BEFORE THE STILLNESS

 

I sit, in stilled space,
trusting time and these proses
to act as forgivers
to all I cannot forget. I sit here,
in this stilled space,
taking trips that tease time with twists
and turns. I move not
in straight lines but articulate thought
through the acts
these tracks have taken, the un-regrettable
mistakes that brought me here
where I sit, in stillness,
in a space, not always my place,
a space grown damp since first stone
was first set
into place by hands I never knew, hands
ground down now
to nothing more than bone,
just like my bones
that will one day come to know the dampness
of all that has surrendered
its forgiveness to all that was not forgotten,
when the final lines
have been laid and I forgive time itself
for the finality of its stillness.

I sit and come to trust.

  

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

BOOK OF MEMORIES

 

I lift a book and watch as dust particles catch air

(dust; tiny particles of waste matter lying on surfaces)

sentences stir, structure returns to life after slumber,
some things come back- having long been forgotten

(memory; the mental ability to retain and to recall
previous experiences)

I turn pages with consideration, parts pressed back
through time, corners folded over where you wanted
to hold onto a moment for longer, retaining words
that came easy but were lost too soon.

My fingers trace the line of narrow spine still holding
onto crinkled paper like crisped skin that once held us
in firm holds to spite time.

If time was held in paper, I’d take it, like the pages
in this book and fold back the parts too piercing
for the memory and duplicate days where we held
minutes as monumental, recalling them later, after,
when dust settles and weeds overgrow the delusion
that we should have been more.

(Delusion; a fixed false belief, resistant to reason)

I lift the book and watch as dust catches air-
particles of spirits that still matter, recalled from pages
that once held them captive before their chapter came
to its conclusion.

(Conclusion; the end or finish of an event or text).

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

BOOKENDS; A CITE OR A SHADOW

 
A city and a shadow, a choice; to stay or leave,

to concede and crown myself as conquered and then be crushed
or to continue on as committed commuter,

to be complacent
or constantly curious for more light so as to comprehend the darkness,

to break down the barrier between all there is to fear
and come, face to face, with all there is to be.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This month is about looking back to see how I can move forward. A final goodbye to Paris before moving to Ireland. 

BOOKENDS; A SHADE CAUGHT IN THE SHADOW

 

I walk in circles now, following paths forward that crossover
roads I once considered. Time trips onward but no longer
is the line straight, no longer a captive of direct. This light
is lit now like a last lap, here, in this place once prized,
once positioned next to pride on platforms now too proud
to be passed off as plausible. I’m on the count-down to lift-off
while still turning corners teased with reflections that once shone

with the shade of an old shadow long since shed.

       

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

 This month is about looking back in order to move on, shedding old shadows to make room for fresh frames, a farewell to Living with Paris

BOOKENDS; BOY SO BLUE

 

Sitting in a park in Paris, France as kids
climb trees they’ll soon outgrow and birds busy
their feathers in a dance of freedom we’ll never know.

I fall through thoughts as someone tickles strings
on cords too distant to be discovered and wonder
where you sat; on the orange carpeted concerns
of the girl growing through her song of sorrow?
By the guy with the hat and harmony, probably,
the guy guarding his guitar from the bright light
of the, as yet, starless sky as if he knows already
how celebrity will one day cripple his creativity.

A blackbird bows before me, burrowing burdens
into the road, looking for crumbs since cast off,
for a little refuge, like you did, like we all do,
looking for a little distraction from the circling sun
and shining skins blustering under bland or blander.

Sitting in a park in Paris, France, as if in a trance
from 22 to 42, recalling how I first found favour
with following you; back room, no light, bedsit;
we were masters of the Marais, simple singletons,
senselessly sinking innocence into the marshes,
courting kisses of single sparks and rising over losses
we thought at the time to be insurmountable disasters.

But they were just dances, like these tiny birds
around me now, prances we perform, up and under,
over and through. We are all naked birds flirting
with honesty and invisibility under a sweltering sun,
sometimes recalled, sometimes forgotten before begun.

Sitting in a park in Paris, France, still trying
to understand the message in the melody
underlying and still trying to comprehend
the cords forged in the flesh of the boy so blue.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly. 

This month is about Paris and letting her go. This photo was taken at the garden on front of the Musee Picasso, in Paris where I lived in an apartment right next door at the end of the 1990’s with a young Irish girl who introduced me to the music of Joni Mitchell. On my return to life in Paris in my 40’s, I wrote a series of poems, while sitting in parks during the summer, based on the albums of Joni and this was a nod to the album Blue. Like tattoos and all things that stick.

This was the original self portrait I used when I first posted this poem as Joni painted or photographed all her album art…

IMG_9257

DIAMONDS IN THE SKY

 

We are all stars,
we twist and turn and twinkle,
we are the bright, burning light,
we blaze like the stars;
twinkle, twinkle,
we burn, we are burning
like the stars; burnt out
tick tock, 
hurtling across the sky,
hurting beneath the sky
where we cry.
We are all stars,
fast paced, fast moving,
we are scuttling, scooting, shooting stars,
shooting each other,
bullets and diamonds,
the diamonds in the sky,
the diamond of my eye,
the reflection, the defection,
the glare, the stare,
the star,
twinkle, tick, twinkle, tock.
We are all stars,
we are here now;
tick, but long gone
tomorrow; tock,
light years lost
in seconds.
We are blazing, brilliant,
bright on borrowed time.
We are nothing, nanoseconds.
We are empty.
We have burnt it all, already.
We are burning out now
before we’ve begun
but our souls
they shine eternal.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

A Repost for a week of Moon and Stars

Photographs taken this weekend during the Journee du Patrimoine (European Days of Heritage) at the Richelieu Library, more photographs coming on Wordless Wednesday

 

BACK TO THE BANKS OF THE GRAND

 

Water catches light
Like I once reached out
To catch a wave
Along this same stretch of water,
This same cosy current of canal
That has slowed, now,
Like my footsteps,
Like my stokes;
Coming back on the bend,
Finding favour
In the freshness
Of all that was once familiar,
Letting go of the longing
To swap steady stream
For seductive sea,
Finding comfort, now,
In the light
I’ve already swam in.
Settling back now,
Sitting down,
Watching the waters
Carefully caress that light.

 

All words and photograph by Damien B Donnelly

Photo taken earlier this week along the banks of the Grand Canal, Dublin, opposite the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design where I studied and dreamed of the future over 24 years ago.

TAXI DRIVER, I CAME TO THE CITY

 

A constant darkness,
the future unfolds like the road;
route unknown, the past ever present
but kissed goodbye;

my lips still taste of yesterday,
my hips the heat of your caress
that has since slipped from these sheets.

I was always bound to restless,
to rest less and less, I am creature creative;
a constant recreation concerned more with shadow than light,
more with what I don’t yet know
than where I have already ready been.

I am taxi traveller,
I will take you with me, naked
under the sweating sun, tender under starlight
but you are only fair;
you are the hitchhiker along my highway,
a distraction on route to destination.

We are not destiny,
no two are designed alike,
every soul a single sojourn.

I am city when you are desert,
I am sand when you are stone,
I will have dried up before you learn to open up.

I will meet you under moonlight,
by the gaslight already flickering
in the morning light, only the stars will see us
burning bright, for we are stars; rising in the darkness,
this constant darkness,

I will drink you and then discard you
when the dawn calls me back to destination
before you break me, I will set off before you slow me,
before you show me who you want me to be.

I am everything and nothing in your eyes, all lies,
we are only reflections, projections of hope and hurt,

I cannot be all you want
when we don’t really know who we are.

We are starlight, like I said, already burning out
before begun, drawn to distraction
and drawing on our own dust.

But I am constant, now, to the calling,
am free to flight and fall,

I will love you
Forever and yet leave you
before you’ve even considered it
a compliment to concern yourself with who I am
because all we have learned
is to look for ourselves in each other.

And yet I am other. Another.
No other, bound to no body and everybody,
at home in hotels that hold me for hire,
every stop another station in the formation,
every sheet another burn as we twist and turn
and then, in twisting, we turn,

we are roads constantly crossing,
trying to get to the other side
to see if the darkness is lighter, brighter,

but this darkness, this constant darkness
is not a dark abyss, this constant darkness
can only be conquered at the check-out.

A constant darkness,

we are all travellers on a road,
making moments, making magic, making mistakes
believing the future is forever,
but I am not concerned or consoled by forever,

I am here now, running reckless
along these roads, seeking sustenance, seeking solace,
and occasionally a comfort from the cold that comes a calling,
(I will give you what I have willing if you promise
not to take it unevenly) seeking satisfaction
in things temporary, leaving a part of me
in everything I touch,

hoping it’s enough,
hoping you will remember
the scent of my skin though we were too thin
to be true, too fragile to be anything more
than a fickle tickle,

trying to understand the sweet sorrow,
the ebb and flow, the hope and the hurt.

Goodbye can be a greeting as warm as hello.
Good boy, I am trying to be a good boy
burning through this constant darkness
and smiling as I soar and sizzle.

A constant darkness
so we can gaze at the stars in their glory.

 

All words and pictures by Damien B. Donnelly

Based on a poetry series inspired by the albums of Joni Mitchell

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