I saw a jellyfish once, just beyond the tide,
a tick away from time’s reach where it couldn’t sting.

On the same beach, once, though years later,
as we dipped our desires below the moonlight,
I lost your ring.

A week later I found your sting was laying in other beds.

I thought love was less abundant then, before I left,
before I found Paris and perished slightly under its pretensions

though I never shivered at that time or in the water,

not that time with the jellyfish, or later,

when that base metal that would never become gold
freed itself from my finger.

I cast you all off later, after, when Paris passed
and I set off to chase bland blond hairs
through the dunes the Dutch had recalled from the sea.

I agree that I have worn many rings since then
but not one of them have drowned me-

I always pick one size bigger so it slips off
without leaving too much of a mark.

I think that’s why I like salads-
chopped lettuce, some pulses and a breast of chicken-

they don’t take much cleaning up, afterwards.
However, the French, as a rule,
never cut through salad, on their plate, in public.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Inspired by a Twitter Poetry Prompt 



Not all bees write back
Not every beetle takes the right route
Some letters, like roads, wind on regardless.

We don’t always notice the sting
Until after, until later, until it’s too late.

Honey is sometimes sweetest
When far from reach.

We wrote words on each other’s back
Thinking time to be tender but we couldn’t turn around
To see how they’d both twisted.

These love letters- like journeys with no maps
One of us always the backseat driver of the beetle
Such stings from the boot.

Not all bees write back.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

Inspired by a Twitter Poetry Prompt from Cobh Readers and Writers



For every push,

for every jibe,

for every spit

upon my childhood,

my conditioning,

my inability to conform,

I kept walking onwards 

believing I was better,

never being allowed 

to acknowledge

how I’d been broken,

how I’d carry 

these bullies like bites

to forever sting 

beneath the skin.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly



Left burning
in a bed of broken
limbs and lies

winer was wild
but her summer rain
settled beneath his skin
and sunk with a sting.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Poetry prompt of Summer Rain from @ShapePoetry on Twitter