A BIG BULL CAN BE JUST A BIG BAG OF BULL

 

I shouted at the TV last week, beyond the stilled fields
recently ploughed of their prize, where now we wait
and watch for new seeds where hope was replanted.
I stopped to moo last week as you bellowed back at us
from the not-so-stilled screen in our isolated living room-

you’d be going to the pub;

One must support the landlords, you said, not everyone, of course
but some of us must do our bit, you said, on This Morning,
with Phil and Holly and Vanessa, now back on Virgin.

I roared like a farmer, last week, who’d lost control
of an old Bull, still so convinced of his shiny cock
and bull tales the Union had regaled since 1845.

We recall what failed us once with every filled plate
that passes our table now, while you bury yourself
in the Best of Bull, keeping up with the Hancocks’-

down the pub with balls forward and brain resting
derriere where you happily placed the Irish, once,
when we were nothing but dying boats running west

from cold hands in the east.

I shouted at the tv last week and yesterday, I asked;
Did you take your son to the pub too, that night after the sofa,
after the stinking bull broke free from the paddock,
all horny but headless; hiding all the fear, all the silage,

in the face of the ripe old rot of the best of British.

Yesterday, they announced the Young Bull at No.10
was poorly. How’s the beer taste now, Old Bull?

PS, the PM ain’t no monument to immortality.

 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

THE POLITICS OF A SHAMROCK

 

We stopped the telly and the tea to watch the thunder
on Thursday; 1-100, 2-100, 3-100 we counted
in between the light growing dimmer and that storm,
coming closer.

We watched from distant windows, catching breaths
in between fears of catching colds while next-door
neighbours pulled curtains over concerns, here,
in a country where we thank the drivers of busses,
a country now the bearers of the cleanest of bottoms
whose aisles run empty
while out in the fields I see nothing but bounty.

I wish I had a river I could skate away on- I hear
the song but we can’t all slip upstream like the salmon,
these are not the days of the dance
and knowledge, until captured, is not a cure.

We packed up Patrick and his party with handshakes
and other saints for other seasons,
swapped the shamrock for a dozen hand sanitisers
and will drown out all fear in Dettol this year.

We stopped the telly and the tea last Thursday
to take stock of the storm, trying to capture
in the sky all we couldn’t see with our eye,
and all I saw was an eagle;
sitting shameless with a bowl of shamrocks
by an orange coloured man in a white house,
a far cry from the panic raining over my house.

We stopped the tea on Thursday to watch the thunder.

 

All Words and Watercolours by Damien B Donnelly.

 

Written as part of the Cobh Writers and Readers #PoetryPrompt featured on Twitter. Do drop by and join in the creative distraction. @CobhWR or follow the link below…

https://paperneverrefusedink.com/2020/03/14/cobh-readers-and-writers-writing-prompts/

 

GLUTTONY HAS GOT THE GOAT

 

There is a goat
dancing in the parking lot
and this train cannot proceed
along its track,
interlopers interrupt on intercoms;
there are packages of suspicion
on the trail up ahead
and a goat in a lot
dancing round the cars.

There is a goat
dancing in the parking lot
as a woman tells tales
in the seat behind me
to a girl with fingers
fixed on her insta-fame,
on Instagram,
while a goat
with shameful notoriety
throws shapes in the parking lot.

There is a goat
dancing in the parking lot
and a plane descending
like a sub into the sea
while a package has been placed
in positions of pedestrians
and a woman complains
to her daughter about her day
and her daughter captures it all
on Snapchat to ensure it exists
as a goat in a parking lot
continues to dance.

There is a goat
dancing in a parking lot
and this train has lost the thread
of its tracks
and in a synagogue
on the sabbath
in a state out of states,
someone opened fire
while the goat in the lot
continued dancing.

There is a goat
dancing in the parking lot,
trying to distract us
from the collisions
he can’t cover.

Winter is already here.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

THE AMERICAN DREAM

 

There’s a man travelling states
building walls and closing gates,
he used to be a showman,
a businessman, a lover man,
now he wants to be the townsman
but what town could want this man?

There’s a man crossing states
with opinions out of date
and he’s parading his delusions
as if suggesting some solutions
like changing constitutions
and inciting petty citizens
to pointless revolutions.

There’s a man out of date
with ambitions to head of state
who’s been told that if you dream it
and can afford it, then you just take it
but House of Cards was just a show
can it be possible he did not know?

There’s a county getting bigger,
oh what’s it matter, I mean fatter,
there’s a country losing face
with its kin, with the human race,
it used to be the promised land,
was once the land of dreams,
but now that anyone can buy a gun
it’s just the land of screams.

There’s a man in the states
gaining power and closing gates…
perhaps America was just a dream
that we watched once on a screen.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

CREATION IS FALLING

 

There are shadows falling
shifting suspicions into shapes
there are shadows falling
features fading into fears

There are shadows falling

There are dreams waking
as babies sleep under blankets
there are dreams waking
as stars diminish in darkening skies

There are dreams disappearing
within an impossible reality

There are shadows in dreams
there is no light in the darkness
there are shadows in dreams
there is no comfort in revenge

There are dreams
falling all around us
there is hope dying
in bombs and bullets and blood
there is a darkness
draining the daylight

There is no longer light
There is no longer comfort

There is only chaos
and creation is crying
and society is dying

Surely this is not the truth
Surely this is not the dream
Surely this is not life

my life
your life
the cost of life
the loss of life

There is a fear
wrapped around us
cloaking us
choking us
it flows through us
like a venom, vicious
making us victims
to our own vices
making us suspicious
of neighbouring races

It is drowning us
poisoning all possibility

There are shadows falling
dealing out devisions
shifting suspicions into shapes
and turning innocent into ashes

 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly.

India- Along the Road

 

I’ve crossed continents,

Curtailed time,

Been somehow seduced

By sleep while squeezed

Into my single sized seat

And swept, in one day,

From winters winds

To summers sun as seen

Scorching over sabulous

Sands, ignorant to the floods

And rains and storms

That have become my norm.

 

I am a homeless traveler,

Displaced from those norms,

The wide eyed wanderer-

Aghast at what this

Delightfully distracting,

Dust dosed, dreamlike country

Clings to as commonplace,

Conventional customs.

 

My eyes, fearful to blink

And miss out, flurry about

Their sockets trying to take in,

Understand or just be a witness

To this unaccustomed view

While my fingers fumble

Over the lens of my camera

Already failing to capture

Each memory of life

As it passes me by

At breathtaking speeds

That cannot even compare

To the cacophony of captivating

Charismatic charms I’ve been

Suddenly submerged in,

Surrounded by

But am nothing more

Than passing through.

 

I am being driven

Through your lands of millions

Where sarees, in more complex colors

Than stars in the constellations,

Careen through my side-windowed vista

From the backs of motorbikes,

Twisting and turning through

Chaotic carriageways

Crammed with cars of every

Size, sign and signature,

All Honking through the

Hustle and bustle of the crowds

Who live their lives along the roadside

And ignore the rules

We westerners have grown

So weak and wearisome under.

 

Curious eyes watch me

From lofty positions

On backs of open trucks-

Some eyes smile, some

Frown, some wonder,

Naturally, on the reason

That lies behind my gaze.

The air; awash with sights

And sound unfamiliar to me,

The landscape; flecked with tones

My eyes have never imagined,

On the streets, idolized cows

Wander freely through the masses,

Nothing to worry about,

Nothing to remark over,

Just a godly cow

In search of water to drink

And land to graze upon.

 

We are stuck in traffic and a man,

Looking blind to all light,

Weaves his way through the carnival

Of carriages and cars

With three sheep tight by his side

As if they’d always been with him,

As if they were his children, his family

And I wonder who is leading who-

The man, the sheep, this car or me.

 

Amid all of this life carried out

In cars, on corners, at crossroads,

Along grassy knolls and sandy banks,

Lacking in obvious direction,

There is a freedom.

Amid all this weight

Of politics and poverty,

There are smiles a plenty

And it is I, in my branded costume,

Who looks the fool

Traveling through, taking it in,

Thinking I am better off,

Somehow, amid my laws

And rules and beds and baths

And running water

And walled in farms.

I am the foreigner,

Amid what looks like

The fortunate

Whose fortunes are far

More favorable than mine.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly