THROUGH THE SANDS, Day 7 of A Month With Yeats

 

Day 7 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry challenge and today’s inspirational quote from WB is: ‘…stars, grown old in dancing silver-sandalled on the sea, sing in their high and lonely melody…’

To join in the creativity or just to discover Jane’s gentle genius, her blog link is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/category/poetry-2/

My poem today is called THROUGH THE SANDS

 

And when they danced

she would hold him, her

perfume by his face, his

hands as her strength

as they waltzed through

their current as the tides

swept the shore, through

love and labor, to the first born,

still born, through the twins

who stopped the tears

and the girls who tied

the bows as the sands slipped

through time and the pace

became a quick step, through

the hands that held and those

hips that swayed through

the melody they were making

as they danced through

waves of washing houses

into homes, children into

strangers; rarely calling

and barely remembering

but on they danced as red

locks swept into silver strands,

as full head turned to bald head

on an older head as they turned

to the music now made

in the memory, till she left him,

finally, one morning in may,

as he rose to the sunlight but

she had lost to the moonlight

and so he built her an alter

of sea shells and sentiments

and now he turns, alone, across

the sands still slipping,

as the stars plot a path for him

to reach her in eternity.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

BURNING STARS 

 

We are liars, all and often, lying

in folds familiar, hoping

for holds to fill the failure,

settled into settlements

we never wanted but thinking

something, anything, this thing

is better than nothing, while

the Poet prefers to pen

the pessimism than to perish

with it. And still we are liars,

the pen turns thoughts

into reasons, into rough sketches

and in turn we soften the edges

with subtle suggestions

to make the truth more soluble,

the lie more acceptable.

We are all laying in masks

of mistrust, mistruths, the more

we take off- the more we build up.

Clothes cover only the concept

of identity; eyes can be distracted, tongues

can be thought to taste

what they are told, ‘I am forever,’

he said and she licked his longing

that left her not long after. ‘I am

comfort,’ she confided as she set

her claws into his confusion.

And the lie goes on forever,

like the sky; consistently blue

until it’s black, streaked

with bright stars already burning out.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

LEFT OVERS

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Soft skin, like silk, draws hands caress
in darkness as we warp and weft
our fragile frames in gyrating games,
crisscrossing lust with lies and trusting thighs,

ties.

We are bruised blankets baying
on beds of yesterday’s toils;
cotton soils and sweaty spoils.

Silk, like soft skin, slips from touch
too swiftly, too much sewn between seams
emblazoned with who we have become
and who we had before; I held his hand
in a taxi while thinking of another,

long departed.

We kiss alone but there is an orchestrated
orgy of others in every embrace, like a hunger
that cannot be abated, like a stain that cannot
be shifted from sheets we once saturated.

In the darkness, beneath the hands caress,
on silk, soft like skin, so supple, we slip
into gullible folds of flesh, not quite fresh,
trying to spell new names on withered frames
from those left over letters of old flames.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/left-overs

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

 

ALL THE LOVERS

A thought for all the lovers
All those perfect precious pairs,
The ones with hearts all hopeful
The we’s, the us’s and their’s,

A thought for all those holding hands
Keeping couples connected,
Who sneak a kiss along aisle 5
Who tempt and tease, thrust and thrive,

A thought for all the cuddles,
The spooning, forking, hugging,
A thought for every small embrace,
The rubbing, necking, pecking,

A thought for those with candles,
Dimming lights and opening wine,
A thought for those accepting,
Who think their partners are divine,

A thought for those who read aloud
While their soulmates close their eyes,
Listening to the voice they know
That will never tell them lies,

A thought for those together
Those living lives united,
A thought for those who stay the storm
Who refuse to be divided,

A thought for those still waiting
To those still trying to believe
That there might be something out there
A rescue, reward, reprieve…

SHADOW AND LIGHT

At 22,
I knew as much of myself
As the exotic world
I’d just found
With streets willing me
To walk them
Witness them
And be wooed by them.
My twenties
Had typically emerged
As a decade to be a no one;
An empty slate to be carved upon
Before my thirties would find me
And shout me with substance.

I’d lost parents
Before knowing them; given up
In a sacrifice of selflessness
Almost incomprehensible
And found
In the arms of another mother
A love that would prove
Incontestable.

I searched,
During infantile years,
Amid childish ego
And innocence,
For connections
To those around me;
The mother
Loved so unequivocally
And the father
Aged in aggression,
With a gap too great to bridge
And so I turned to walk
Shadowy miles of roads in my head,
Clumsily cramming teenage years
With classically confusing
Childish dribble,
Trying to sound like a grown-up
In size 6 shoes,
Feeling different,
Unknown,
And, more often than not,
Undiscovered.

Finally,
I braved knocks on dark doors-
Frequented bars in back lanes
And alley ways,
Away from the eyes of the pious
Whose ignorance
Bullied the boys
With different desires.
I kissed
My first boy
At 18
Behind a sofa
As excited as a child
On Christmas morning,
Finding courage
Behind shades and acceptance
In a community I had become
No longer
Soul member of.

Cuddling and kissing progressed,
Over time, to sweaty,
Fumbling, amateur athletics
Behind the lights
Replacing shame and catholic guilt
With newfound feelings of freedom
As I began
To notch my way
Onto bedposts
Of various conquests.

Between courtings
I often cried
For lovers in whose arms
I should never have laid
And wondered why I ran
From others in whose embrace
I should have stayed,
All but memories
Patterned into the tissue
Of my sleeve-worn,
Still learning, heart,
Cherished moments
That wished to be relived
Along with others
That longed for time to fade.

I had assumed these
To be bruises
As I fell upon these new
Foreign streets
But have recognised them since
To be no more than lifelines,
Imprints, echoes merely of
Shadow and light.

They were all
Important diversions
Along the road,
Pivotal points
Goading me
Into this very direction.
Some of them
Fell away by your banks
And others settled in,
Ingrained themselves like streets
That mapped themselves
Out in front of me
And gradually,
Over time,
Carved their way
Indelibly
Inside of me.

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MOMENTS IN A WINDOW

 

An old man
Crossed the street
Below my window
And I wondered to myself
Where my future would lie.

I put my hands to my face
And still smelt of you
As if your body still
Entangled with mine.

I am now fully clothed
Though just moments ago
Lay nakedly revealed
In your arms,
Told you stories,
Shared your secrets,
But know not
If you know
My last name.

In the comfort
Of almost strangers
We let darkness take the day,
In the silence
Beneath that darkness-
We let your needs find their way.

In a world waged not by war,
Harmed not by hate,
Torn not by tears,
We’d lie together
With whoever
And in each moment
Let go our fears.

You drove me
Home again tonight
And along the road
We passed a sign which asked
Do you know where you’ll be tomorrow?
Of all the streets,
Of all the towns,
Of all of the predictable possibilities,
I wondered alone
As we sat together,
Like we’d just slept together,
Like we’d just kissed each other,
I wondered was it a sign
Just for me?

The old man
Will cross my street
To the pub
Every night
Till his end,
Of this
I am sure
That he is sure.
But if tomorrow
I will again
Smell your scent
On my hands-
Of this
I am sure
That I’m not sure.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly