UNDER THE BRIDGES 

 

We build bridges to cross trenches;
trouble, treachery, tyranny,
to cut across life’s inconveniences;
cuts and cries and crisis,
we cross bridges to build beliefs;
I will, I wish, I want,
discarding ties and loves deceased;
I lost, I left, I let go,
holding out for a life that’s better;
bolder, bigger, brighter,
hoping now for love that’s righter;
safer, surer, stronger.

I want to wade into the water,
want the waves to push me harder,
I want to catch the crush of the current,
to fight to find the will, the warrant,
to comprehend the deepest parts,
the push, the pull, the hurt, the hearts,
to understand the fuss, the force,
to know how the river finds it course.

Darker, steeper, deeper,
the longing to linger longer.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

 

 

OH COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY

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Oh country, my country,

once born in your troubled times
and raised by the banks where your Liffey lies,
I followed the paths of generations moved on
to see what they’d built, to see where they’d gone,
but returned to a home now seriously lacking
a nation of consumers complaining and attacking.
Where are your parishioners, the pride of your isle,
your Emerald’s glory once renowned for its smile?

Oh country, dear country,

now bigger than ever in girth if not majesty,
in greed if not glory, in makeup if not unity.
What has become of those simple smiles,
captured in bar songs of other times?
Is summer gone, have the flowers died
did Danny not return to his father’s side?
A nation once raised on songs and stories,
of people poor but proud of their glories.
Are you better beings in designer labels,
Gucci in hand and louboutin’s under tables?
Maleficent muttons playing innocent lambs
slaughtering histories with blood stained palms.

Oh country, once my country,

there’s no truth to your hunger or depth to your drunkenness,
no moral in your manners or reason for your forgetfulness.
Who’ll be your heroes in the years still to come,
who’ll hear your cries and who’ll beat your drum?
Collins was martyred and there’s no more de Valera
the last of your greats were the end of an era,
now it’s fools fickle to the latest fashion fads
tarted-up teenagers and under aged dads.

Oh country, fallen country,

once a force of marching freedom
while looking to other lands for asylum,
now turned and twisted into narrow opinions
while others seek help and die in their millions.
How has racism risen so loud
in a place once paraded as peaceful and proud,
where its people filled ships that sailed on the seas
in the hope that other lands would hear their pleas,
can you rise again from your Holy Ground
adding names to the list of your heroes renowned?

Oh country, lost country,

where Mary’s cries still ring out to the sea
for Michael who told her nothing matter’s when you’re free,
have you washed down too much of your own importance
and forgotten the fight for your own independence?
Can it be that the tiger, in departing, took your best;
your heart and your soul and just spat out the rest.

Oh country, what country,

how can I find my way back to before
when all I once loved has slipped from your shore?

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All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken at across the fields at sunset in Lusk, Co. Dublin , Ireland

SAIL ME

I had a point,
I had a purpose,
Had a position.

I sailed the seas,
I saw its secrets,
I’ve seen its storms.

I had a mast,
I had a mission,
I had a meaning.

I’ve had owners,
I’ve had lovers,
And I’ve had loss.

I carried crew,
I captured crabs,
I cut through currents.

I’ve had bottles,
Bashed and broken,
Upon my bow.

I have learned,
I have listened,
And I have laughed.

I have seen,
Sometimes sunk,
But have survived.

But now I sit,
For now I’m scrap,
No more to salvage.

So now I sit
And split the sides,
Seeping seams.

I had my worth,
I had the world,
I had no worries.

Now I’ve no point,
Now I’ve no purpose,
Now no position.

THE STRUGGLE

To be a poet of
The heart and mind
Is to step away
From all that is close
And to look back
From afar.
To struggle
With the truth
Of what we are told
And to search for
What we believe.
To fall on the road
And document the struggle
To stand again.
To be torn from
The heart of your dearest
By the changing hand
Of that very heart
And find a place again,
In your own, alone.

To breath again
And remind yourself
To do this daily,
To look into the dark
And, in blindness,
Search for the light.

To dream at night
While accepting
The reality
Of the coming dawn.

To open your eyes
To an unknown world
When you were safe
In the one you’d accepted.
To wander
The lonely road
That you must take,
Alone.
To cry,
To shed your pain,
To cleanse your body,
To clear out
So as to move on.
To sob
In the face of beauty
And smile
In the midst of horror
So as to live.

To travel
The mind’s horizons
And discover the bounties
Hidden in its depths
So as to release the poet
Inside lays within us all.

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