I’d heard of songs being sung in other fields
before I could even read the notes.
Sometimes scores are set before the scenes
have even been shot. Brave, they said,
but I shrugged and set off. I had yet to learn
how fear could freeze.

A fool’s soliloquy is often lighter
than the enlightened and I’d little room for weight
during take-off. I’m certain I folded nothing more
than dreams into a back pack just beyond
the ripening of twenty. Courage hadn’t yet come
to be of any concern.

It arrived much later, when the breath disappeared.

Only when you cannot breathe can you appreciate
what it takes to climb down
from the mountain of ignorance you’d ascended.
Notes can only be held for so long and the higher
the note the more difficult it is to control.

I learned, midway through discovering
I was expected to construct my own questions
before finding the answers, that I was more base
than tenor though forever reaching for that illusive note.
You need breath for both but it takes bravery
to bring either back home.

I didn’t hear those strings strung over home lands
until I was so far away that sound
circled back on itself and I became the shell-
far from shore, finally a chamber to house an echo
that held a song swelling in from the old sea.

Leaving didn’t require anything other than the frivolity
of a single flute but coming back, coming back required
the courage of an entire orchestra.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Husky voice cribs my troubling thought.

I turn with fear hard on heel at the far end
of an ancient lane.

I borrowed these footsteps, I reply
to the open side of a ploughed field where wires allow
random thoughts to teleport across the sky.

This is not your path. This was the thought in my head
this voice had entered and uncovered and stolen.

Stolen? It asked.

You’re right, I continued, I forgot your presence
in too many cites of crushing television cables. This is not my path-
it is ours to share.

I remember now, can see how truth befalls in the darkness
these recent weeks of stillness seem to be resetting
an imbalance.

Husky voice returns to a tweet, but this time
it is a tweet that is sung in the trees.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly



In days now distant, we were one floor up, apartment dwellers
whose viewless windows revealed to us more than the darkness
that tried to appeal to us. Tambourine Therese tapped her tunes
of truths not yet tasted, tumble leaves freshly fallen from the trees
in the apple orchard of golden greens begging to be bitten into.

We were eager-eyed innocence yet to be broken by the blue;
scavengers, seeking the scent of salvation on the shiny streets,
saving up to buy beginnings to cut cords on. Mitchell as muse,
we were lyrics yet to be licked and covering Carey and cases
of whoever might come calling on the Casio in a little corner,
salivating for suggestions to rise in us seductions and thirsty
for tattoos to plot paths along our pale pinkness so as to track
our trajectory while singing in the ignorance of our sweet sorrow.

Sweet birds of youth busy building nests in confines of concrete,
too blind to the battery, we were born for the bloom but forging
a forever on a friendship that failed like the lie of a lead balloon.

In days distanced from all that was once dream, I’ve found form
as lonely painter on this canvas of winding words, a connoisseur
of cutting cords, often curt and callous, in the challenge to manage
the malice and learning to be fateful only to the fate that awaits
but caught at times, by the complicated cords that cannot be cut.

I hear you on the wind sometimes, tapping those tunes I thought
this body had forgotten with its skin no more so pink, so fresh.

The fruit fades but we find ourselves then reformed into fractures
of what once was, frail fragments unfinished, like filigree too fine
to unfold, like a dance as yet undone or a song we had still to sing
in this city I once returned to while moving on, slipping forward
through shadows passing, still building nests, still seeing better
in the darkness and touched, in that half-light, by the purity
of your sprite, once so fair, one so rare. We fell so fast
to finished and yet, as she sings of those songs like tattoos,
I’m reminded of that one flight up that can never be diminished.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This month is about looking back at all that cannot be forgotten.

We will always have Paris, it appears…



Come behold nature;
this beautiful blossom,
breathe the berry,
warm wind on the daffodil,
Eden’s sweet sanctuary,
bloom beneath a blanket of peace,
a murmur through the mountain vine,
prairie bright with ancient rain,
thrive seed through sacred stone,
He sees a song in every season,
gentle garden, wild wind,
listen, live, love.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost



is a red
Russian rose
on the run,
a bouquet
to brush the blues
from their burdens.

is his hand
on her head
in the night,
taking flight
as that blue bird darkens.

her moon
was in Pisces
and she was said
to be expunged
by her sensitive soul

in his hands
he still held her,
his red
Russian rose
and so
he painted a song
to perpetuate her soul.

Her moon
was in Pisces
and his heart
in the bloom of her hand.

All words by Damien B Donnelly. Painting, Le Paysage Bleu, by Marc Chagall


So the seagulls sang
As I sailed away
And my future swam out to the seas,
And the cormorants crooned
A slow distant dirge
As my mind swept to waves of memories,
I remembered you there
On the beach that day
As your eyes poured torrents of tears,
I had promised you then
That one day I’d return
But my words could not wash off your fears,
There were often times
I drowned in your arms
Don’t you know how you held on to me,
All the fear that you had
That one day I’d run away
Had chased me off and into the sea,

And so I sailed on,
I sailed on,
I sailed on,
I sailed on into deep and endless seas,
And as you watched on,
You watched on,
You watched on,
I heard your cries on the cold morning breeze,

But I hope you’ll never know
What it’s like to lose your way
While lying as bodies entwined,
And I’m sorry that you’ll know
What it’s like one more time
Being the one who has been left behind.

Till eve turned to night
I swam through the past
Till a wild storm cast our young ship astray,
And the herons all hushed
And the currents all crashed
As the night stole the light from the day,
Then the skies roared with rain
Which the waves rose to meet
As Sirens sang up from the sea,
While in the mounting rage
The pipes called me home
Playing doomed strings of sorrow for me,
And so the wild winds wailed
And the bodies were strewn
And to the moonlight I sent one last prayer,
While like a slow deep dive
Of a gannet in flight
The ship sailed into ice cold despair,

And so I let go,
I let go,
I let go,
I let go of what was once you and me,
And when I let go,
I let go,
I let go,
The waves made a resting bed for me,

But I hope you’ll never know
What it’s like to lose your way
While lying as bodies entwined,
And I’m sorry that you’ll know
What it’s like one more time
Being the one who has been left behind.

So the seagulls sang
As I was slung from the sea
And the crowds gathered slowly around,
And the albatross loomed
And waited and watched
As my body washed up on the ground,
Then the herons all howled
As you heard the news
To drown out your sorrows and pains,
And the cormorants crooned
That slow distant dirge
As I spluttered and slipped and the blood left my veins.

In the distance I saw her
Come floating into sight
Her red hair in ringlets like you,
Swimming through the waves
Like a watering flame
She swept me up and out of the blue,
For seven long years
We’ve mourned for our loss
Like a sharp stab from the roses sly thorn,
That wee child of our love
Who for this earth was too frail
Has dived into this new world reborn,
She forgets it, my love
Forgets that dark night
That last night when she left us alone,
So rest now, my dear
For our angel is safe
Now that her Daddy’s come home,

But I hope you’ll never know
What it’s like to lose your way
While lying as bodies entwined,
And I’m sorry that you’ll know
What it’s like one more time
Being the one who has been left behind,

How many miles
Do we need to walk along
How much do we have to explore?
How many tides
Do we need to sail on
Until we can find our own shore,
Until we can find our own shore,
Until we find true love once more?