BOOKENDS; TO DARE TO REMEMBER

 

Do you remember Paris on occasions when spring sweeps in
with its breath of those lost days, in that other life, before
we knew London together or what it would be like to part?

Do you, do you remember Paris, my little room, our lithe love
and the plans we painted onto canvases of comfort at night,
in a single bed, in a corner, before I lost my way and we lost us?

Those lazy days of hazy light that fell to nights at a water castle,
the name-deceptive metro, where kisses took us on to the dawn.

Do you remember the first spring of our song, how it warmed
its way into a summer of sipping wine by the old, new bridge
before we’d slumber in the shade, in the park, below that bridge,
on the first site of the city, while the waters ran away with time.

Remember the rainstorm, that Sunday morning, birds near broken,
I find it funny how I missed any warning in their fluttering?

Do you remember catching colour amid the concrete of la Jatte,
in the shadow of Seurat, on a Sunday morning, still sleeping,
when we stopped to make connections between balance and breath.

You sang of the dots within the water and the sky, on that ordinary day,
in a summer of simple, on a stroll on a Sunday, along an isolated island,
in a city where everything ordinary was suddenly so extraordinary.

Do you remember that silly single bed in the corner; I always woke up
stuck to the wall. The sofa, the table and the sunflowers of plastic;

so not what you’d imagined at all.

Do you dare to venture to those times departed, when not a minute
suggested what time would design or all that we’d have to let go?

Remember Paris, remember you,
remember me,

remember us.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly.

We had met one night in Dublin, when I was still living in Paris, an Englishman putting on Les Miserables in my hometown while I was walking on the footsteps of Val Jean and the pretty ladies and the gang. We explored every inch of Paris and its musicality until I moved over to London and we learned how to get to know each other. We didn’t find forever but we will always have Paris.

 

TO EACH HIS TIME TO SHINE

 

Silent under summer sun
I slip back
to where the shadows
snatched older days,
Boho days
in soho
and then that shift
further south;
so south of centre,
I slip back
and see you
in the spotlight
that surrounded you
and see myself; sidelined
into abstractions
and decorating diversions;
building barricades
while you shone above them
I was swimming in subtle shifts
barely susceptible to both,
seeking out shadows
of a former self
that had shifted
like a current
you can’t control
We had removed
a sea of division
but had no idea
what has been lost
in the crossing.
We were couple content
in musicals and mortgage
but there had been more
standing between us
than just an ocean bed.

I remember you
standing centre stage
in the spotlight
that so suited you
and I was reminded,
there in the shadows
of the dressing room,
that I had yet
to find my character.

All Words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

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