The moon is a diamond dream, a sweet shadow
of midnight, butterflies drunk on sleep
into which we seep like the blood red sun
beneath the blue blood sea and we are waves
in bottles bobbing along on the beauty
and the briny, too intoxicated to think
of our time being temporary, too insignificant
to think of ourselves as anything other
than spotlight central, hurtling through this journey
of shiny and sleepy and catching reflections
on the slippery surface of the rest; the best
of what we’ve yet to be. The moon
is a diamond dream and this journey;
a blind belief that cannot be broken by the truth;
we can master the major even if we are minor,
we can catch that kiss caught in another corner
of this cosmos even as we burry more and more
of ourselves within the bright red borders
but we broke from Eden and it didn’t end.
We are self-starved delusions winging it
on a whim of wonder beneath a glass cloud
in a sky of shining steel. We are diamond dreams;
how we shimmer in the shade of the moon.

All words by Damien B. Donnelly


Rough round that rose bordered hem we ran,
regardless of where her skirts did scurry,
no fretting to the fraying of her fringes,
never noticing how nimble had turned to not-so nifty
above that border of red roses, oh so pretty…

We carried you, like a child, that day,
winter now withered as the bark
made a place for the bloom and I wondered
if April had ever held so soft a day?

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, regardless…

We carried you, like a child, that day,
the old village hushed as if all had now
been said, as if all had since been seen
and I wondered if that stillness amid all
the emotion was your soul on the breeze.

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, remembering…

We carried you, like a child, that day,
our toes retracing your well worn
steps, our memory meandering
through the journeys you found for us
on busses and trains on lanes
to foreign towns and holy lands.

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, reverberating…

We carried you, like a child, that day
and remembered every knee you bandaged,
every tear you had dried and every belly
you filled with your apple pies and custard bakes
those fresh brown breads and coffee cakes.

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, repeating…

We carried you, like a child, that day
as red roses fell from our hearts like tears
as that breeze brushed our cheeks like a kiss.

Rough round that rose bordered hem
we ran, in reverence…

We carried you, like a child, that day,
your body as weightless as it was lifeless
as we covered you in the red petaled ground.

You carried us all, in your arms,
and now we carry you in our hearts
along our journeys forever more.

By that bed, in the village
that housed you and still holds you,
hemmed in forever by a border
of bright red roses, we sighed
by those borders now broken
by all we took for granted,

and felt the touch of the torn
comes at the fall of that one bright rose.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Queue up, check in, board, sit down, take off, eat, sleep, movies, sleep, sky and sea, cross continents, curtail time, more sky and sea, more food, a hint of something hotter, then sand and land and then we land. Finally, fingers fumble over cameras caught in a current of silken sarees sweeping through streams of jasmine tipped traffic in colours more complex than creation can count, colour is a commotion on this carriageway, is in motion itself, looking for life to light upon, though no life here is a still life, and it’s hues are brilliant billows on the breeze, too busy to be bound to any one stretch of land, like the feathers of the peacock parading along the packed pavements, unperturbed by the petrol pouts of motorbikes careening through the chaos, honking through the hustle and bustle of the crowds who live their lives along the roadside markets and mayhem and mini vans selling mighty mangosteens and a myriad of spices in sacks that seep with salivating scents and ignore the rules we westerners have grown so weak and wearisome under and their curious eyes watch from precarious positions on backs of yellow lorries and sun seasoned trucks with bandages to stop them breaking, in a saffron stained city that has no brakes, eyes that smile, that furrow and frown, that wonder, naturally, on the reason that lies behind my gaze, behind the flash of my lens. The air; awash with tastes my tongue tries to catch, the landscape; burnt with tones my thoughts can’t even tackle when out of nowhere, amid the cars careening and trucks trumping and crowds cutting through, idolised cows come calling from the city’s stacked streets in search of sustenance and a simple shade and suddenly we slip into a slow stream as if the cattle are a cathedral and their coming; a blessing. A man, blind to all light, weaves his way through this carnival, three sheep by his side, as if they’ve always been with him, as if they were family and I wonder who is leading who; the man, the sheep, this car or me? Amid all of this life carried out in cars, on corners, at crossroads, along grassy knolls and sandy banks, with the stalls and the shoppers and the scents and the smiles and the sarees and that sweating sun, there is a freedom beyond the weight of politics and poverty, there is a simple survival stirring and it is I, in my branded costume, who looks the fool traveling through, taking it in, thinking I am better off with all my laws and rules and beds and baths and running water and walled in farms. I am the foreigner, swept up along this sojourn amid what looks like the fortunate whose fortunes look more favourable than mine.

The carriageway is a cattle call
we can be lead or we can learn
the blind can find sight in scent.

all words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



We smoke liquid laughs,

embrace clouds of midday butterflies

that come in celestial clutters,

listen to smiles kiss the skies

that dazzle this vast ocean.

We are self starved

and cracked like overcooked caramel

but we draw our delusions from dreams,

we are nothing if not imagination

waiting to dip our wings into the world.

All words and paintings by Damien B. Donnelly



Rustle rocks,
the night has murmured to the soul;
Peace cannot rest in the shade for long,
it seeks but a sanctuary for a season,
Eden could not flower forever,
there were other fields waiting
to be found as fertile,
other apples begging to be tasted,
other counties where curiosity
wasn’t a closure to the contract.

Behold this wind, this wild thing,
its tendrils tug so on my flesh.

Bright is the breath
as the path waits to be pressed.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Sandy shades of dust speckle the ground and gallant tones of green dot the landscape from which the scent of olives ooze, before mixing with the aromas of musk, distant Morocco and the comical smell of burning tires. At dusk, I was driven by a blind taxi driver, judging by his driving, along a road which seemingly stretched through the sea whilst seagulls dove for food before the final setting of the sun. That morning, I had strolled along golden sands and watched tides sweep over my feet, I saw white robbed men close their eyes and wrap themselves in prayer and peace. I saw the sun rise and pour its rays over the tombs of those who had long since gained eternal rest. A simple life witnessed, with riches extending far beyond the grasp of materialism.

The sun rises over setting souls,
white waves sweep over strange scents,
gulls are savages on all shores.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


This poem was originally a part of my Joni Mitchell series from two years ago but it felt appropriate to be a part of this series of Journeys…

I have been courted
by counts and clowns,
too costly to count,
too considered to be questioned,
too comical to consider courtly
while in cities crowded with crossing carriages
and calm corners curated in comfort.
I have been coloured in, cared for,
cooped up, critiqued, cried out
and carried on, careless at times,
cautious at others,
I am creature creative
within this creation
in constant recreation,
a commuter
on this continuing carriageway
as cryptic as these clouds
of cotton-like complexity I cannot catch,
this carnival carousel of colours
not always complimentary
but of constant curiosity
that keeps on careering
and I am caught, concentric,
in consensual contentment
on its current that cannot be caged.
I came to the city,
this city, a city, other cities,
on a calling caught,
to cast all caution into the chaos
so as to compress the cost,
to consider the curve of common cliche
and covet the calling of the unconventional,
to cast a cry into the canyon
I have cut from my own carcass
so as to be counted as contestant.
I came in from the cold corners of complacency
where the crows were cawing callous
with the canines of carnality
to carve my confession
upon the confines of concrete
so as to comprehend the kisses I’ve captured
and the cords I’ve become a connoisseur of
within these courts that have contemplated me
and these circuses that have certified me
as compliant competitor.
I can only compliment the countless confusions
that called me careless
and I considered too crude to be counted,
but they count as the catalysts
that corrected my compass to
its calling within this circle
I am committed to seeing through
to its conclusion.

Shine on, shadowed sky,
with your stars like songs
singing along their sojourn.
I see sinister no more in shadow
and sight not always in sun.
We are seagulls and snakes
and saints and sinners
in the same situation,
searching for stimulants,
singing in unison
of our struggles and our strengths,
striving to see salvation in the spotlight,
searching out that spark to court
in sex and sense
that will send our souls soaring
into the stratosphere.
We are songs being sung
in a simultaneous serenade.

We are stars.

We are not nothing and never will be.

See how we Shine.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Trust time to remember the dream

where the river was a rhapsody

we attempted to outrun,

never knowing

how much the melody

would meander.

We were minor steps

trying to make our motions major,

swept up in golden grains of thoughts

that slipped through our minds

like the waves along the shore.

Trust time to remember

the journeys we never fully dreamt.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Beauty is raw
beneath this blood red sky
where we lie delirious,
licking at lazy, drunken ships
trudging through bitter beds,
frantic to find our way to smoother seas.
‘Man is but a whisper,’ the Shadows
sing to the Sun but I
want to milk the storm
before my summer sinks
beneath the shade.
The moon cannot be the only light
to cast its reflection upon these waters.
Surely we too can be as bright
as the night.

Beauty is raw
but bold can be breath-taking.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Revisiting a past poem as my journey hits its 43rd Birthday


I was once silent amid the noise,

shadowing the world in stillness

while all else found its motion,

watching dreams slip swiftly

through fumbling hands.

I’d been held and felt nothing

in that very touch

but the visceral arousal

of man at his most primal.

I’d seen a lifetime of possibilities

with single glances

and built worlds in my mind

before blinking them away.

I held a man’s hand in a taxi

as we raced through a foreign city

I’d once called home, while my mind

ran to thoughts of someone else

before remembering a touch,

of another, from long before. Once,

I circled the globe and returned home

to find that home was but a word,

a word that wakes a memory

to plot a beginning,

as weightless and mobile

as the drifting traveler.

Once, I was silent

but in that silence,

in all that stillness

I found a voice.

I am, like you all,

no more than a burnt-out,

used-to-be, falling star,

sparkling in front of you

although my future’s already faded

somewhere light years away.

As I hurtle through this journey

my eyes fall sleepy;

but my mind rushes towards the rest,

looking, always, for the rest of me.

All words by Damien B. Donnelly