CIRCLING 

 

We come together
again and again
to create, to comfort,
to concede, to compromise,
to be co-habitors hiding old habits
but bound like a boomerang
to fall back on ourselves
in this constant search
within the circle, praying
for the little mercies
to bring us back to a better
completion of the circumference
already closing in.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly.

Inspired by a twitter Prompt from #DimpleVerse

COMFORT IN THE CARDS

 

Behind the fanfare we fan the light
to make our way through another day
to night. Behind the fuss we muddle
through movement on route to contentment
caught in quiet corners of unconsciousness,
like that word on the tip of the tongue
we can’t quite pronounce.

On terra-cotta tiles I turn through cards
of comfort from days now distant,
wishes signed with love from names
I can no longer call in this light,
in this life. Far from the fanfare,
far from the fuss, you are all still
somehow a part of each movement
I make, distant stars now that once
held dreams, that once signed cards
of greetings, never thinking how much
one day, beyond the fuss, they would mean.

All words and photograph by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

TIME IS FLEETING

 

Time is fleeting.
See it slipping through hands
eager to clasp all that cannot be caught.
Time is fleeting
but this is not always tragic
for we are traffic motoring along
the carriage way in search
of contentment in accompanying cars,
meandering towards the midway
and making out with the magic
that caresses the quiet corners
of our day while all the time
time flitters forward.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Inspired by a Twitter poetry prompt from #WrittenRiver

OVERTAKING

Today is the 2nd year anniversary of part 2 of my life in Paris. I moved here on July 17th 2015. I first moved here form Dublin when I was 22. At that point I knew as little about anyone in this city or the city itself as I did about myself. Two years later London called and I packed a few bags and moved. When Amsterdam called 6 years after that, the bags had become boxes and the identity of who I was, a little clearer. I’d already learned that you can’t hold on to everything, regardless of how hard you try. And then, almost 10 years later, I returned to the city that first captured my imagination and carved so much of itself into the lines now more visible on my features that I could barely distinguish the lines of the city and the lines of the self. Needless to say,  the bags were bigger this time and I don’t just mean the ones under my eyes. From 22 to a month away from 42, all now visible in the partially filled boxes around my feet. Somewhere within these collections, are hints at who I am on route to becoming, I guess…

 

Overtaking

Back to the boxes; finding things forgotten
in seams not yet sealed and finding no room
for other things since stuck with too much tape
that I cannot take any longer in this movement
along another midway, a mild change of track
through to midlife, making home at another station
amid the mayhem of the moment, making room
to make more moments that will momentarily
fill more boxes when another move meanders
my way. We are made of movements from major
to minor and back again; I am right, he has left,
she is nowhere and everywhere and not everyone
understands, they’ve turned back, I’ve carried on,
I can hold happy alongside these boxes; bruised
and battered but far from broken, I can hold it all,
I will hold all that has been left. Back to the boxes;
to the treasures I’ve taken to be true and the truths
that have lead me to the lies I’ve cast to the curbs
I have crawled over and then crossed off. I cannot
carefully wrap each and every delightfully deceptive
distraction that comes a calling, whether correctly
considered or coldly comfortless, I too was created
be cared for, I too need room to be made for me
without the waste of words, do I not deserve a space
to call my space within all space, within all this
fleeting space we are speeding through?

My next bed will spring from my liking as I plaster
my own skin with my own desires. I desire to be
distracted by dreams not too distant. I will not
be packed in a box like these belongings;
longing to be lifted to the light. I am too fond
of freedom to wait for life to find me. I am moving,
with boxes on my back and cartons crammed
into the cracks of my consciousness. I will not wait
for life to come to me; this is me, see me, overtaking it.

All words and pictures by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

 

BLUE

 

And there, by the winding road, it watched

and there, by the rushing waters, it took anchor

and there, neath commuting clouds, it found no freedom,

her song; locked to the land

waiting as the tides retreated

wailing as the breeze bolted

out onwards and over
always and forever
while there, by the winding road, by the edge of the baying blues

her song;
bound to the shore
unlike the tide
unlike the tempest
unlike the sands of time

blue said the sea
not I said the sky
nor I said the clouds
nor I said the sand
but I sang the song
there on the shore

her song forever tied
forever more…

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken in Skerries, Co. Dublin, Ireland

THE SCENTED ROAD

The 30th poem on the 30th day of April for National Poetry Writing Month

 

And on runs the road,
rushing in rings around us,
faster than feet can find footing, 
brisker than bodies can breath, 
holds lost in the hustle and hurry,
securities slipping by the sidelines,
hearts hurtling off into hills 
parted and passed
before properly appreciated, 
faces fading into flashbacks;
were his green eyes 
really brown or blue?
I catch his aftershave
in an afterthought 
but it’s mixed now 
with other musks,
other bodies, other owners,
other moulds the meanders made of me
on the sweaty scented streets
that scurry by in seconds.
 
And on runs the road,
tracks turning with time 
too tight to keep track of,
to uncertain to ascertain 
as changing lanes change lives
and loads, luggage left for others
to look through and lovers
left for others to latch onto;
swapping suitors at service stations 
like they were something to eat,
something to drink,
a seduction along the sojourn,
a kiss to capture and captivate us,
to carry us carnally on to the next carriage,
the next imminent interchange. 

And so another road opens
and on it endlessly runs
and I’m always rushing at the rear,
duly dreading and delighting 
in the connections to come
beyond the bracing bends…

All Words and Photography by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken in De Hoge Veluwe, Netherlands

Listen to the audio version on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/the-scented-road

 

SCUTTLE AND SCURRY

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 23.04.09

We scuttle and scurry
through stepping storms
and stormy skies,
through coughs and cries
and hellos and goodbyes.

We scuttle and scurry,
seasoned citizens
battling the seasons,
the blistering breezes,
the rains and the sneezes,
the smothering sweats
and the winters that freeze us.

We scuttle and scurry
from blankets to brollies
beneath covetous clouds
through clustering crowds,
over pools and puddles
splashing mud on our muddles.

We scuttle and scurry
through this life
in such a hurry

that it’s often gone
before we’ve got it.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photography taken under a stormy sky by The Palacio Real de Madrid, Spain.

LOVE SONG

 

 

He moved in shadows

in ghostly strides that gained on nothing 
but grains that slipped through the hands of time,

She lingered in loss

under caged cobwebs where the widow in black
had weaved her the witch from a pantomime.

She lived two floors up

an attic assembly of ageing antiques
fading to dust and distinctly untouchable,

He was basement left

a sunless space where nothing grew
disregarded, depressed and growing dysfunctional. 
 
She existed in memories 
where arms that once held her faded in frames

He shivered in silence 
too afraid to attempt, too old to make claims.
 
She cried on Saturdays 
and still shopped for two in her one roomed space, 

He ate from boxes
of pre prepared food and longed for taste.
 
She died on a Tuesday before morning mass 
he died that night from a cold he thought would pass .

They laid them together, side by side,
in the depths of the morgue, in a silence that sighed.

Two people who’d never exchanged a word, 
two people lost in the shadows of the world. 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

SNAKES AND SHEEP

 

We slither and snake
in united unison 
past the signals
and the stations
and the beggar
with his chanson,
trying to get
his chance on,
clambering to get
his way on,
chancing his way
on into pockets
of passengers
loosing patience.

We slither and snake
our manoeuvres 
along the carriages
of commuters 
preoccupied by i-tunes
on iPhones and
hand held computers
and fold away scouters
while a girl eyes a guy
in a muscle bound shirt
as another guy notices
the mini of her skirt
and dreams of dessert,
dreams of slithering,
sensual and slow,
along her carriage,
to drive his train
into her station
like he were Spartacus,
the Thracian,
now riding high
on the train’s vibration.

We slither and snake
through the darkness 
on tracks laid and loyal
unlike our own tracks
seasoned to spoil,
we light upon
platforms packed
with people panicking 
fretting about fitting,
fitting on, fitting in,
into trains and tracks 
and skirts and holes,
cyber lives
make us whole.

We slither and snake
and stand closer, 
strangers coming closer
to scents and smells
and stenches 
that choke us,
breaths breathing
on the backs
of tensed up necks
of strangers
struggling,
slithering and snaking 
on tracks that take us
back and forth
to and fro,
to work, to home,
to him, to her,
to passing parties
and improbable
possibilities.

We slither and snake 
as strangers we make
but we follow
the same track,
blind to the future
and who stands
behind our back.

We slither and snake 
and sheep,
baa baa
baa baa…

All Words by Damien B. Donnelly

CATS AND DRAGONS AND BROLLIES

 

And so lives sound,
a chorus of sound, a glorious cacophony, a clatter,
a sound of ladies looking, laughing, touting, shouting
a shuffle of feet, tiny feet, tiny ladies, on a tiny street, on the ladies street
with brollies, bright brollies, tartan brollies, cheap brollies, silly brollies,
bending brollies, brollies broken by the sound of the rain falling down,
of the ladies laughing, of the buyers buying, of the colours clashing,
brollies battered by the weather, polyester being pelted, pounded,
brollies held by ladies, as they barter, as they battle for the better buy,
the ladies at the ladies market, in Hong Kong, on a Sunday
and I’m jet lagged and bargained out
and that bitch saw me coming
and is laughing at me going,
holding all my money
in her hands, not mine!
And so lives sound,
raindrops on tartans
and high pitched voices,
squeezing, screeching
and giggling, always giggling
and golden cats nodding,
nodding at golden dreams
as tiny feet plod in puddles,
ladies feet in little puddles
that are free, the only things
that are free on Sundays
in the rain, at the market,
the ladies market and I bought too much Kitty,
too much kitsch, too much crap but it’s market day
and I’m jet lagged and the little ladies are scary
and my head is weary, big feet in little puddles,
foreign puddles, in China, in far away China, big trouble in little China
although it’s not so little but filled with big chips and cracks
and nodding cats grinning in glaring gold,
do you need shades? They have shades
on a tiny street with towering blocks chipped and cracked
and looming overhead, in the clouds, drowning in the dragon’s breath
but there are lights and movement,
a chorus of lights, a cacophony of movement
and the lights are bright and the buildings broken
but the movement is magical.
A dragon starts dancing in the distance
with men underneath, a polyester dragon,
a pink polyester dragon with many legs
moving, marching, mens legs on the ladies street,
on the ladies market, winding through the ladies faces
and shouting and bartering and rubbish,
in my bags there is rubbish, seriously overly priced rubbish
but I’m smiling at the faces of the ladies and the dragons and the legs
and dodging the brollies, the bobbing bright brollies, all racing with the dragons,
on Sunday, at the market, and the dragon is marching onwards, ever onwards
and the cats are forever nodding or bowing or laughing on the dark side of the day,
on this ladies day, on this Sunday, at this market, while the foreign rain is falling.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken at the Ladies Market in Hong Kong.

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/cats-and-dragons-and-brollies