THROUGH THE SANDS, Day 7 of A Month With Yeats


Day 7 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry challenge and today’s inspirational quote from WB is: ‘…stars, grown old in dancing silver-sandalled on the sea, sing in their high and lonely melody…’

To join in the creativity or just to discover Jane’s gentle genius, her blog link is:

My poem today is called THROUGH THE SANDS


And when they danced

she would hold him, her

perfume by his face, his

hands as her strength

as they waltzed through

their current as the tides

swept the shore, through

love and labor, to the first born,

still born, through the twins

who stopped the tears

and the girls who tied

the bows as the sands slipped

through time and the pace

became a quick step, through

the hands that held and those

hips that swayed through

the melody they were making

as they danced through

waves of washing houses

into homes, children into

strangers; rarely calling

and barely remembering

but on they danced as red

locks swept into silver strands,

as full head turned to bald head

on an older head as they turned

to the music now made

in the memory, till she left him,

finally, one morning in may,

as he rose to the sunlight but

she had lost to the moonlight

and so he built her an alter

of sea shells and sentiments

and now he turns, alone, across

the sands still slipping,

as the stars plot a path for him

to reach her in eternity.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



We are liars, all and often, lying

in folds familiar, hoping

for holds to fill the failure,

settled into settlements

we never wanted but thinking

something, anything, this thing

is better than nothing, while

the Poet prefers to pen

the pessimism than to perish

with it. And still we are liars,

the pen turns thoughts

into reasons, into rough sketches

and in turn we soften the edges

with subtle suggestions

to make the truth more soluble,

the lie more acceptable.

We are all laying in masks

of mistrust, mistruths, the more

we take off- the more we build up.

Clothes cover only the concept

of identity; eyes can be distracted, tongues

can be thought to taste

what they are told, ‘I am forever,’

he said and she licked his longing

that left her not long after. ‘I am

comfort,’ she confided as she set

her claws into his confusion.

And the lie goes on forever,

like the sky; consistently blue

until it’s black, streaked

with bright stars already burning out.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Behind the fanfare we fan the light
to make our way through another day
to night. Behind the fuss we muddle
through movement on route to contentment
caught in quiet corners of unconsciousness,
like that word on the tip of the tongue
we can’t quite pronounce.

On terra-cotta tiles I turn through cards
of comfort from days now distant,
wishes signed with love from names
I can no longer call in this light,
in this life. Far from the fanfare,
far from the fuss, you are all still
somehow a part of each movement
I make, distant stars now that once
held dreams, that once signed cards
of greetings, never thinking how much
one day, beyond the fuss, they would mean.

All words and photograph by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:



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


All words by Damien B. Donnelly

Inspired by a Twitter Prompt from #ShapePoetry




I have been courted
by counts and clowns,
too costly to count,
to 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 photo collage by Damien B. Donnelly

This is the final poem in the series which has been inspired by the artistry of Joni Mitchell and each poem has followed her albums in chronological order.

Audio version available on Soundcloud:





A constant darkness,

the future unfolds like the road;
route unknown,

the past ever present
but kissed goodbye;

my lips still taste of yesterday,
my hips the heat of your caress
that has since slipped from these sheets.

I was always bound to restless,
to rest less and less,
I am creature creative;
a constant recreation concerned more with shadow than light,

more with what I don’t yet know
than where I have already been.

I am taxi traveller,
I will take you with me
naked under the sweating sun,
tender under starlight

but you are only fair;
you are the hitchhiker
along my highway,

a distraction on route to destination.

We are not destiny,
no two are designed alike,

every soul a single sojourn.

I am city when you are desert,
I am sand when you are stone,
I will have dried up
before you learn to open up.

I will meet you
under moonlight,
by the gaslight
already flickering in the morning light,

only the stars will see us burning bright
for we are stars;
rising in the darkness,

this constant darkness,

I will drink you and then discard you
when the dawn calls me back to destination

before you break me,
I will set off before you slow me,
before you show me who you want me to be.

I am everything and nothing
in your eyes, all lies,
we are only reflections,
projections of hope and hurt,

How can I be all you want
when we don’t really know who we are?

We are starlight, like I said,
already burning out before begun,
drawn to distraction
and drawing on our own dust.

But I am constant, now, to the calling,

am free to flight and fall,

I will love you forever
and yet leave you
before you’ve even considered it
a compliment to concern yourself with who I am

because all we have learned
is to look for ourselves in each other.

And yet I am other. Another.

No other,

bound to no body and everybody,

at home in hotels
that hold me for hire,
every stop another station in the formation,
every sheet another burn as we twist and turn

and then, in twisting, we turn,

we are roads constantly crossing,
trying to get to the other side

to see if the darkness is lighter, brighter,

but this darkness,
this constant darkness
is not a dark abyss,

this constant darkness
can only be conquered at the check out.

A constant darkness,

we are all travellers on a road
making moments, making magic, making mistakes
believing the future is forever.

But I am not concerned or consoled by forever,

I am here now,
running reckless along these roads,
seeking sustenance, seeking solace,
and occasionally a comfort from the cold that comes a calling,

(I will give you what I have willingly
if you promise not to take it unevenly)

seeking satisfaction in things temporary,
leaving a part of me in everything I touch,

hoping it’s enough,
hoping you will remember
the scent of my skin
though we were too thin to be true,
too fragile to be anything more than a fickle tickle,

trying to understand the sweet sorrow,
the ebb and flow, the hope and the hurt.

Goodbye can be a greeting as warm as hello.
Good boy, I am trying to be a good boy

burning through this constant darkness

and smiling as I soar and sizzle.


A constant darkness

so we can gaze at the stars in their glory.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:




Time turns
as trees tower
and timber twists
into smooth splinters
while pins are pitched
to positions to perch from.
Turn and twist,
sharp and shine,
we are metal
mounded into movement,
mounted over meek or muscle;
run us jagged
into the bitter night
and watch us
under moonlight
saw the stars from sight,
slip us smooth
onto soft side
with caress of kiss
and kind concern
and catch us
bend from blade
into blanket,
silver swayed stars
that shine in their shift
from sever to forever.
Our dichotomy hangs
On a pin portrayed.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:


In response to Jane Dougherty Writes Poetry challenge #50: Fifty

For challenge No.50, the big one, the rules are simple: single stanza, five lines, ten syllables in each line and the last word of each line holds the rhyme throughout. The image supplied by Jane is entitled ‘Constellations’. So go check it out and get writing… Jane is waiting, stars are burning…


I lay me down neath the constellation
as my soul seeks shade from observation,
this sky full of stars my sweet salvation
though tumbling towards obliteration;
how beauty blazes before cremation.

All words by Damien B. Donnelly




She was a married woman, with stars in her eyes, by the age of ten. She’d seen him in the back yard at 9 ¾ and in seconds had painted their future together. Mrs. Mulligan’s daughter would be Mrs. Michael Menkas and at 12 she dropped her bike at his gate and, upon his stoop, told him so.

At 13 he kissed her upon the lips; clumsy, sloppy and unaware of what to do with his tongue. But she was unaware that it could have been any better. At 14 he held her to his heart and promised her the earth, the moon and the stars but at 16 he heard the call and got wrapped up in a flag with stripes and other stars.

His letters came home twice a week at 18, from the front lines, they said, tales of heroes covered the pages while between the lines she saw the smudges of fear but they always signed off with a kiss.

When he first came home, he held her in his 19 year old arms. He placed a ring upon her finger as she glowed from head to toe in a white dress his mother had made her. She was a woman now whose breasts filled her bodice and eyes still sparkling stars beneath her veil while he, in uniform, played his part but the stars in his eyes had blown out.

For 20 days they played house, like in their childhood dreams long gone. Nights of passioned love making that ran far into the dawn before dreams fell to sweaty nightmares and she held him to her heart afterwards as if someone could pull him away from her at any moment. The truth of his imminent departure seeped out of every thread on the uniform that hung on the side of the closet.

At 21 she answered the knock at the door with a hand upon a swollen belly. Two men, too young to be adults and too young to be delivering the burden handed her a letter that ripped her apart before she could rip the envelope.

At 22 she bore his child and a tiny girl roared into the world. When Mrs Michael Menkas looked at her daughter, a tiny ball of wrinkles and wonder, her heart broke all over again for the tales she would one day have to tell her daughter of a husband and father now lost in the stars.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly