how I hear
your voice, amid the louder, broader,
vulgar tones beyond the preying
playgrounds of concrete corporations
and communal conformity, yours
so soft and gentle amid the riots
and the roars, yours so soothing
amid all that is smothering. I see you
too sometimes, in the mirror, briefly,
a spark of what was once a projection, now
but a reflection; wide eyed
and hearty of hope, I see you, laughing
at my troubles, calling me to come play,
to see the adventure in the danger,
to see the impermanence of these little
interruptions that come a calling.
Oh child, sweet child who painted
pictures to make the grey days
more grand, who penned poems
to let the pain find its place to perish
on the page instead of in the person.
Oh child, sleeping child of my youth,
how much I still have to learn from you.

   

All words by Damien B Donnelly. School photo aged possibly 5.

From the series A Month With Yeats

WHITE STARLIGHT

 

White starlight,
light and lucent,
springs from
the ailing earth,
in quite corners
of tended borders
so fine and fair,
fragility unfolding
precious petals,
perhaps to soften
the edges
of darker days
that have set
shadows upon
so many sunsets.

White starlight
cradles beauty,
a bold beacon
blooming amid
these burdens
that bind us
to broken branches,
she’s taking chances
ripe and rare
like subtle silk,
like flowing milk,
so bright and brave
to dare to bloom
amidst these months
of doom and gloom.

White starlight
in broad daylight,
a wonder witnessed
among this world
of weeds
and tangled vines
that strangle
the timid
and the truth.

White starlight.
Fear not fragility
for she was
born to fight.

   

This poem is a re post.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

WHISPERED WORDS

 

Last night you came calling
like a song to soften the shadows
and found me slipping in between
the silence and the slumber.
Last night you came calling
softly with your whispering words
that filled the longing, soft words
that settled upon my bed like a blanket
to sooth me. Last night, in the sweetened
stillness, you bent down from above,
from far away, from somewhere
beyond the silence and beckoned me
closer with your wisdom, whispering
words, softly like stars in the darkness,
like hope in the loneliness, welcome
words whispered which fell from your lips
and moved amid minds, warm words
that rested softly in between worlds
of sleep and seclusion, that found my ears,
that soothed my shoulders, that caressed
my chest like a breeze, a beautiful breeze,
a beautiful summer breeze that lets you breathe,
that finally enables you to breathe. Last night
you whispered from a world away and I awoke
all the lighter as the night gave way to day.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a re-post, i’m still on holiday!!!!

 

ONE SMALL STEP, A SHORT STORY

 

I woke up to the sound of the bus bell, ringing out at the end of our block, signalling the first stop for the beach. Kids shrieked with laughter as they played catch in a neighbour’s yard and I heard Ma mumbling to herself as she twisted the knob back and forth on the new washing machine back before it finally chugged into gear like the Saturn V Rocket roaring from Cape Kennedy. In the room next door, Jinni was tapping her tiny plastic horses’ hooves on the window ledge and humming Let the Sunshine In for the millionth time while downstairs, on the back porch, Pop switched off the voice of Nixon on the wireless and replaced him with Davis’ Porgy and Bess on the gramophone. The Dickermans’ had a portable turntable for years now while we still had to make do with grampa’s old gramophone even though we’d more money than anyone on the beach side of Branford hills.
Jackson, Haines and Todd Tierney turned up as Ma cleared away my breakfast tray and the gang were allowed stay all afternoon. Jackson, the only out-of-stater in our little group, had just come back from camp with a newly built Estes Big Bertha model rocket, standing almost 2 feet high. It was big, black, bold and my, oh my, was it certainly yare. I watched from the bedroom window as they set it up in the yard and followed the trail of white smoke as it soared into the air before the red parachute burst out and returned her to the ground. Ayah, I thought, Bertha was wicked enough but, for me, the shiny white Trident model with its sleek line and red stripe was much more akin to Armstrong’s awesome Apollo.
Ma kept the smiles on our faces with afternoon snacks; a long grinder packed with cold meat, lettuce and tomato, her best-in-the-town cherry lemonade and double helpings of apple pie. Pop turned on the Linkletter show and cracked up the volume for the neighbours to hear and Haines ogled at Jinni through the window as she cartwheeled around the yard as if she was deliberately orbiting his imagination. We wrapped the rest of the afternoon up in Monopoly. Tierney, the old nutmegger, cheated twice, Jackson spent almost the entire time in jail, just like his own grampa, and yet, somehow, I still lost even though I’d managed to trade Short Line railroad with gumball-brained Tierney early on and had been the lucky son-of-a-gun to call shotgun on Illinois Avenue before anyone else, and usually only jail is more popular than this place, usually!
The boys set off home after they’d brought me down to the parlour in time for the news so we could check in with our three bravest countrymen. Turned out that our Space heroes were no more talkative on a rocket than they’d been on land. They’d spent their second day in space cooking, sweeping, making coffee and forecasting the weather. Cronkite told us that no news was good news but Jeez, give us a little something, I thought. This was Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, for real. I’d been dreaming about this moment from lift-off to set-down and no sweeping brush or coffee maker had got in the way of the weightlessness of my body floating through space. The final news report was some story about someone who said sorry to someone else who had once said something about spaceflight not being possible even though someone else had said it would be and now that someone was embarrassed because someone else was actually right and three humans were now in space. Phew!
Pops returned me to bed at 9pm that evening with a tummy fit to burst from Nelly’s creamy clam chowder, whose smell couldn’t even be matched by the blueberry cobbler she’d made us for dessert. Once Mum had helped me with the final duties of the night; toilets and teeth, I took my torch and elbow-crawled my way under the blankets, dragging Pops childhood copy of Amazing Adventures with me. In Pop’s day, when Buck Rogers was called Anthony for a reason I never understood, the coolest toy was Rogers’ Rocket Police Patrol Ship, which he now had locked behind a glass case in this study which smelt constantly of spicy flowers, the lasting residue of his Connecticut shade cigars. I wasn’t often allowed play with the ship, unless a doctor’s visit had left me too unsettled, but I always pictured it in my head when I went swashbuckling with Buck and his galpal Wilma Deering. Rogers had miraculously awoken after a sleep of over 400 years and within days was battling the Han race with rocket pistols and jumping belts. Suddenly it was turning out that science, space and super heroes were more real today than yesterday. A man was now on his way to the moon and there sure was nothing more wicked than that. You know, plenty of people who couldn’t imagine it yesterday now believed in it today. Who knows what else could happen with a little time and imagination, perhaps a crippled boy of today could rise up, all by himself, tomorrow and take one small step.

All words by Damien B Donnelly

Photographs taken at La Lune exhibition, Grand Palais Paris, 2019

This is a reblog of an earlier post.

A FISH CAUGHT ON THE CURVE OF THE MOON

 

Love
is a red
Russian rose
on the run,
a bouquet
to brush the blues
from their burdens.

Hope
is his hand
on her head
in the night,
taking flight
as that blue bird darkens.

But
her moon
was in Pisces
and she was said
to be expunged
by her sensitive soul

but
in his hands
he still held her,
his red
Russian rose
and so
he painted a song
to perpetuate her soul.

Her moon
was in Pisces
and his heart
in the bloom of her hand.

All words by Damien B Donnelly. Painting, Le Paysage Bleu, by Marc Chagall