I AM…

 

Beau, tu sais?
Tu es beau,
c’est vrai.
Non, I say,
ca, c’est pas vrai.
Moi, je sais
d’autre chose,
mais beau?
Non, I say,
je ne suis pas beau.

Fragility I know,
mon ami s’appelle
fragilité,
pour lui
je porte a smile,
comme de vêtements,
like a shield,
mon sourire
est beau,
ca, tu peut dire,
ca, tu peut écrire,
but I am not my smile,
I am the boy behind
and sometimes it hurts,
tu sais? Ca fait mal.

Mais merci, comme même,
c’est beau ce que tu m’a dit,
ce que quelqu’un m’a dit,
c’est beau, mais non,
c’est pas moi; I am…
je suis autre chose.

 

Translation:

Beautiful, you know?
You are beautiful,
it’s true.
No, I say,
that, it’s not true.
Me, I know
something else,
but beautiful?
No, I say,
I am not beautiful.

Fragility I know,
my friend’s name is
fragility,
for him
I wear a smile,
like clothes,
like a shield,
my smile
is beautiful,
that, I can say,
that, I can write,
but I am not my smile,
I am the boy behind
and sometimes it hurts,
you know? It hurts.

Thank you, anyway,
It’s beautiful what you tell me,
that someone tells me,
it’s beautiful, but no,
it’s not me; I am…
I am something else.

 

All words and self portrait by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost of an older poem.

LINGER LIGHT, LONGER

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Linger 
longer 
in this light,
this fragile luminosity, 
let me be your curiosity, 
shun the shadows for sadder days
for more somber sighs when it’s again the time to cry

but for now

linger
longer 
in this light, 
in this simplicity,
this momentary tranquility, 
entreat me your tenderness, 
your warm caress against my being, my body

linger
longer 
on the faces,
the passing faces,
the faces of people pacified,
of people satisfied in this light,
in this sun where shadows sat before
where shadows will rise again in minutes, in seconds

but for now,

it’s just light
not just light, LIGHT
radiant LIGHT casting reflections 
on what has been and what can be
on what is probable and all that is possible. 

Linger
longer LIGHT
Oh lovely LIGHT.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photographs taken on Ile de la Grande Jatte, Paris.

I Smile

I smile
To break the silence,
I smile
To deflect the darkness,
I smile
To wake the day,
I smile
To kill the fear,
I smile
To steady the tears, falling,
I smile
To remind myself I can,
I smile
To remind myself of all that can be, better,
I smile
To find the joy,
I smile
To hear the music,
I smile
To feel alive,
I smile
To laugh in the face of depression,
I smile
To let the love in,
I smile
To let the negative out,
I smile
Because it is a choice,
I smile
Because the other is too much,
I smile
Because I cried, before,
I smile
Because I am here, today,
I smile
Because I am living, now,
I smile
Because I am a part of it all;

The freedom and the chaos,
The push and the pull,
The living and the dying,
The beginning and the end,
The tears and the happiness,
The folly and the fate.

I smile
Because it’s more beautiful than a frown.
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MOTHERS CHILD

We are carved and we are cared for,
Cuddled and coddled all our lives,
But we are, will always remain
A mother’s creation, the love
And labour of the hands
That first held us.

I see you
In me, in the minutes so simple,
In the moments so precious,
Sometimes so predictable,
Other times obscure.

I see you
In me, all your lessons listened to,
Learnt from, lived out, a part
Of me now, a part
Of who I am.

I see you
In me, in my ever evolving hands,
Fumbling along their lines of life
But I see your caress steering,
Guiding me on as I
Clutch, climb,
Create.

I see myself
In you, in your eyes, reflecting all
My passion and your pride
Of this gift you gave me,
This life, its laughter
And its love.

I see you,
Ignoring the separating distances,
The forceful waters that flood
Their way around us
But have failed so
In their attempt
To divide us.

I see you
Today, in that jumble of geography,
Challenging the mountains high
And the tides returning,
Unbreakable.

I see you
The light and magic, the mother
Miraculous, a million others
All waiting, wanting, trying,
A million babies, needing,
And still we found
Each other.

I see you
Right before me, yesterday, today
Carefully tidying up memories,
Gently tossing away tears,
Happy in what we had,
Forever soothing
My fears.

I see you,
Smiling. I see you, living, learning.
I see you in heels and happiness,
I have watched you forgiving
And forgetting. I see you
Laughing and loving.
I see you.

I see you
And through you I can see myself
And smile at all we’ve created,
Laugh at the joy we shared,
Wait with the breath held
For all that’s still
Yet to come.

I see you
Now, see the twinkle in your eyes
And I smile at the strength
You taught me.

I see you,
Like this,
Always.

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CINQUAIN IN FRANCE

I see
In a vast bar
On the edge of my past
A boy so lost amid the crowd
And you,

There was,
In the mayhem,
A sense of happening,
A feeling of the familiar
In you,

Brown shirt
And dark blue jeans,
Gaze so deep to drown in
And a gentleness that caught me
Unaware,

In truth,
I had not seen
Or noticed you come in
But from the moment I saw you
I knew,

You were
The smile I sought,
The acceptance I craved,
The friendship I needed to find
At last,

I was
The curious
Little bird who’d found flight
And a place to perch in Paris
But then
In France
I was foreign,
A fool to fortitude
And invisible to all eyes
But yours,

I found
As time trickled
A fondness in that find,
A connection in the chaos
To last
Past boys
And men who came
To try us and test us
To see us laugh and to see us
Fall down.

I will
In these few lines
Try my best to thank you
For taking the time to see me
Back then,

The smile
That you offered
On that night, in that bar
Made a fearful foreign young boy
Feel home.

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