You beat
With the softest stroke ever felt
And I come back for more
Every time


You beat
And I fall further with every breath
I listen to your rhythm
And in it

I find

My rhyme



All words and drawing by Damien B. Donnelly


And so here’s to one
For the end of the road,
Words have been written,
Sentences steadily found sense,
Poems put together, pushed and pulled
On pages being published, hauled
And heralded, heard in hushed homes
Where hope is heartily housed and harboured,

Here’s to the unbelievers
The cynical thinkers of thought,
Leaning to maths in the absence of magic,
Scared to be seen perusing poetically
In their palaces of prejudicial pride,
In places where poetry is but a preoccupation
For pansies prancing about while decorating doilies
And fawning over follies, fads and followers of fashion,

Here’s to the ones
Who are missing out,
To those who dare to look away,
Ignore all that is spoken, reject all
That is written, miss the minutes of magic
Mixed with meaning and metre, meandering
Like madmen through a myriad of amused
And confessional men and women, all willing
To shed their skin, to drop their masks and reveal
The sometimes silly, sometimes scary, secrets beneath,

Here’s to the end of the road,
A month of calculating thought,
Converting concerns into so-called
Confessions, finding fact amid the fictions
Of life, figuring out the force within so as to find
The way to pen and paper, from thought to word,
From hand to eye to read, to lips, to mouth, words
For the mind to ruminate and meditate on the meaning,

Here’s to the completion
Of the composition, the composer
Can collapse, rest and recuperate,
Dream again, to look back and laugh,
Not dawdle in the depths of substance
But laugh at the lines he has lived through,
Lingered along, find light in the letting go, rhythm
In the rhyme, consume not oneself in the character
And caution and concern but release those creations
To live and love, to be heard and held without him and to be
Unburdened and unpunished if the rhythm didn’t always fit the rhyme.

All photographs and artwork by Damien B. Donnelly


Goodbye he said
As the train door closed
And sliced our world in two

Goodbye I thought
What a word to use
At the end of me and you

Goodbye he said
And I wondered what
Good there was in farewell

Goodbye I thought
As he left me there
Hurt and unhappy in hell

Goodbye they say
When the endings near
Suggesting we can breathe

Goodbye they say
At the curtain call
Signalling the time to leave

Goodbye we say
When it’s time to go
When to stay is far too futile

Goodbye is all
That the heart can hear
When love has been bashed and brutal

Goodbye we say
When there’s nothing else
But a whistle to signal time

Goodbye is all
You have left to hold
When the reason leaves with the rhyme

The Poetic Point

Writing, with ink and pen

And open mind, thoughts

From the heartland of the questioning consciousness-

Muddled and moving, mixing

Musical thought with meaningful metaphors,

Subtly seeking the rhythm and rhyme

And fighting with form and formality,

Counting consonants and trying not to simulate,

Sawing sentences in centers

To shock, shake and stimulate.

Keeping, with honest integrity,

To the truth of the matter-

Uncompromised, unsweetened and unsaturated

In saccharine sentimentality,

Seeking instead what gets left behind

In the somber shade of the shadows,

Sorting the substance from the unsuitable,

The serious from the subterfuge,

And learning to lift lies from the legend.

Trying, with shaking hand,

To be true to myself-

To worry not about the funny, the foe or the awkward,

The downright stupidly silly,

Hoping, over time,

To vary not the voice from my voice,

To temper not the thoughts with temptations

From others with pretentious persuasions,

To be unafraid, unassuming

And always attune to the flow of the line.