BOOKENDS; WHERE WE CAN GO WHEN WE BECOME MASTERS OF WHO WE ARE

 

Some scenes we are stuck with like that hand
in that taxi as we left the city I hadn’t said goodbye to.

Whose hand did you think you were holding,
didn’t you know what you’d found hadn’t yet been formed?

Some scents are forever tied to necks where we’ve left traces
of our lips, like you said, yesterday, when I found you
crossing over after so long on the other side
and the first thing you mentioned was my scent, still that scent.

Some places latch on like limbs and I wonder if you will twitch,
still, when I slip you from my spotlight as another taxi
carries me off without a single person to goad my direction.

Some things stay the same and other things we only learn
to master when we find out the right time to walk away.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly.

 

I first left Paris for London at 24, without a thought as to all I was leaving behind or whether or not I had found who I was. I held someone’s hand who knew who they were while I still had no real idea of myself. Falling in love is sometimes like falling off your own route and it takes time to find your feet afterwards. I will never not fall again, but at least I now know that there is learning in the rising.

TAXI DRIVER, I CAME TO THE CITY

 

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 ready 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,

I cannot 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 willing 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 pictures by Damien B. Donnelly

Based on a poetry series inspired by the albums of Joni Mitchell

AT THE SETTING OF THE YELLOW LIGHT

 

I held your hand
in a taxi, once,
while thinking of another
as you whispered into my ear,
a sound I no longer remember,
a scent now a breath away from touchable.

I cannot hold everything anymore,
not everything nor everyone.

I recall the yellow light
yearning to hold its own innocence
stretching through the window
burning hands still holding onto a truth
that had turned away from white,
I remember the highway
that hurried us out of the city
as I wondered if I’d packed enough hope
for us both.

But I cannot hold everything, anymore,
no more. The elastic cannot be recalled,
the weight was too wearisome
for just one heart.
I hope now to hold clarity, to hold happy,
happy to be free. Happy me,
now lighter, brighter

reaching out for that plant pot
with its purple petal planted, long ago,
in a garden I am returning to.

A garden where I will sit
and watch the dance of the dandelions
till the yellow sun has descended,
where I will empty all the jam jars
of their collected lies
and draw the sound of the moon, at last.

   

All words and photography by Damien B. Donnelly

Penultimate poem for National Poetry Writing Month

BORDERS AND BOUNDARIES, NO. 8, NAPOWRIMO

 

In sweeping rain 

he was swept through streets 

in a taxi turning with thoughts

he had not yet learned to express. 

Windows can shield 

from more than just the weather.

In unswept rain

he was sweeping through streets

that had not yet soaked him,

had not yet drained him

on the storms that were settling

under the shade of summer.

He was a spring in the bloom 

in the shadow of a back seat,

speeding through streets

already stained with too many winters.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly