Even on wrong turns, detours; damp and derailed,
along red lines I knew would rattle,
sojourns into subterranean thoughts
of finding forever in a place that only held a past

there was still a steady stream of perception,
a suggestion of adaption
worn into walls that never would.

The tunnels were only ever to be temporary.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly.

This month is about looking into the shadow to find the light. I first moved to Paris at 22, left at 24 and returned at 40 thinking it would be last stop, rest, relax. But it turned out to be just another tunnel along this track of life. Next stop… Ireland; Boy Returns as Man.


A Sunday escape to the suburbs of Paris and the Parc and Chateau at Sceaux.

The sun was out but the shadows looked better in black and white…






All photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Parc de Sceaux is located just outside Paris, via RER B, and the Petit Chateau, rebuilt in 1850’s (originally constructed in the 15th century and later owned by JB Colbert, minister of the Navy, before it was confiscated during the French Revolution) is now the Musee de l’ille de France.



Being young
we bent by bench
and placed our kisses
on love,

growing old
I lost the strength to follow,
so you left me
by the parting of the trees,
shaded in loss.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Poetry prompt from VerseReversal on Twitter




There was a heart
like a plant
in a garden
in a garden
like a plant
a heart
under sunlight
and sometimes shade
a gentle shade.

A heart
in a garden
a quiet garden
with a fence
a pretty picket fence
around a house
around a home
and that garden
tending to the heart
like a flower
under sun
and sometimes shade
the gentle shade.
A heart
in the garden
like a flower
till someone picked it

pulled down the fence
and picked it

still growing
still beating

and then dropped it
on the sidewalk
in the shadows
when they saw
across the street
something different
something else
something new.

There was once a heart
growing in a garden
but cut
like a flower
and now
no water
no waiting
no nurturing
no tending
can bring it back to life.

A heart once
growing in a garden

now only a hole
that never seems to fill

untended in the shade…


All Words and Paintings by Damien B. Donnelly


Audio version available on Soundcloud:





And the black crow comes calling…

and summer is falling,
has burnt in blushing breaths before us,
before worshiped walls and rushing rivers,
as if it’s taken to tombs or swept below waters
raging in the ruins, sunken into shade,
shadows slip winter’s wings over sunshine,
colour hiding, as if hibernating,
climbing tall towers till showers pass.

Light is waning as if washed away
from where we bathed yesterday,
like dreams that dissolve at daybreak,
as if the world isn’t capable,
as if hope isn’t sustainable;

sweep in, stir up, swoop out, leaving us wishing, waiting, wanting.

And the black crow spreads its wings
as autumn stirs and winter sings
in shallow pools on sidewalks,
in river beds where torrents stalk.

And the black crow crashes down on the storm,
all light now shadow, all colour now fading,
all freckles now a flicker of what once was,
all changed in the flutter of a wing.

Come has the crow and we cower from its cawing.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:



November rains in the park-
Trying to be an artist,
Attempting to capture it all
In a quiet corner
Behind the trees,
Away from the winds,
Beyond eyeshot from anything daring,
Sheltered in a huddle instead of in the midst of adventure.

I thought I had found myself
But it was safe fake lies;
Pacifying the ego,
Trying to paint a Picasso
With colourless pencils.
Frozen by mid-afternoon,
Not suffering for art
But merely suffocating
In all that surrounded me
That I wanted to be part of but knew not where to begin.

I sat in your garden
And sketched you
Devoid of feeling and life,
I failed that day to capture
Or even comprehend you
But hung you on my wall
Nonetheless, as if to remind myself
Of all I still had to do-
I needed to paint you from within
And not just with colours sketched from the tips of my fingers.

Your multi-layered canvas
Was a daunting place to start
For my amateur attempts
At early adventure,
I was only dabbling
In shadow and shade;
Lightless and lifeless,
Playing with untapped possibilities
And dreamed-of doings
Instead of head-on,
Opened-up, fearless, dive-into, unknown experiences.

One million options beneath my feet
Waiting to be walked
And I picked the solitary seat,
On a Saturday afternoon,
In a secluded setting of your park
That stretched for miles
And bloomed with life all around me-
But not beside me,
But not for me, not with me.
I was as lifeless
As the painting I had sketched-
Fast movement needed
Least winter winds would wipe me forgotten before begun.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly