Would I have kept you closer, longer, if you’d been a soft toy
that found my empty arms when the nights were endless instead
of your characteristically classy chaos the posters never chose
to optimize

or were we meant to be just chalk running into the deluge
of the rainstorm?

Should I have been less passionate and you more personable
or I more placid and you less proud?

We were stuffing, in the end, plucking feathers from our insides
out through skins that had neither thickened nor tendered enough
to survive those endless flooding nights together in that hold
we never named.

Un nom, c’est quoi, un nom- la tien, la mien, le nôtre ?

Un non est seulement une chose que tu donnes à quelque chose
quand tu le comprends.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly



I will always recall you in reflection rather than reality,
a ripple on the water rather than the roughness on the rue.

I saw you in smooth sheets of stillness stretched over ponds
that should have shivered but you wouldn’t change
and I couldn’t stay who I was forever, not even for you.

You were comprised of stilled cycles so often celebrated
but I wanted to catch a ride on something not so set in stone.

Indoors, away from the stilled ponds projecting your pride
onto palaces, you hung mirrors to admire your own reflection

but I returned from the other side of desire’s distraction
to uncover the truth of who we were beyond admiration.

You cannot reflect the stars forever, especially
when the gutters have come so close to the glass.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This month is about looking back to see who I was before moving on to who I am becoming. An end, for now, to the Paris Cycle that started when I was 22 and will end at 44, though we had 18 years of separation in between.



Sun shines in the valley
where the sun king came to stay,
shade is shy in the valley
at the king and queen’s hideaway.

Shadows slip through the valley
down from stars to under stairs,
some secrets slip through the valley
whispered from lips of concrete heirs.

Sun shines in the valley
on swans now savage at swim,
the sun shines in the valley
though the peasants weren’t allowed in.

Shadows sneak through the valley
through the greed gathered within,
shadow is splitting the valley
like guillotines cutting through skin.

Sun shines in the valley
as gold from the fountains flow,
the sun shines in the valley
where follies fade and legends grow.

Shadows sleep in the valley
along paths where tourists thread,
shadows are stuck in the valley
like dust on ideals long dead.

Sun shines in the valley
as Apollo rides the waves,
the sun shines in the valley
and drowns the suggestion of slaves.

Shadows stretch through the valley
pressed into promises made,
shadow is song in the valley
on benches where kisses once laid.

Sun shines in the valley
in the Sun King’s palace of pride,
the sun shines in the valley
where they often came just to hide.

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

Reposting this for 14 juillet (Bastille Day, French National Holiday) 

I took a break recently to deal with some life challenges, health issues, panic attacks and to edit my novel (after receiving an extremely positive critique from an interested publisher) and then ended up getting distracted by planning to move country at the end of the year so have not been around for a while ( I am sorry to have been away for so long and also sorry to have missed your blogs, I will be playing catch-up over the coming weeks after a trip to Ireland) but I am still here, and will be back…

In the meantime I am re-blogging a few older poems.

Hugs and good thoughts to you all, DamiX

TOPPLING HIS TOWER for Poetry Day Ireland

It’s Poetry Day Ireland so I am supporting from abroad. This years theme is Truth or Dare so throughout the day I will be posting a few of my older poems on Truth and a few more on being Irish…

Toppling his Tower

What can I lay by the feet of such beauty?
What can I offer my love on this land?
A garden of roses, omitting the thorns
with this golden ring I hold in my hand.

But a garden of roses, omitting the thorns
is barely enough to garland your grace,
so I’ll pave you a path in the finest fabric,
a velvet so sweet to mirror your face.

So I’ll pave you a path in the finest fabric,
a cloth of brocade to comfort your cares,
a daylight distraction to hold your attention
from rebels and riots that are not our affairs.

A daylight distraction to hold your attention
to paintings and poems that hang by our side
in a tower I’ll build you to keep out the cries
of a world lost to power and drunk on its pride.

In a tower I’ll build you to keep out the cries
and a lark then from the meadow I’ll borrow
so she’ll sing of the stars and the moon that is ours
as we’ll lay in arms and let love sooth the sorrow.

But restless was her soul on the call from outside,
her beauty diminished by the sounds of their cries
and one day he lost her where his paved path divided
and he cut down her roses with tears in his eyes.

I gave her the finest, the fairest and fancy,
I gave her the beating heart of this man,
but she was bound to the call of the lost and the lonely
which now I have become and therein I see her plan.


All words and photographs of Dublin by Damien B. Donnelly



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 seek shelter from the sudden sun
within this city of concrete class,

everything here is concreted,

change is considered
but takes centuries to occur.
I have been asked for fax numbers,
offered cheque books and been told
that fibre is only forming and would dial-up not do?!

We seek shelter from the storms
here in this city that sites class and culture

above the chaos that is corrupting.

Everything here is cornered in concrete.

Shadows have been whitewashed
and the pigeons sprayed
in a shade of peace
the seers cannot swallow

I watch the streets be swept clean
of history, locals reopening in boroughs
they’ve been blighted to,

to Hell or to Connaught
we were once told in Ireland,

from Paris to the peripherique

is the new phase as designers dig up
the bones of the barely dead,

so our city can look chicer, sweeter, safer.

I seek the only thing time has taken.
The past gets further while the shadows get stronger.

We seek shelter
under palaces still being prized
for their no longer pristine polish.

A second star does not a paradise make.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Alone now, walking away
Knowing it to be forever,
Alone and crying now
But shedding
Not only tears of pain
For in crying I am cleansing,
Rejoicing now, feeling strength
That had too long slumbered,
Alone now, but cherishing,
Holding all that is mine.

Alone now, slowly returning
To my natural state,
My own body embracing,
Like the wind, nurturing,
Nourishing myself,
Living alone now, returning,
Slowly all natural states eclipse,
For in returning I am moved,
Almost elevated, parallel
To all I’m destined to become.

Still waters rested, resisted
Temptations to swim
From stream to river
And ocean but, alone now,
Moved on while returning
Through newfound power
I de-slumber the stream,
Angelic visions send ripples
Through the river, mapping
Out my path to the ocean.

From here, I shall be
Deepened, with my freedom,
I shall be welcomed,
In my awareness, I shall be
Gifted, granted innocence,
Awaken now, oh inner child,
Let inner eyes pour grace
And vision, awaken my soul
And evoke my spirit,
Alone, I shall dance
To the music of your words,
Floating, I shall embrace
The reformation of myself,
Alone now, I sing to our glory
Do listen to my words
For this, alone, is my pride, my story.


We are carved and we are cared for,
Cuddled and coddled all our lives,
But we are, will always remain
A mother’s creation, the love
And labour of the hands
That first held us.

I see you
In me, in the minutes so simple,
In the moments so precious,
Sometimes so predictable,
Other times obscure.

I see you
In me, all your lessons listened to,
Learnt from, lived out, a part
Of me now, a part
Of who I am.

I see you
In me, in my ever evolving hands,
Fumbling along their lines of life
But I see your caress steering,
Guiding me on as I
Clutch, climb,

I see myself
In you, in your eyes, reflecting all
My passion and your pride
Of this gift you gave me,
This life, its laughter
And its love.

I see you,
Ignoring the separating distances,
The forceful waters that flood
Their way around us
But have failed so
In their attempt
To divide us.

I see you
Today, in that jumble of geography,
Challenging the mountains high
And the tides returning,

I see you
The light and magic, the mother
Miraculous, a million others
All waiting, wanting, trying,
A million babies, needing,
And still we found
Each other.

I see you
Right before me, yesterday, today
Carefully tidying up memories,
Gently tossing away tears,
Happy in what we had,
Forever soothing
My fears.

I see you,
Smiling. I see you, living, learning.
I see you in heels and happiness,
I have watched you forgiving
And forgetting. I see you
Laughing and loving.
I see you.

I see you
And through you I can see myself
And smile at all we’ve created,
Laugh at the joy we shared,
Wait with the breath held
For all that’s still
Yet to come.

I see you
Now, see the twinkle in your eyes
And I smile at the strength
You taught me.

I see you,
Like this,


Pride and Prejudice, Beating the Bullies

I crept through corridors
Crying as a kid
In the corruption of
Cusses and curses,
Cruel and cringeworthy
Comments carried on carelessly
As comedy from cunning clowns
Whose calculus capabilities
Calculated to nothing more than
Calamitous catastrophes.
And so, to cover up this calamity,
I became their casualty,
Caught up in a cross fire
Of uncultured and uncultivated contempt,
Considering themselves
Capable comedians
And casting me center court
As their callous words
Cut and crippled me,
Corroding the core
Into a clunk of inescapable
And incomprehensible confusions,
Casting a cloud on every class,
A crisis in every playground,
And causing countless
Creative excuses
For cutting school
And cowering
In the cowardice
Of my cursed

You frightened
The fuck out of this
Fellow you named faggot
For nothing more than fun
And festered no more in me
Than a fear for feelings
I was far too young
To figure or fathom,
Forcing me to fight
For a freedom I felt
I freely deserved
But fortune falsely favoured
Fools, back then,
The faculty of footballers
Whose fractions fired
Fantastical favouritism,
The fundamental flaw of the feeble,
And frowned on frail fairies
Who followed the rules
But failed to find
Firm footing
On the field.

I drifted
Through dark days
That dug their way
Into darker nights,
Where dreams drew you
As demons
Distastefully delegated
To degrade me,
Deflate me, detest me,
Depict me
As depraved
Despicable deviant.
I didn’t know
That I’d dared to be
That different
Though I thought myself,
Even then,
More deserving
Than the deluge
Of your devilishly displaced

I wonder now
If you’ve been
Withered and wizened
By your wicked ways?
Have you watched the world
And witnessed it grow?
How is the grown-up now,
Grown up?
Grown gradually good,
Greater, grateful
Or just more greasy,
Grim and grotesque?

Do they still bark of your bravado
Behind the bikes sheds,
In the bar rooms,
At the ball games?

I am better now,
Brighter and braver,
Reborn from the bullied boy
You couldn’t break,
Built a backbone in spite of all your backlash.
I am better balanced now
And see your barbarian banter
As nothing more than beastly, base, banality.
I am beyond your belligerent beliefs now,
And have broken
From the blemishes
You bored into me,
Bored me with,
By your bigoted bitterness,
Through your blackened brutishness
And see the blasphemy
Not in how bent I was
But in the bloodthirsty bully
The boisterous brotherhood
Begged you to become.

I have since grown
And gained
In all the gaiety
That a graceful God
Once gave me
And I see now,
Nothing more,
Nothing much,
Nothing lasting
In the power
You once pretended to possess
over my Pride and your Prejudice.

Pity be the preposterous
For profanity perishes before it prevails.



When I die,
Will the world know
That I have lived?

When I laugh,
Will they know
My eyes once held tears?

When they sing my praise,
Will they know
They once inflicted pain?

If I stand alone,
Will they know
They put me there?

If I speak of hatred,
Will they know
They taught me the words?

If they speak of acceptance
Shall speak of forgiveness?

When I stand
Before the end of days
For all the world to see,
I want them to know,
To understand,
The person that is me.