We were waiting for the green man beneath the blue sky,
waiting on an open corner to cross over, do you remember?

A simple day of smiling sunshine, an easy lunch of eating
smiles and we were laughing, were laughing at everything
and nothing- at the osteopath and his cracking observations
and the sunshine in that blue sly and your belly getting bigger.

You were listening to me, looking at me telling some tale,
making it taller, I’m sure, but you didn’t see I was floating-
my feet off the ground on that silly day, on that sunny day
of simplistic observations on easy corners with their moments
and movements when I found myself laughing and my feet
no longer weighted- no longer ground down or in or under.

We were bouncy and breathy and your belly- unbreakable,
so delicately unbreakable beneath the blue sky at a crossing
while eating up those bright smiles and breathing in easy air
under all that yellow laughter and realising that the red man,
when given time, will eventually give way to the green.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Hello and Good evening from packing central Paris where I think peace has already been placed in a box and therefore panic is certainly present but I am trying to encourage it to pander more towards party!

The countdown is on. I leave my job as a pattern maker at the Paris Atelier of & Other Stories (women’s wear Fashion and lifestyle Brand) on November 29th and leave Paris on the 6th of December and head to a new life in Ireland, the distant Irishman returning to his homeland after 23 years. Fashion is out and whatever is next to come is in the hands of fate.

But this week has been a bright light in terms of feeling empowered and that this mid-way, mid-life change has been the right decision.

You may have heard my screaming on Monday, as it was announced by the genius that is Hedgehog Press that my debut collection of poetry will be out and about in 2020. And then, as if that was not enough to literally make me cry with joy (and there were joyous tears with the mother over the phone last Monday) on Friday morning Black Bough dropped its 3rd issue and there I was, amid a sea of stunning creatures. As I said to someone regarding this issue, I feel like a goldfish in an ocean of magnificent dolphins… just look at the list of talents below including the amazing editor Matthew M.C Smith,  Anne Casey, Elizabeth Horan, Mari Maxwell, Colin Dardis, Ruairi de Barra, Claire Loader, Niall M. Oliver, Eliot North to name but a few…

The link to this issue 3 of Black Bough Poetry, entitled Yoke, where you can download the pdf, is…


Please take a moment to stop by and read this visceral and visual blooming brilliant online magazine. 



IMG_5582 2


I never thought I would be so overjoyed to see a twitter post than this one above.


Happy Days everyone,

Dami X



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



the path has been puzzling and there are patterns now,
penetrating patterns once thought impossible, entwined
around veins, like vines that vie for vittles’ on walls
already wavering, on buildings bare as if each brick
banished is a breath broken,
I carry more now than before but fragments have flown,
not yet cremated but I’ve scattered ashes over mischievous
maestros who tussled tarnished tunes along my tissue,
who cut cords, crude and often crippling, who leeched
the lyrics from my limbs when I thought a relationship
meant relenting to the rhythm, when I thought love
was a note never ending,
we’ve seen how sacrifice can separate mother
from her making, little girl blue you had to give up
and woman who had let me go, the root cut from rose,
adapting far from the garden of creation, but we adapted
to adoption as if it wasn’t an option, as it wasn’t a question,
for there was always a connection,
I see you with the bud of your womb now returned to you
as woman, your vines reattaching as nature intended
while I rarely regard the roots of my own becoming,
still too busy looking up and over, looking always
for the next interchange, questioning every other connection
in a garden scattered with those ashes, the bush burning
as the blossom still blooms,
but Mother,
I’m more you than the woman who made me, I am
more product of the carer than sewer of the seed who
so long ago saw the sacrifice in her own soil
and replanted my life in your warm embrace,
I’ve seen stars setting fires to skies in other lands
where other oceans wash over other sands, stars
that still fade, though they are far, sands that still sweep
into all-consuming currents while populations ponder
the same problems as stars flicker out and time slips
through our hands,
I’ve seen money makers in plastic palaces following
white lines to narcotic nirvanas as if salvation
was snortable, I’ve seen wiser men, on the sojourn, in India,
blind to all light, perhaps shielded from the fight,
holding tight to a smile that has slipped from our grip
with eyes still able to trap the light, with hearts too hungry
for more of more of more, polluting once stubborn seas
as we rape other roads, take other fruit from other gardens,
while blind men begged for nothing and saw more
than I could ever imagine,
the days are now shorter and even before night
falls there is less light that falls and people are crying
in the streets, the flowers are folding and retreating into
the dirt as if hell might be better, Mama, people are dying,
dying in discos and in diners and in school halls
where they should be learning to be better, not leaving blood
behind on broken desks and chalkboards with equations
that don’t add up because the book has been swapped
for the bomb,
there are horrors happening now, not yearly, but daily,
one chaos no longer fills one book, but one chapter,
followed by another and another with no let up, no
intermission, our gardens becoming desert landscapes
as all that tries to exist is destroyed, as all that was once
deemed right is declared wrong, as all rights are removed
and all races viewed as radicals,
they’ve mistaken the mask for the man and they can’t see
though those smiles I’ve staged to still the shadows that line
these lines, these lives played out upon my breaking breast,
pouring like riverbeds raging over banks, over blank pages,
drowning them with tales, twists and turns, loves and losses
that have taken up home below shivering skin,
mostly uninvited, like wild flowers in the garden, like weeds
we mistake to be worthy of their place till the thorns bear
their treachery,
but Mother,
amid the mayhem there are moments magic, there are babies
being heard with first breaths beating, there are skies
singing of the sunrise, there are still sunsets still sweeping
shores where lovers still linger, long after the first kiss,
there are words whispered on winds, glorious hymns
of hope and heroes and there is art, still filling walls
with light and life, there is music and there is, as always,
your smile
life is a series of spirals, not just circles, for it elevates
on the turn, not just levitates, for I am back, again,
at the beginning, but frail are the things once thought
familiar in this once foreign land I fled and feared
never to return, in this land where nothing changes
while everything moves and the shadows I once knew
have up and vanished and grass is growing where once
there was concrete and concrete has crushed all
that was once green and grand and 40 is not as adventurous
as 20 but the questions still remain unanswered
so there is no turning back because, as I said,
the vines have entangled themselves around me,
in this garden I’ve grazed in, from a distance, for so long,
pulling across my chest, either aching or yearning,
they are drawing me down, down towards the ground,
down, at last, to regard the roots of where it all began,
so long ago, when I first dared to ask;

Will we ever have all the answers?

All words by Damien B Donnelly

Main Photograph of Mum and I in her garden back in 22 July 2002 on her birthday.


And today, 22nd July 2019, still filling our garden with joy…

Happy Birthday Mum, Love Always



we are together,


in this singular moment

of forever.

We are limitless;

soul entwined in hope,
hope entwined in love.

Today we are together.

Tomorrow is for fools to fret over.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly. The Kiss Sculpture by Rodin.

Inspired by a Twitter poetry prompt from #DimpleVerse



Bones break,
hearts hurt,
love is lost,
is the beginning of death,

in between there is joy:
waste not being weak

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Poetry prompt Weak from Micropoetry on Twitter


Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 12.28.15

in this light,
this fragile luminosity, 
let me be your curiosity, 
shun the shadows for sadder days
for more somber sighs when it’s again the time to cry

but for now

in this light, 
in this simplicity,
this momentary tranquility, 
entreat me your tenderness, 
your warm caress against my being, my body

on the faces,
the passing faces,
the faces of people pacified,
of people satisfied in this light,
in this sun where shadows sat before
where shadows will rise again in minutes, in seconds

but for now,

it’s just light
not just light, LIGHT
radiant LIGHT casting reflections 
on what has been and what can be
on what is probable and all that is possible. 

longer LIGHT
Oh lovely LIGHT.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photographs taken on Ile de la Grande Jatte, Paris.

I Smile

I smile
To break the silence,
I smile
To deflect the darkness,
I smile
To wake the day,
I smile
To kill the fear,
I smile
To steady the tears, falling,
I smile
To remind myself I can,
I smile
To remind myself of all that can be, better,
I smile
To find the joy,
I smile
To hear the music,
I smile
To feel alive,
I smile
To laugh in the face of depression,
I smile
To let the love in,
I smile
To let the negative out,
I smile
Because it is a choice,
I smile
Because the other is too much,
I smile
Because I cried, before,
I smile
Because I am here, today,
I smile
Because I am living, now,
I smile
Because I am a part of it all;

The freedom and the chaos,
The push and the pull,
The living and the dying,
The beginning and the end,
The tears and the happiness,
The folly and the fate.

I smile
Because it’s more beautiful than a frown.

In Absence

In your absence

It’s not that there’s less

Laughter to life,

There’s not less love

Or even less light,

Not all comfort is lost

Or all joking discarded,

Not all happiness hushed

Or all joy deserted.


It’s not that I’m saying

The sun won’t rise,

That darkness descends

And sorrow arrives,

I won’t pretend

That all color has faded-

That we have been robbed,

Ransacked and raided.


But your laughter’s now missing

And your goodness extinguished-

Your connection to me now

Has been truly relinquished,

I’ll remember you always

As the gentlest host,

Not the tallest of men

But of heart- you had most.


It’s so long since I’ve seen you

But I’ll never forget

The kindness you showed me

That will long outlive death,

You were funny and folly,

Caring and kind,

A gent of distinction,

And wickedly refined.