What if I admitted to you,
here and now,
before I even begin,
before I even let you in,
that all I am about to tell you is a lie,
perhaps white, perhaps a depth darker.

What if I lay it all on the line,
here and now, naked,
the truth of all the lies,
would you believe me,
would you still listen,
would you still want to hear
and make up your own mind

if what I’m telling you is a lie
or if I’m just laying lines upon the truth?

We live a life
on both sides of the line
and exist somewhere
in between what we believe
and what we know to be false.

I have told the truth many times,
its many lines spilt
over many skins, in many beds

and still I lie alone.

This is what I have left;
this is the truth of my lie.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

12th poem for National Poetry Writing M0nth 2019



‘And there can be days like this,’
and the boy smiled and sausages
swam past him in shorts and shades
and in the sky dogs with Madonna mikes
flew over kittens in orange coloured skirts
and Beyoncé in their boogie.
‘And there can be days like this,’
his mother said as she painted
pictures of cows in caps and snakes
in sarongs shopping in stores
for shoes to put on. ‘Put on what,’
he asked, ‘they have no feet?’
‘But still,’ she carried on,
‘there can be days like this
all wonder and magic.’
‘But how,’ he asked as he sat
on her bed, as the machine
kept beeping, as the white coats
kept creeping, ‘just close your eyes
and see with your heart
what your sight can no longer see.’

There can be days like this.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Poem for Day 10 of National Poetry Writing Month



A curious crimson
caressed his cheek
as we crossed
the carriage,

no winding words,

no exchange of the

only that crimson kiss of curiosity

that blushed upon cheek
and burnt into my hunger

long hostage to painfully pale
and drained out drought,

before pressing passengers
pushed me forward
and him

too far behind…

and soon to fall
out of mind.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

9th poem for National Poetry Month



See, he says
to the child by his side,
see how the water rises.

Wait, he says
to the child by his side,
to see how life surprises.

Dark, he says,
is the black of night,
the stars too far to enlighten.

But day, he says
to the child in his wake,
brings a light for the willing to find sight in.

I see, says the child
by the side of the man,
feeling his ancestors were blind.

All words and photographs by Damien D. Donnelly

7th poem for National Poetry Writing Month



Lather us in lazy,
let us lick the honey
from the purple petal,
let us lay down dreams
upon the velvet veneer
of the plump peach,
slip us into a dream of sleep
where all language is lulled
into a lake that lingers
in stilled thought
that tickles tongue upon first taste
with the truth of who we are,
where we shed the red thorns
that have twisted flesh
and bequeath our blues
to the bed at the bottom
to form a base as we rise
in a garden of purple pride
as honey pours
from our once starved lips.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

1st poem for National Poetry Writing Month 2019



We are born

through barriers that break,

water carriers through canals 

into comfort and concerns 

were borders are built

to nurture nature

while we are compartmentalised,

still, more silent, less severe;

fortunate, less so, white, less so,

gay, straight, one gender, 

less gender, clever, less so, 

a part of peace 

or placed into parts 

where peace falls apart.

We cross borders 

not all, not everyone, 

not the fortunate, not those

who can do so comfortably 

but the others, the less so,

running from rage, rape, ruin, less,

running to refuge, reprieve, relief, more. 

We build barriers to keep us safe,

to keep the flowers in focus

and not the fragility 

beneath their bloom.

We build barriers, bigger, higher,

sharper, not to shelter but to shield 

all we don’t understand, all we fear

until we are left inside with fear itself.

We are born

through broken barriers 

but fall too quickly to forgetful.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly