SHINY HAPPY PERSON

 

I do not play chess.
I grew bored of board games at an early age, as an only child
who lived in his head where fairies were magical and not mauled.
I guess I had enough make believe on my shoulder, already.
I was ultra-shy as a kid,
I guess I didn’t understand who I was and tried not to get tied up
in conversations that consisted of ruminations of who I wanted
to become. Identity was difficult to determine on a blank canvas
that already had sections sinking below the surface.
We had a cherry blossom tree
in the front garden that rained pink petals onto the lawns
in late spring, I remember standing under them in a white suit,
new holder of the holy spirit and wondering if it would make it
any easier and what is the weight of a knot.
I would slay dragons for you.
I remember saying that over and over, I’d heard it once, in a movie
when I was too young to know how many people I’d say it too
and how few would slay even a tame dog in return.
I know who I am, now
since those quiet days under the fall of the cherry when rainy days
meant silly games and the coming of the spirit didn’t have as much
effect on my soul as it did on my wallet.
I have tasted more, too-
beauty, bounty, boys, bitches, sunsets and saints, gods and clowns,
serpents that tasted sweet and a certain kind of cute
that gave venomous a new name. I too have found the bitter side
of who I can be, they’d put me on a pedestal at a young age
and left me there, perishing alone, at that height and since then my knees
have always trembled at the sight of stairs.
I’ve climbed right down since then
and managed to make my way out of the gutter while putting together
my own idea of what it takes to embrace the darkness while shining
like a fucking star.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

LISTEN

  

We cannot truly change that which
we are, we cannot really laugh louder,
be brighter, stay longer than our journey
has already jotted down in a journal
whose language is not our own.
We cannot truly change the air,
the ocean, the fire that forges its way
through us, leaving us inspired
or expired, hot or just overheated.
We cannot truly change much
but we can cast corrections
into the darkness caught in corners,
we can see sages that hover over heads
if we need to add meat to the monotony,
singing songs of stories never too old
to be retold, never too new to be anything
more than necessary.
We cannot truly change that which
we are, we cannot promise to hold
any longer than time allows us,
we are tied to the tension of the knot
that knows more than we do,
whose heart lays on a hinge
that hangs both the hope
and the hammer. We cannot truly
change much but we can learn to listen
to lips that have lingered, that have
laughed in the face of lies
and been nourished by the face
of the fortunate who found favour
with who they were and then substance
in the soft stream of steady words.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

From the series A Month with Yeats

 

 

 

SEASONAL SHIFT

I shift like nature, calling snows
To coat me, cover me in a crisp
Canvas of change to bathe in,
To be reborn in, before I skate away
From winds that wither my world.
Bone chilled, I can wander off
To warmer shores, eager for sun
To sooth me, to sink within me
In the form of friend, in the hope
Of something more significant,
Safely steering past the storms
Sent solely to scare, to remind me
Of nature and it’s naughtiness,
Prickling and pruning me, nipping
Away at my every blossom, often
Plucking me at every possibility.
I can be a season of hurricanes,
All harshened and hardened
By human history. I too can tear
Through territories and leave
My markings. I can command a sea
Of storms, all of my own making,
And rise a wave to part the oceans,
To aid me in my crossing to a new
Wide world of my own creation.

LIVING

I am angry,
Tired, sleepless, restless,
Bitter, torn
And twisted.

I am tearful,
Frightened, silenced, muted,
Mixed up, maddened
And pestered.

I am bloody
Boiling, brooding, blushing,
Bending over
Backwards.

But I’m alive
Surviving, breathing, breaking,
Living, learning,
Evolving.

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