TO COME CURIOUS

 

We take slow steps into the sweet water, watch the current
caress the dark rock, the volcanic roar no longer rupturing,
its rage now rocked to slumber by this single shore. I lose
my shirt to time’s tide and this shimmering sand, I lift it up
and feel the weight that washed over it as you turn to face
the vast ocean and wonder what the next wave will bring
upon us. We have crossed currents, trained through towns
and cut across mountains, we have laughed at sadness
and cried over cocktails, we have come so far to wade out
into these waters as locals watch us with questions of how
and why. We have come curious to this country, we creep
along its coast like this tide, rummaging over these rocks,
wondering what happened to the heat it once ran with
when man was more forgiving and the mountain more daunting.
We climb the dormant mount, once maker of molten menace,
to watch the sun swim up from the sea and we count minutes
till the darkness will be disregarded as if time is all that’s needed
to destroy depression, decay, dysphoria. This mountain, once
a monster the sea could not settle and land could not control,
this country, once more than a division of north and south,
of emperors and conquers, Confucians and Catholics, devout
and deserted. We were once more than single souls searching
for the way back. We are tides, coming and going along
these beds we find shelter in, arms wrapped around us
like seaweed we equally fight off and hold down, we are lava,
trailing tunnels through our own thoughts, destroying
what we think to be too much but never quite knowing
how to fill the hollowness that’s left behind. We take steps
down into the open earth, adding sweaters to our short sleeves
and I wonder why it grows colder the closer we get to the core.
Isn’t the inferno on fire anymore? Dante will be disappointed.
We look like ants crawling over cobbled rock as we curve
through these corridors created in centuries now cemented
into time and caress these walls and catch our breath
under cathedral ceilings created by no creature but by nature’s
creation. Deeper and deeper still and the silliness is replaced
by a silence in this place where the waters drip from porous rock
and we look smaller, less special, not so strong in this cave
carved by once molten rock, by lines of luscious lava
that laughed as its lungs opened and its power poured. Later,
back at the beach, the tide again tickles our feet as we stand
upon the rock that once before roared. We are equal parts
creator and equal parts responsible for all that we corrupt.
We have come curious to this country but find ourselves
asking more questions about who we are than of this coast
that will still be counted long after we have been smashed
upon our own current. We take slower steps through
the sweetness and my heart beats louder, longer, lighter.

  

All words and photographs of Jeju Island in South Korea by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost of a week considering Creation and our position within it.

STARDUST

 

Stardust…
the fallout
from the flames,
a nebulous of what
was once known by names,
now falling, through time and space,
trailing dust, a trail of gentle dust
in place of touch, in lieu of place,
in lieu of hold and how we hold;
tighter and stronger, longer, after,
trying to hold a star, a fading star,
burning out before us
when all that’s left
is dust,

our brightest moments
now molecules of light,
blazing through the silence
of the night, but oh what a night.

Look up,
those who linger longer,
who fall and fret
before the great out-yonder,
look to the light
and not the loneliness,
the night is falling
but the light
is still unfolding.

Look up
star dust is falling
from on high,
writing names
across the sky
just for us
star dust…

  

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost for a week of Stars and Moons

FROM AFAR

 

In Space
is the silence so sacred
that stillness is a solace
to the spinning?

Are star lights
like dainty daisies that illuminate the night?

Is the earth
but a beacon of beauty
when viewed from afar,
so far that you cannot hear
Man and his kind
screaming?

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost for a week of Stars and Moon

 

 

CONNECTIONS

Water
Silent
Stillness
Reflection. Connection
Make the connection
Elements
Water Earth Air
I can be fire
The fire

I walk on water
I dream I walk on water
I see stillness
I dream I walk on the stillness of the water
I hear the silence
I am the silence dreaming of the stillness that walks on the water
I am the reflection
I am the silent reflection of the dream that once walked on the stillness of the water.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a old post, reposted.

THE TRUTH IN THE WATER for Poetry Day Ireland

 

It’s Poetry Day Ireland so I am supporting from abroad. This year’s theme is Truth or Dare so throughout the day I will be posting a few of my older poems on Truth and a few more on being Irish…

The Truth in the Water

I see you, this morning
in sweeping reflections
in the waters, reflected
in the sleeping stillness
of the morning’s silence

as if the world was looking up
as if the sky had fallen down.

I see a tree, a weeping
sea of a tree, leaning,
reflected in the waters,
reflecting its reflection
into milky mists of morning

and I wonder if the world is truly what I see
or if my reflection is the truth
staring up
at me.

   

All words and photographs of Dublin by Damien B. Donnelly

AT THE SETTING OF THE YELLOW LIGHT

 

I held your hand
in a taxi, once,
while thinking of another
as you whispered into my ear,
a sound I no longer remember,
a scent now a breath away from touchable.

I cannot hold everything anymore,
not everything nor everyone.

I recall the yellow light
yearning to hold its own innocence
stretching through the window
burning hands still holding onto a truth
that had turned away from white,
I remember the highway
that hurried us out of the city
as I wondered if I’d packed enough hope
for us both.

But I cannot hold everything, anymore,
no more. The elastic cannot be recalled,
the weight was too wearisome
for just one heart.
I hope now to hold clarity, to hold happy,
happy to be free. Happy me,
now lighter, brighter

reaching out for that plant pot
with its purple petal planted, long ago,
in a garden I am returning to.

A garden where I will sit
and watch the dance of the dandelions
till the yellow sun has descended,
where I will empty all the jam jars
of their collected lies
and draw the sound of the moon, at last.

   

All words and photography by Damien B. Donnelly

Penultimate poem for National Poetry Writing Month

RED INK

 

I love and lose in circles, scratching
at skin tipped in ink, trying to find
the truth beneath the colours
I’ve let others colour in, hiding
the paler flesh I held from view,
we always need to hold on to something.

I am not comfortable over quiet dinners;
too much stilled air coursing
through the courses as I question
the seconds ticking by, in silence;
will you find me failure and flee?
But I’ll always be the first to fly
since that first flight I had no hand in.

I stir the stilled air with performances;
shy boy in the spotlight singing songs
he can’t quite find the notes for
or find the right to call his own.

I love and lie in circles that spiral
back on themselves, that cast further
reflections, not quite clear, on the boy
now faced as man in the mirror,
that flood more ink into that fading flesh.
‘Chromolume No. 9, Georges?’ she asked,
once, in a play, how many more?

Variations grow stale, thought becomes
tension, creation becomes controlled,
breath becomes bearer, bleaker. My chest
beats too quickly to let in fresh air,
fresh flesh, compressed, repressed.

I cannot lie in these circles,
these spirals that seem to linger,
longer, no longer. I am looking
to find a new shape; turning back,
returning, recalling that first mark,
to measure how far from it I ran,
to see what was left behind,
to lay it to rest and find the rest,
the rest of me beneath the red ink
tipped into this fragile flesh.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

18th poem for National Poetry Writing Month

MEDITATION UNDER THE YELLOW SUN

 

I wanted to draw
the sound of the moon
on a sun-drenched beach
stripped down to white sand,
white wave, white skin
starved for affection.
I wanted to draw
the silent sound of that moon
as the chaos of the current
crashed down on the crowds
clawing at each other
for a moment
below the spot of sunlight
that burnt them quicker
than they could contemplate
a commitment to content
while I sketched
the white light circling the night,
even in daylight,
even in the terror and the fright
that twist through the lyrics
these lives lived on the edge
of the sinking shore
will forever be linked to.
I wanted to put onto paper
that palpable possibility
of holding stillness while all else moved,
of leaning into the moonlight melody
while the daylight drowned out thought,
of holding silence in a song
while the sand surrendered
to the will of the shore.

I wanted to draw
the sound of the moon…

that sensation of being surrounded
in a single sway of stillness,
a solo seduction of strings
pulling me towards the white light
at the centre of the night’s clarity
as the yellow sun strips the sea
from the sand.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

3rd poem for National Poetry Writing Month 2019