SOLO SAIL, on a ship full of hearts

 

When we to time wish,
wings do not carry all words
so I to promise must desist,
faith is fickle feathers on fragile birds.

If love to hearts hold
then hearts be more than one must
for not is love a concrete mould;
stilled the river bed whose reeds rot to rust.

When we to time turn,
touch being a tethered thread,
I have to trust that ties will burn
but mind make memory of beating bed.

If love in heart’s held
just as blood in veins are bound,
then truth to self must be compelled,
feral is the field of the barren ground.

When I to nights slip
as moon to stars serenade,
my course cast upon ocean’s ship
bid adieu to lips kissed and loves mislaid.

When current’s call comes
and cares cast into the crest
I dare the waves to beat like drums
and allegiance pledge to my beating breast.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

CALIFORNIAN SPARK

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Here in parks in Paris, France, I potter
through a past so old and cold
that it cannot be parted, we cannot
easily outrun our own ruins while Cali
beckons me with her rock and roll band;
those make-me-feel-good brothers
and sisters since seduced back
to their former States and somewhere,
in between, the loneliness lingers;
the hazy clouds of craziness I have crossed
and the curt corners I have yet to console
on this journey through time; today,
in the blinding light of a frozen park
in Paris, France and tomorrow beyond
the clouds where Cali is a calling.
In shades of blue, ice cold, I see the breath
collapsing into weighty snowflakes
that makes all movement morose
in this Sunday morning of sunshine
that somehow still shivers skin
on both sides of the ocean, on both sides
of these clouds where I’ve looked at love.

Today, I potter through parts of Paris,
France, that are pressuring, impenetrable
and oh, so pleasurable like cases
of bitter sweetness but tomorrow
I will come to court the hissing
of those Cali lawns that are calling
in a Spring called Palm, waiting
to ignite a spark from a snowflake.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

I am off to Palm Springs tomorrow so see you all in a week

JOURNEYS, PART 17, THE BRIGHT RED ROSE

Rough round that rose bordered hem we ran,
regardless of where her skirts did scurry,
no fretting to the fraying of her fringes,
never noticing how nimble had turned to not-so nifty
above that border of red roses, oh so pretty…

We carried you, like a child, that day,
winter now withered as the bark
made a place for the bloom and I wondered
if April had ever held so soft a day?

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, regardless…

We carried you, like a child, that day,
the old village hushed as if all had now
been said, as if all had since been seen
and I wondered if that stillness amid all
the emotion was your soul on the breeze.

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, remembering…

We carried you, like a child, that day,
our toes retracing your well worn
steps, our memory meandering
through the journeys you found for us
on busses and trains on lanes
to foreign towns and holy lands.

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, reverberating…

We carried you, like a child, that day
and remembered every knee you bandaged,
every tear you had dried and every belly
you filled with your apple pies and custard bakes
those fresh brown breads and coffee cakes.

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, repeating…

We carried you, like a child, that day
as red roses fell from our hearts like tears
as that breeze brushed our cheeks like a kiss.

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, in reverence…

We carried you, like a child, that day,
your body as weightless as it was lifeless
as we covered you in the red petaled ground.

You carried us all, in your arms,
and now we carry you in our hearts
along our journeys forever more.

By that bed, in the village
that housed you and still holds you,
hemmed in forever by a border
of bright red roses, we sighed
by those borders now broken
by all we took for granted,

and felt the touch of the torn
comes at the fall of that one bright rose.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

I CAN DREAM AND YOU CAN LOVE: A KEVIN BATEMAN SPOKEN WORD EVENT

Last Saturday at 2pm in Ireland, Dublin, in the Phoenix Park, in the shade of a house and in the shadow of a tree in the sunshine, Kevin Bateman gathered together a group of poets for his latest spoken word event ‘I can Dream and You can Love‘ which went out live, as usual, on periscope and every poet was revealed there and then, no pre announcements, no listings of performers beforehand, as is so usual in these days of social media. Kevin indulges ingeniously in the mystery of the moments that unfold when a name is called before the camera rolling and their words fill the air and travel across the skies.

His choices for these locations are often sacred grounds, off the beaten track, forgotten by guide books and now, thankfully, reclaimed as the performances unfold. This last location in the Phoenix park was on the Hill of the Mariners were one of the oldest dolmans in Ireland is located, Knockmaree Dolman. Discovered in the 1800’s, two bodies were found in the tomb which dates back to almost 3500bc and the bodies were suggested to have been sailors, hence the name Hill of the Mariners. Watch the show and you will hear how it took Kevin almost 10 years to find this dolman that has been left to hang beneath a shadow of a tree, in the stillness of the silence, sometimes in the sunshine, often in the shade.

For this event, Kevin gathered 8 poets including himself and you can watch the video which had over 1000 views on Periscope in the first 24 hours of its life. The links below are for Periscope and YouTube.

The poets, who all performed 4 poems, under a theme of love, dreams and the current climate in Ireland, were, in order of appearance;

Kevin Bateman (on Twitter as @Bate_Kevin) drew us into the crime controlled streets of Dublin while leaving us tender with the line ‘…do not let the dead rest in photos, let them move on…’ from his poem A Room of Utter Sadness.

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Supriya K Dhaliwal (on Twitter as @supriyadhaliwal) painted for us a cornucopia of Indian colors and tears and whose poem Meet Me in the Morning on No Man’s Land will long linger in my ear as a beacon of hope.

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Jasmina Šušić enthralled and captivated us with her raw emotion, passion and her willingness to drop the guard and share her gentle side with We are Soft Animals but Our Hearts are Weak.

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I was lucky enough to be invited to perform among these precious talents which made this the first time to ever read my poems in public, to ever read in public! I read 4 poems which you can find here on my blog…

Spelling Peace https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2017/11/19/spelling-peace-day-19-of-a-month-with-yeats/

Carved In https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2015/12/05/carved-in/

Salmon Dancers https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2017/11/03/salmon-dancers-day-3-of-a-month-with-yeats/

Wilful in the Wild https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2016/07/27/wilful/

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Jessica Traynor (on Twitter as @JessicaTraynor6) struck a fire in our historic hearts with her gem of a poem Matches for Rosa, for Rosa Luxembourg and brought us right up to date into an Ireland of today, questioning the right for individual choice with her poem Tender Butchery, my own skin still shivering with the powerful line ‘…the world has no business wearing my skin.’

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Catherine Ann Cullen (on Twitter as @tarryathome), along with her ever listening dog,  carried us around the world on the triple spirals of the triskele and took us out and under the harsh waters of homelessness by the Royal Canal in Dublin with her poem entitled Flood, ‘…and they flooded the walkway… so she might float out of sight…’

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Eilín de Paor (on Twitter as @edepaor) pulled us in with unexpected treasures found along the way, a nod to lasting impressions still loved though lost and ‘an intimate poem for such an outdoor area’ Island Life where a woman surrenders to ‘…each suckling lap…’ of the first wave of motherhood.

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Maeve O’Sullivan ( on Twitter as @writefromwithin) also brought us to India and returned us to Ireland through two bejeweled haiku sequences and grounded the force of an ocean of love in the sonnet Fathomless ‘…the twist of your hair in my knuckled fist…’

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Periscope link: https://www.pscp.tv/w/bVcMWDFlUkV4cVlWVnhQUXd8MXZPeHdBTFhwRE1HQs6p0u7wzeWUvfUmOmse42HeaA_-COCeSHxdhfL9zQuH

YouTube Link:

Extra photos of the group are curtesy of Harry Browne who can be found on Ficker.com

And you can just see the deer above that was watching over us from the not too far distance…

WHEN WHITE FALLS BLUE

Snow falls and the darkness drowns in silence, a hush
from heaven, falling, so slowly, even crystals cry.
Are these the tears of angels weeping who’ve watched us
falling, like this slow snow, like tears, trembling?

Snow falls and there’s a stillness and still this silence
between us. Bruises covered in a cold candid coating
of fragility, every day more freezing, more frozen,
just not enough to numb. Snow falls and paths disappear.

I thought our tracks ran deeper, like this winter, this weight,
like this waiting, behind the window, behind this glass
I can’t see through, beyond the storm falling, Slow falls
the snow and sorrow slips, cold where once there was comfort.

What happens to my tears, who’ll watch them with wonder
as I look out at the snow, slowly falling, and think of angles?
Wasn’t I once your angel? Are you watching, now, at some
slow distance while these snowflakes concrete all confusion?

In time, this too shall melt and be no more than memory,
even snowflakes fall for but a season. Snow, falling, slow.
Wishing it were spring. Even white is blue in the falling light.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud

A WHITE WING RISING, day 25 of A Month with Yeats

 

Day 25 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats and the quote is: ‘And when white moths were on the wing, and moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream and caught a little silver trout.’—W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com

My poem today is called A WHITE WING RISING

 

A starlit day,

on a distant shore,

as if summer had sent it

swarming like a snowflake;

silken wings to summon the sunset,

a white moth to raise a sweet soul

departing.

And there,

as a star was added,

the bright moon was kissed

in berry blush as the sun settled

beneath the lake where the lost trout

turned through tresses of silver dancing

and he smiled at his love, since lost,

now glimmering

in eternity.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

BORDERED IN, day 14 of A Month with Yeats

 

It’s day 14 of A Month with Yeats coming to you from a wet, wild and rather wintery -2 degrees of Stockholm. Today’s quote from the genius of Jane Dougherty is: ‘That you, in the dim coming times, may know how my heart went with them after the red-rose-bordered hem.’ —W.B. Yeats.

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/a-month-with-yeats-day-fourteen/

My poem today is called: BORDERED IN

 

Rough round that rose bordered hem

we ran, regardless of where her skirts

did scurry, no fretting to the fraying

of her fringes, never noticing how

nimble had turned to not-so nifty

above that border of red roses, oh

so pretty, on those placid petticoats

until we laid her low, on a hill so high,

hemmed in forever by a border

of bright red roses, and only then

did we sigh, only there, by her final bed,

bordered in by all we took for granted,

did we feel that teary thorn that

comes at the end of every rose.

 

All word and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/bordered-in

 

TOPPLING HIS TOWER, day 12 of A Month with Yeats

It’s day 12 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats where you are asked to be inspired and pen a poem based on a WB Yeats quote. Today’s quote from the poetry of W.B. Yeats is taken from ‘The Rose of the World’. ‘He made the world to be a grassy road before her wandering feet.’

Jane’s blog so you can follow read or join in is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/29181/

My poem today is called TOPPLING HIS TOWER

What can I lay by the feet of such beauty?
What can I offer my love on this land?
A garden of roses, omitting the thorns
with this golden ring I hold in my hand.

But a garden of roses, omitting the thorns
is barely enough to garland your grace,
so I’ll pave you a path in the finest fabric,
a velvet so sweet to mirror your face.

So I’ll pave you a path in the finest fabric,
a cloth of brocade to comfort your cares,
a daylight distraction to hold your attention
from rebels and riots that are not our affairs.

A daylight distraction to hold your attention
to paintings and poems that hang by our side
in a tower I’ll build you to keep out the cries
of a world lost to power and drunk on its pride.

In a tower I’ll build you to keep out the cries
and a lark then from the meadow I’ll borrow
so she’ll sing of the stars and the moon that is ours
as we’ll lay in arms and let love sooth the sorrow.

But restless was her soul on the call from outside,
her beauty diminished by the sounds of their cries
and one day he lost her where his paved path divided
and he cut down her roses with tears in his eyes.

I gave her the finest, the fairest and fancy,
I gave her the beating heart of this man,
but she was bound to the call of the lost and the lonely
which now I have become and therein I see her plan.

All word and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

MOMENT AFTERWARDS 

 

In absence

lips lean out

in longing,

clouds gathering,

a chill in the air,

the warmth slipping.

 

Memory is a playful thing,

you tease and turn

over and back to before.

 

We kissed,

I feel it intensely,

I see it clearly

in the mirror

still marked

from a night now over.

 

Cold showers

call out

from the falling rain,

seasons come and go.

 

Moments linger longer.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

CURSED 

 

Blackened hands hardened
over the heart exposed, expunged,
red roses rubbed into ruins,
‘We are no more
than the dust we leave
after death,’
a curse forgotten,
a force too rooted to be released.
Black heart burnt to broken,
banished to the ashes
of her aftermath and he cannot
cry, but he can crack,
like a mirror, now marked,
shaped into shards now,
splinters to spilt the skin,
grown thin, torn.
Blackened hands hardened
over the heavy heart,
bloodless, no longer
bound to the beat,
no longer whole.

‘Kiss her and curse her,’

and so the curse was cast
but they were young
and too busy kissing to take time
to listen to the whispers
of the witches of the wood.
All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly