Clouds congregate under summer skies, standing towers,
still, waiting for Napoleon’s rise. Up close, only echoes
of history hit the hollowing rock below- coming in
to slip out with more, in search of possession on another shore.

There are footprints on the beach- horses hooves
whose metal shoes now feel the rust of the sea’s salt.
Up close, the scent of his wet coat is carried on the current
like a boat that twists and turns until it hits someone, out of sight,
who wonders why the wind carries on it the might of something wild.

I watch from the seat of a bike, wondering why I fear the water
and if I will end up as a ghost to the island that watches me
from every cut of this curious coast. Up close, my heart begins to trot,
in anticipation of movement, of having undone the knot, seeking out
new scents, climbing old towers where well-sighted soldiers
where once posted, spreading my footprints along the edge
of the tide before the waves wash them far and wide.

Black horse dances where windows once watched for war.
                      After falling, you can only surrender to beauty.


All words and photos by Damien B. Donnelly



We ate horse, once, at a corner table
in a candlelit basement at Juuri’s-
everything difficult to distinguish,
in a trend filled restaurant
where I’d blagged us a table
with what you called my Irish charms
that your French ones lacked in buckets.
Earlier, we’d flown across the water
on a large ferry to a small island
where the wind blew everything off us
that was unnecessary as if Helsinki
was surgeon and we- patients
coming into the theatre of life
and learning what it takes to eat a horse
that we thought was a bear.
But nothing is ever what it appears,
under a flame or over the wave.
I sit now in another land,
at another table, lighting another candle
and seeing glimpses, in the flickering light
of who we were, of what we tasted
and what that wind swept off our shoulders
that we hadn’t even named.

We ate horse once, in a dimly lit basement,
all fantastic flesh without a single trace of fat
that we devoured while drawing tales
of more than 100 things we’d do together.
I think we possibly made it past 30.


All words and photographs. by Damien B Donnelly