BOOKENDS; STUMBLING THROUGH THE DREAM, WIDE AWAKE

 

I was silent once amid the noise, stumbling through smothering,
a bare canvas cradling nothing in arms that had promised everything.

I circled the globe once to find that home was just a word,
a word that makes a memory to plot a beginning,
not weighted but weightless.

I am, like you all, no more than a burnt-out, used-to-be, fading star,
somehow sparkling in front of you though my future has already faded
somewhere light years away.

As I hurtle through this voyage, my eyes fall sleepy, looking for rest,
looking, always, for the rest of me.

I am the sparrow, lost to its nest, forever flying in circles, catching
your scent on every other breeze with the hope it will, one day,
fly me home on your courant d’air.

For all that I have become, it is because of all you’ve shown me,
for all that I lack, it is everything I left in our bed.
Sleep softly on it.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

 

This month is about looking back at my life in Paris in order to say goodbye and this poem is a collage of a group of poems I wrote just after i left Paris, the first time, in 1999.

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE

 

And we are all a sum of circles spinning,
spiralling, circling something, orbiting our own atmosphere,
seduced by our own stratosphere, (oh, how we smell)
chasing our own tails; can circles have tails or is it just dogs?

Although Plato portrayed us as circles split apart; restlessly
looking for the rest of ourselves, worrying the best half
is the other half that was snipped away.

So are we circles or just the unfinished sum of a circle?
Are we accounting or just counting our own charisma?
Fragmented fractures trying to add positives with only negatives,
semi-circles circling the greater circle of life, some all-seeing,
some all-knowing, some too wrapped in the self to see the shadow
and oh, how the shadows can settle over the oh-so-indulgent.

And she calls and she cries and she sees nothing and no one
as needy as she caresses her own concerns and she combs
long shining strands of sustained soliloquies over the silence, shivering.

And he sleeps and he cries and he needs all and everyone to see
how suffering stifles his strength to see beyond the self, and he breathes
his burdens over brothers he believes are blind to his behaviour.

Oh the poor ones, oh the pity; pretty girl, pity boy, how they want you
to see them as a star, bold and bright, to see how hard it is to be them,
to stay so bold and…

make way for the music; see the swines strumming the sinew as the crows
cut through callous cords and the vultures make violent overtures
on the violins and cut to crashing crescendo!

If only fortune could free them from the self-satisfying shackles
they slip over themselves. Shackles too shiny to ever enslave.

And she calls and he cries and they see themselves as singularly central
to the circle and not just a number in a sum of an incomplete equation.  

  

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost of a poem from my Joni Mitchell Series for this week’s stars and moon theme

BEING BETTER 

 

Beat down, beat deep

below the root, there is work

to be done, there is dirt

to be drawn from this soil,

this stench, this space made

for more than just a trench.

Beat down, beat deep

under skin grown pale,

grown greedy under ale,

there is movement still

to be made, meaning to be

molded from all this matter

lately grown lazy, grown fatter.

There is more to be made

of the soil, of this soul

than simply burying

bodies within it.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly