Another oldie as we drift to the end of another season…

It happens, now and then,

That slight shift in the season,

A new light, a different dusk,

A gentle breeze that brushes you

Into remembering a moment in the memory,

A time, once far removed,

Now returned, repeated, relived

And there you are, once more,

Back in those arms, looking in those eyes

Or maybe just reading that book,

Wearing that Sweater,

Crossing that bridge.

Time moves and overlaps, all at once,

I am here today, living and yet

A part still of yesterday, re-feeling it now.

I move, change, evolve

Like the weather, as the seasons.

I am summer because Spring bloomed before.

Today it is fine because yesterday I loved.

And then suddenly it shifts again,

A newer light, a darker dusk,

A twist to the breeze and another memory

Melts into the moment and on I go,

As the seasons, changing constantly,

While rarely forgetting that tomorrow,

What we did today, happened yesterday.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



What to report?

To what port must you swim,

in how little can one drown

(shallow is often

the sister to shady)

air is not anything

until it is nothing


and nowhere,


(sometimes existence

is only revealed

through disappearance)

are you someone

until you are seen

in the eyes of another?


What to report?

to which port do we reinvent,


is it possible for one to prevent,

(can prevention deter

a discernable direction)

fear is not anything

until it is everything


and everywhere,


(this skin does not tingle

until it’s been touched

or torn)


is there still a light

in the darkness

of the ransacked room

of this ravaged organ?


What to report?

How do you report

the trust that was taken (for granted)?


I tied to report it

but trust,

once taken,

cannot be listed

as things stolen

on a police report.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



didn’t know how to say it,
didn’t know how to do it,
Daddy didn’t know how to ask it,
but Daddy knew how to break it,
like it broke before, like they
broke him before, like they beat him
to the floor
and the butterfly flaps his wings
in confusion in the garden
they covered in concrete
when they couldn’t afford
the flowers to decorate it.
didn’t know how to do it,
how to show it, how to feel it,
and then they thought
he didn’t need it,
cause she didn’t need it,
not then, not later, not after,
not from him who frowned at laughter
and the butterfly snaps her wings
in the back yard that’s soon to be
a cracked yard and she blames him
for all that went wrong as if
she’d never asked him
for anything, ever.

And they’re both
high on lies
in the back yard,
flapping and snapping
and wondering how this all happened.
All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



New notes quivering on a quaver, new rhythms
rattling through the repercussions of older rhymes;
echoes of former crescendos that crashed too soon,
convoluted cords that quickly constricted comprehension,
reasons now realised to be unreasonable, yet old fears
still trickle-down worn keys, no longer black and white,
no longer wrong or right, (is there a right note?) is it wrong
to not want to be deceivable. Will he stay, this time,
(maybe this time) should I leave, like I didn’t last time,
the first time, the second, the third, the fifth, though here,
with this new chorus, playing now in double time
along the lower keys, fingers fiddle with flesh, fresher
than before or am I just older than ever, older than the rest,
and what of the rest of me, what is left to be played?
Has the lady sung her final encore, not yet, no! More,
I feel there is more. But is it enough to share, will he care?
Will he be willing, be sturdy? Can we carry on the tune
long since started? Can this time be more worthy
or am I just more worried or wordier?
Is this the warm-up
or the wrap?

All words by Damien B. Donnelly



Slip me in like a pill,
ride these waves,

this thrill.

We are supplements
to sensations, swimming
upstream; salmon fighters,
fresh for flesh,
eager igniters.
Lick these lips,
take me; this pill,

me green and you blue,

there is no choice,
addiction is not a selection
but a devouring infection.

You are base now
to my blood now,
steaming now.

See us:

hooked before we’ve even
swallowed each other whole.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Day 25; National Poetry Writing Month #NaPoWriMo 

If I could reset the world
I would start it with a kiss
on a silent night
In the corner of winter,
summer has claimed the light,
dark corners need our attention
more than the sound of the sea
and the smell of the sunscreen.

If I could reset the world
I would start it with a kiss
on lips I’ve never tasted
in a place I’ve never been,
I am done with parted passion,
others have since traced these lines
and found the tremble too intense
and the trench too tough to traverse.
If I could reset the world,
I would start it with a kiss
and seal it with a bond
That time can’t comprehend.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken in Ayrshire, Scotland.



in the crook of hope,
like fluff caught
in the navel,
of youth barely tasted,
(I had barely licked air)
of freedom newly found,
(note: first flights often fail)
of fulfillment
before it failed
(before we faded),
I am in a bed
in Belfast
no longer bloody
(the city not yet I)
no longer blown to bits
(the streets not yet my hope)
and we are better
than I believed,
trusting in our thrusts,
truer than we were
and more lasting,
more intact
than reality
left that first kiss
(already gone once it’s given)
of something bright,
of freedom felt
before it was shattered
on my bed;
and blown to bits,
I, not the city.

We were never
more than momentary
(a training ground
for grown-up toddlers),
a meeting at Bewelys
(when it was creative
and cozy like cuddles
when it’s cold
and still accommodating
after clubs)
when Dublin
was still my day,
was still within interest
(when its size didn’t matter;
isn’t it all relative?)
a courting over coffee
(footsies in the shadow
of a table that wobbled
on the third floor
near the theatre
and therein the warning;
unstable and all an act)
in the afternoon,
in the aftermath
of my outing;
freshly feathered bird
on the first flight
from the nest
from the tit;
the search
for something new
to suck from,
so full on faith,
so blind to the fall
but eager to climb
over dreams,
over desires,
over you in the end,
(or up from under you)
obstacles to rise to,
to arouse me
(did you arose me
or just your attention
to trembling erection?)
obstacles that came
until they were gone
and other conquests
(obstacles become conquests)
took their place
in my head,
in my bed
after I’d cleaned up
what had been left
by our blast.
A bright wave
in the dark enlightenment
of a Dublin night
by the shore
swept off the ring
that wrapped us
(faith falling from finger)
when your wandering ways
and hands and eyes
(that turned like tides)
washed over
my innocence
(my Disney-like devotion)
and drowned
your deviations
and my dedications
to the blind side.
We’d been better
in Belfast
after the conflicts,
in that bed
that night
before our conflict,
but that was just one act,
one thrust
before dublin
the trust
that was an illusion
behind the crook
of the curtain
of our pale play
with too trite twists.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud:




If I asked you
would you sever the skin
from your body
            layer by layer
and blanket me
in your living flesh?

Maybe the nights would feel warmer.

If I asked you
would you bleed the blood
from your body
            value from veins
and feed me
with the liquor that lives in you?

Maybe the pain would taste different.

If I asked you
would you ease your eyes
from your body
            sight from sockets
so I that maybe
I could understand your vision?

Maybe the emptiness would look like less

and less
the end of less and less.

I never asked you
but you fucked me over

to pleasure your flesh
to boil your blood
to darken your eyes

I never asked you!

I should have asked
            for something more!

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:





Did you wipe your feet
upon my head
before you walked
over me?

Allow me to bend first, at least.

Was I so accustomed
to your disregard
that I could not
feel you

tearing through me,
leaning on me,
raiding me,
raping me?

Did you wipe your sweat
across my brow
to save yourself

Let me fetch you a towel first, my lord.

Was I so unaware
of your self serving scent
that I put myself

in offering,
in sacrifice,
to serve and satisfy?

Was I the fool
you perceived me to be
while you pillaged me
of dignity?

I saw a light
in the beginning
in the distance
and again
at the end

I thought it
to be salvation
but it turned out
to be your reflection
in the mirror

I was standing
behind you
but, as always,
you didn’t see me

you couldn’t see
beyond yourself
and that self-centredness
that took us over

like the sharp glare
from the car light
when it’s too late

and Crash…

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Retrograde ripples
swim me back to days
when a certain light could cut
the shadows in a single movement,
when your touch was like cool water
poured over feverish flesh below orange
walls that watched us sinking onto a single soul.
Terracotta tempered
with summer shadows
as streets twist and turn,
as I twist and turn and burn,
even in the shade, with shadows
and shades of you and those days
now reduced to simply recessive ripples
slouching towards the bottom of a city sinking.


All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken in Venice, Italy

Audio version available on Soundcloud