HOW MANY LETTERS DOES IT TAKE TO SPELL OUT ENOUGH?

 

And as they bit into the apple
they lost their right to the garden.

Hands are tipped now with guns,
now, instead of gold, instead
of gloves. Rage is the new ricochet
where once it was rock and roll;
bullets are the new Beatles.

Facebook has alerts, now, to say
you’re alive, now, after, after the breath
is stopped, after the blood is splattered.
It used to connect, now it just confirms.

Listen closely, for the loud sparks
are coming closer, closing in, sparks
like forest fires or that ripening fruit;
rage and temptation, heat and hunger.

We are the breath or the blood. We cannot
be both. Though we cannot exist without the other.

Leaders are born liars now, learning
earlier, leaning into lecherous, rights
are now redundant as the right rears
its rage over the left, ridiculous
are the rabble rousers, raising nothing
but their own cocks in their own hands,
tweeting about their own thickness.
Twitter was once 140, now it’s 280.
How much more space
do they need to spread their shit?

On Jeju, by a volcano, now sleeping,
now silent, some asked us, before
I lost breath and we lost the identity
of our Us, if barriers could be broken,
if divisions could be undone and I looked
back to the green covered mountain
and wondered how long it would take
before it became a monster once more?

Only then, only when the earth decides
to flatten all that we have taken,
only then, will the barriers be broken.

And as they bit into the apple they lost
their right to be governors of the garden.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

Photograph taken on Jeju Island, at sunset, South Korea, July 2018. Before.

THIS CAN BE PARADISE

 

All tides,
like time,
trickle away,
all thoughts
are tempered towards forgotten,
all hold;
to the harbour of has been.
All waters
wash through rivers
to find the ocean.

We are water
washing through paths,
plotting our way
towards that dream
of paradise.

Today we are hope floating,
tomorrow; no more
than faded memories.

Build paradise
along the path
and not just in the dream.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Based on a Twitter poetry prompt from #ShapePoetry

TILL IT’S GONE

Day 16; National Poetry Writing Month 30 Days/30 Poems #NaPoWriMo

One last lollipop stands
on the building lot,
stands on the parking place
paradise fast forgot.
So come take a good shot,
take a final swing shot
at this hot sweet spot cause
the stick in the ground
ain’t gonna stick around.
Yes, you got it, this black
and white bull’s eye
underneath the grey sky
hasn’t missed the cages
crushing down
beneath the weight
of a concrete crown.

Ladies and gentlemen,
there’s a new show in town
(in the musuems; trees, but pricey
if you wanna see ‘em, please!)
is about to shut down
this one last sweet spot,
this swinging hot spot,
so come on now, take a pop
while it’s all that you got,
this lollipop ticking down
on the grey parking lot
that paradise left to rot.

Taxi!

 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

HUMANITY IS HURTING

 

and the lullaby
left us…

and the stars
that we wished upon
sank with the souls
that had been
set upon

and
humanity is hurting,
is drowning
in tears
and treachery

and
terrorism
becomes the term
that clears us
of all
accountability
civility
responsibility

and
we have lost
the garden
and its graces
and its glory

the paradise
where flowers
unfolded
and creatures
crawled
with carefree
curiosity

but
the seasons
have shifted
and the rivers
have rose
because nature
knew more
than man
could suppose

and
the unity
of humanity
revealed itself
to be
a fallacy

a
frail
fragile
and
fickle
fantasy
now falling,
like tears,
through the rainbow,

the rainbow
we never managed
to get over

and
humanity is hurting,
is drowning
while seeking
asylum

and
the blue birds
are now white doves
rising from the ashes
of our actions
of our inactions
and infractions

leaving us
lost
and lonely
and longing

and
the blue birds
are now black birds
pecking at our passion
and our pride
like some
worldwide
genocide

though
still we hope
still we parade
still we believe
there can be
something
better
brighter
beyond
the bombs
and the
bloodshed

while
humanity is hurting,
is drowning
in places
where once
there were parties

Into this world
we were born
crawling
climbing
carving
combining
creating
competing
controlling
condemning
crucifying

thinking
we were men
of the modern world

trusting
we were brothers
in arms

not armed brothers
thrusting hate
into hearts

but
we bore hate;
breaking bodies
instead of boundaries

but
we forged fear;
slaying people
instead of prejudice.

Can we not support
all that is hopeful?
Can we not understand
all that is different?

We have the right
to hold arms
in the States
they say,
while in France
they’re fighting
on main street
Marseilles

while
over the rainbow
there is the song
of another world
where voices
are raised
in laughter

while
over the rainbow
there is music
in another world
where bodies can dance
at discos undaunted

where
differences
are not deemed
to be deadly

where
belief
is not
a burden
to obliterate

while here,
in this world

we punished
the pagans,
we killed
a christ,
we slaughtered
the jews,
we shot down
the gays,
we blacklisted
the muslims,
we sacrificed
the innocent,
we returned
the refugees

and
we thought
we were men
of the modern world

but
we had no idea
the music
had stopped

and the lullaby
had left us
hurting

W.E: What Evolution?

All Words by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/humanity-is-hurting

PAIRED IN PARADISE

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We walk on soothing sands
in far flung foreign lands
that sweep seductions 
over sky and sea, we see,
in loving hands, golden wedding
bands, no tighter knot any sailor
ever made, we walk on beaches
of borders blue, better blues
than any blue has ever been, a better bond
than any eyes have ever seen, eyes
that tickle with tears, eyes that see
a future beyond the years, we twist
and turn to songs serenading the sunset,
a sway of celebration, a joyous jubilation
to court the continuous currents
of the fortunate fate that found you,
a dutch delight and a perfect Per,
here and happy folding hands
around hearts while a certitude
sweeps the shore, connections created 
in this paradise where gods have given glory,
where the universe maps out for you
a story, and when the sun sets your foot prints 
will settle upon the sand where you once stood, 
impressions tied by tides like the rings now worn;
bands to bind the bearers, you are now
like the sea and the shore;
bound to each other,                       always and forever more…

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

PICTURING PARADISE

Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean Paradise…

Planning, preparing, passports, departing, tempests, delays, more in light movies, more gin and tonics, detours, Paris- Miami- Charlotte (North Carolina- I now know where that is)-Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, airports, arrivals, heat, humidity, heaven, hotels, typical storms, floods, best friends, new friends, beautiful people, wedding, tears, laughter, dancing, drinking, conch shells, boat cruises, embarrassing snorkelling attempts (me), sand dollar shell hunting (bliss), joy, sunsets, happiness… Paradise…

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All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly.

REDUCING HIS REPUBLIC TO A PUPPY

 

We’re designed by definitions
and, by definition, ill designed.

We call ourselves a Society,
a sect of superiors,
(selfish, salivating and sexed up)
a body of brutish beings,
complex communities
searching for beauties
in platitudes, pondering Paradise
and placing Plato as a pet name for puppies,
naval gazing into our own Nirvana
while we paint our pads
and position our acquisitions
as if arranging our own Arcadia.

We sleep in the Shangri-la,
the hotel, not the ideal
while dreaming of that remote Utopia
with heads hanging humble
on thousand dollar pillows.

We are soldiers in line up
(overly eager and trigger happy)
waiting for the invite to heaven
where the righteous can be redeemed
in the hope of rising again
(in the hope of being forgiven for being fucking fools)
as if this was all just a waiting game,
a sojourn in a waiting room called life,
a select room where society decides
who can stay and who we should slay.

Nirvana was just a band on the radio
and Paradise is still just a paved up lot to park in.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Plato the Puppy was seen in on the streets of Antwerp, Belgium.

After Eden

How did they mess it up

So soon after that first breath,

So new to this life,

With all and everything

There

In front of them,

Under their naked feet,

At the end of their finger tips?

How did they not see

The wealth they wore

Instead of clothes,

The peace they had

Within the walls of paradise?

How could they let that

Deluge of distraction

Descend upon their divinity

And denounce their demise

So disastrously?

 

And yet, here we are-

For centuries foreigners

To those famous fields

Of golden innocence,

Slithering about,

Nothing less

Than slivering serpents-

One and all,

Sadistic and sarcastic,

Overly self-indulgent,

Remarkably self-centered

And so far removed

From those gardens

Of primordial delight

That we’ve lost sight

Of the very suggestion

That this singular sin

Conceived.

 

We’ve neglected

To remind ourselves

Of the consistently

Concentric consequences

Of the first bite into

Lust and longing,

Pride and power.

 

History is no more

Than a slinky sling,

Sliding down the steps of time

And repeating its repulsion’s

Again and again,

As we watch on

As if it’s the first time,

As if it’s a shock,

As if we knew no better,

As if we were the first to fumble,

As if we were Adam and Eve-

Caught innocently

With mouths open-

That luscious piece of apple

Barely resting-

As yet undigested-

On our tongue,

As if we had no guidance,

Like we had never learned

How to divide

Right from wrong.

 

And yet,

If we could only look back

We’d see it was as easy

As that first divide

Of Man from Paradise

Or that even clearer division

Of Adam and Eve.

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