On blood soaked walls 

he painted his pain 

in shades of scarlet 


on walls worked red

he captured the child

with cries that still 

are drying,

on scarlet walls

he hung his hurt

on hooks too high 

to handle,

in rooms since then

he sees that shade

still kindling 

in the dwindling candle.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly



For every push,

for every jibe,

for every spit

upon my childhood,

my conditioning,

my inability to conform,

I kept walking onwards 

believing I was better,

never being allowed 

to acknowledge

how I’d been broken,

how I’d carry 

these bullies like bites

to forever sting 

beneath the skin.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly



I hear you crying

from the runway,

as you tried to run away,

I was already off 

a fold on the wings of flying

while you sat there, waiting

and crying,

wishing colour was

no more than a past 

you could turn from.

I hear you crying 

above these clouds 

I am trying to reach 

the other side of,

moving west from east

as you fall south of north,

shivering in a skin 

you cannot slip from,

in a city with a grip 

to quickly crippling,

but geography is not 

morphology, we are bound

to the bones we are born of,

we cannot kill our kin 

to be kinder or simply 

slip from our skin to be whiter.

I hear you crying 

but I was already off

flying, we are the creators 

of our own clouds 

and can only conquer them 

with a calm courage and not 

just a quick comfort

that comes a calling 

in the cold corner

of our own confusion.

I heard you crying 

and wonder 

if I will remember you 

when you have taken to flying?

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly



I had a hand 

in every bone 

that was broken 

on this body.

I had a hold

of every hack

that was heaped

into this heart.

I held that hand

while thinking of another 

once forgotten

before imagining someone else

I hadn’t even met,

as you watched out the window

as connection passed you by.

We are not broken by others,

it all depends on how willing

we are to bend, be bent

or play blind.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly