Blue sky growing old,
sun sets into dusty pinks-
a hark for tomorrow

for today cannot be harboured any longer.

In this slow field
surrounded still by stilled life,
still the trees grow,

even daisies have returned after the mower’s menace
last Monday.

Single crow comes
to gather seeds
from once shadowed sections

of the garden I have only now revealed to the light.

Evening’s air is kissed
with today’s stagnation
but the sea is sweeping the shore

at the far end of the near lane where that dog barks next to buttery bush
that cannot concede its connection to the coconut.

And there, on the rock
once integral to the land,
I picture a mermaid, sitting,

combing the tide through her auburn hair in the hope that the current
can wash away the chaos

still carrying on
beneath the dusty pinks
of this ageing sky.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly



We took the train, one day,
a Sunday that a photograph
suggests was set in summer,

I remember how the wind
wound whimsically round
the wilderness of our youth
as we watched waves crash
currents upon crushed cliff

as we came closer to watch
those tides slip out further,
pulling from us the laughter
we’d not learned to control

and carrying it on to places
we didn’t know to imagine,

each of us an island uncharted
yet to pin our point on a map.

Three cousins, coming closer
to the shore of those decisions
and a mother, watching us
laughing, learning, growing,

swimming and moving. Out.


All words and some of the photographs by Damien B Donnelly



Happy Poetry Day Ireland. There will be Time.

Back story- Orla Grant-Donoghue originally invited 16 poets to create 16 new poems based on their favourite books and we were going to read these poems at Alan Hanna’s Bookshop in Rathmines Dublin, today. Of course, due to current events, all that was cancelled but it still took place today online on Twitter… 


You can read all the poems and discover all the artists in one place because Eoin from BlueFoot Books kindly put it all together for us. This is the link to the site…

The book I chose was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne and here, with my 1st attempt at using Clips and my almost octogenarian mother as Camera Woman extraordinaire, is my Short Film to showcase the poem. Welcome to the Nautilus, Captain Nemo and his fellow passengers are waiting. It’s Time …



Mobilis in Mobili

the monster-
metal made, making movements
under waves.
Air trembles. Earth rocks.
The sea is a desert.
Immense. Without Master.
But with mineral, vegetable, animal.
Man can be the beast on land- despots, destroyers.
Land and Mr. Land who can’t swallow water.
Down below, beneath the glass.
Glass is breakable, like man, but can be of service
like Conseil- glass is capable of offering resistance.
Considerable. And He comes to resist.
Resist man and land and service.
But he takes the Other down, leagues below the darkness
to where there’s light, to admire this liquid light
through which they sail,
his electric thread of connection,
there, in that place which is far off
and exceedingly deep, away from those despots,
his own aquatic flock below the wave,
his own folly to float through the fathoms.
Fathoms. One comes to fathom who can find it out,
how man can flee, can float on his own hope,
his own pride, his own position. Opposition.
Defence. Defender. Here below,
where there are no masters.
But one. And it isn’t always
the sea.

the sea is everything.
The globe began with the sea
and may end that way too.
He is the Sea and must defend himself.
And Man? The sea is an immense desert
where man is never lonely. Though man is on his own.
Not being Mineral. Or Vegetable.
Or always animal.

Darkness is deceiving,
regardless of its liquid light.
Behold the maelstrom! The Nautilus is no narwhal.
A can of unquestionable character can also be a coffin.
Man can make his own. His own house.
His own home. His own tomb. To float. In the water.
Through the light. Leagues below the sunlight.
Where light is electric, that fine thread.
Finely Snapped.
I recognise no masters here,
he said. I am free, here, he said.
God Almighty!
And the Other blinked, for a moment
and took hold of Land and his Conseil.
And then looked back
to behold the monster.
Some are drawn to the deep,
to the current, to the curiosity
of the perpendicularity, to the leagues
of light at the far end of the black water,
where there are no other men
murdering to be masters.
Behold. Enough.


The Cast…


Damien B. Donnelly

With huge thanks to Orla, Eoin at BlueFoot, Alan Hanna’s and my fellow poets and you, for tuning in xx



Sand slips under foot like memory into mind,
waves wash up along a country lane leading down
into a secreted sea, past a thistle that pricks not;

so much beauty cannot bear a beast.

There is breath in these back fields I recall
on the curve of this spiral game, returning like these tides
that tickle the familiarity that floats on the foam
of the waves I once forged freedom on,

getting far enough out just to find my way back in.

Home is not something you recognise until you return,
like the smell of this sea stretching out to islands
that look in on me, as if trying to find a way to connect,
home is not something you miss until you swim out,

not something you recognise until the tide takes you back in
to that secreted sea, stashed away down a country lane
and you recall

how the sand once felt under foot.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



On comes the light
and I reach out for the taste of morning
in an orange orchid that unfolds a sash of summer’s stock
to tie its threads around the ears of anxious.
On comes the morning
and I stretch emerald strokes onto a light canvas
pulled out across grouchy grasses that cannot see hope
glimmering in far off fields.
On comes the light
and I strike rainbows into shivering streams
that take dreams off to open oceans where the breaths bays
just above the surface, waiting for us to dive back in, to the light.


All words and water colour painting by Damien B. Donnelly


Based on a Poetry Prompt from Cobh Readers and Writers on Twitter 



is no compliment to the current.
Curls come and crash without care,
you cannot keep an ocean contained
in a single cup.
‘I hurl this wave
with the weight of a thousand stones’ she sighs
and slips back out as clouds come to commend.

All words and photographs 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




This Desert where We Drowned the Dance

pertaining to a particular sound
at the back of the mouth, there,
in that spot not quite reachable,
still quite parched.

to sprinkle, to moisten. I do this
to quench a longing I can’t reach
though I cannot hold this liquid
just like I couldn’t retain the lips
that once kissed this neck, here
where throat was left parched.

processing or exhibiting energy
in abundance, like I had before
your truth got twisted, before
all your charming turned into
that drought which buried us
while you left me;


All words and photographs 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



Sea claims what man can no longer cradle
but time’s tales can be freed from nasty nets
when the wreck is beyond want, when the cable
has been cut and we come to the call of the current.
Rough becomes rust becomes wrecked becomes ruin,
might becomes memory. Day is done but night unfolds
tales of tides that were tamed, slim seas that harboured
heavy hopes in trusted holds. We dive and then differ
on the return, are undone, unmasked, back to bone-
a battered beauty, once a witness to the wild waves.


All words and photographs 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



These are the days
were we look to see
where the light lingers longer.
We rise like crabs
up, after the tide has fallen,
up, through solid sand now sinking,
we can only wait so long-
can only hold so much weight
(in these days where we cannot hold at all)
before we cannot wait any longer
to touch the light,
catch a breath,
feel the sun.

catch the light-
a bright distraction in the darkness.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Inspired by a #PoetryPrompt on Twitter from the #PoetInResidence Catherine Anne

Cullen at @PoetryIreland 



Entity. Identity. I identify. Running gives no reason
until you run out of places to hide. Identity. I identify.
I recognise now what it means to be connected. A continent
can be chaos. An island doesn’t have to isolate. I. Island.
I can identify as an entity of this island. I didn’t hear them
telling me the truth. I didn’t know they knew me before I did.

I tore through tracks; teenager, twenties, thirties, I am tired
now, my trainers have taken to the tide. I am sand again,
ready to be cast upon beach, I want to be a grain in this garden
I was ground upon. I was barren of breath. I choked, drowned
in an ocean that wasn’t mine to begin with, we can bare too much
as well as being blind to all there is to see. I see now, this entity.
I was split once, by what I dreamed of and what I already had.
I see now, how this island, this entity, held my identity. Whole.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly