Far we have come from the gardens of wild roses.
Here, by this river running home to waiting wave
we stop and take turns tipping toes into the tide.

What if all we touched was troubled?
What if all the gold no longer bought

the glory?

Far we have come from the kingdom of wild roses.
Here, by these tides running out to open ocean
we stop and call the current to cast away the curse.


All words and photographs and bread by Damien B. Donnelly 

Inspired by the #PoetryPrompt ‘Midas’ on Twitter from the #PoetInResidence Catherine Anne Cullen at @PoetryIreland



We take slow steps into the sweet water, watch the current
caress the dark rock, the volcanic roar no longer rupturing,
its rage now rocked to slumber by this single shore. I lose
my shirt to time’s tide and this shimmering sand, I lift it up
and feel the weight that washed over it as you turn to face
the vast ocean and wonder what the next wave will bring
upon us. We have crossed currents, trained through towns
and cut across mountains, we have laughed at sadness
and cried over cocktails, we have come so far to wade out
into these waters as locals watch us with questions of how
and why. We have come curious to this country, we creep
along its coast like this tide, rummaging over these rocks,
wondering what happened to the heat it once ran with
when man was more forgiving and the mountain more daunting.
We climb the dormant mount, once maker of molten menace,
to watch the sun swim up from the sea and we count minutes
till the darkness will be disregarded as if time is all that’s needed
to destroy depression, decay, dysphoria. This mountain, once
a monster the sea could not settle and land could not control,
this country, once more than a division of north and south,
of emperors and conquers, Confucians and Catholics, devout
and deserted. We were once more than single souls searching
for the way back. We are tides, coming and going along
these beds we find shelter in, arms wrapped around us
like seaweed we equally fight off and hold down, we are lava,
trailing tunnels through our own thoughts, destroying
what we think to be too much but never quite knowing
how to fill the hollowness that’s left behind. We take steps
down into the open earth, adding sweaters to our short sleeves
and I wonder why it grows colder the closer we get to the core.
Isn’t the inferno on fire anymore? Dante will be disappointed.
We look like ants crawling over cobbled rock as we curve
through these corridors created in centuries now cemented
into time and caress these walls and catch our breath
under cathedral ceilings created by no creature but by nature’s
creation. Deeper and deeper still and the silliness is replaced
by a silence in this place where the waters drip from porous rock
and we look smaller, less special, not so strong in this cave
carved by once molten rock, by lines of luscious lava
that laughed as its lungs opened and its power poured. Later,
back at the beach, the tide again tickles our feet as we stand
upon the rock that once before roared. We are equal parts
creator and equal parts responsible for all that we corrupt.
We have come curious to this country but find ourselves
asking more questions about who we are than of this coast
that will still be counted long after we have been smashed
upon our own current. We take slower steps through
the sweetness and my heart beats louder, longer, lighter.


All words and photographs of Jeju Island in South Korea by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost of a week considering Creation and our position within it.



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 labour, 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

From the poetry series A Month with Yeats



Sun sets and then rises and in between
we kiss, catch the kisses that come
upon the current, catch the kiss,
the continent is not always ours
to conquer. Tides come and tides
retreat, touch is temporary, flesh
is polished pink below the sensuous sky
but falls from fold like sands in the
glass that hoards the hours, like clouds
that can never be caged. Sun sets
and we blaze our orange blossoms
into passing nights, the night’s gale
calls of connections in the passing,
passion is precious until it too passes.
Sun rises and then falls, catch light;
catch the fire before it drowns
on the water, catch the colours to paint
the coming of the grey, to keep afloat
until the next kiss. Catch colour,
catch kisses before the sun sets,
let worry waste upon the wave,
tomorrow’s light will be blue enough.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

20th poem for National Poetry Writing Month

THE MONSTER IN THE MAN, day 10 of A Month with Yeats


It’s day 10 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry challenge and today’s quote is as follows: ‘And he saw how the reeds grew dark at the coming of the night tide’

Jane’s blog is:

My poem today is called: THE MONSTER IN THE MAN


And was he not tied

and turned on the tide,

was there not light

and dark by his side,

though the morning’s sun

rose as his bride

it was the moon o’er his hand

at night that died.

And was he not washed

and worn on the waves,

was he not crushed

like the sea cuts the caves,

in the morning did he count up

the slaughter, the saves,

was he ashamed of how many

he’d laid in their graves.

And was he not just a reed

washed over sand,

was he not just a vessel

on the ocean unmanned,

controlled in the day;

all blood was banned

but unbound in the night

the beast took his hand.

And was he not just a man

who’d lost his sight?

Is there passion for the monster

lost in the night?

But the hunger he was bound

to before the light

was too much in the darkness

to put up a fight.

The best of a man,

a wolf of a beast

but never the two

could ever find peace,

Helios held the famine,

Selene supplied the feast

but not a single God

could offer a release.

A savage surrender

into the sea was swept,

the hair of the hound,

the soul that now wept,

a man and the monster

drowned in the depth

and in their beds, his children,

safely then slept.

And was he not tied

and turned on the tides

like the rise and fall

of a twist that divides

as the nature of man

and monster collides

but when the darkness descends,

the light it subsides.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



All tides,
like time,
trickle away,
all thoughts
are tempered towards forgotten,
all hold;
to the harbour of has been.
All waters
wash through rivers
to find the ocean.

We are water
washing through paths,
plotting our way
towards that dream
of paradise.

Today we are hope floating,
tomorrow; no more
than faded memories.

Build paradise
along the path
and not just in the dream.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Based on a Twitter poetry prompt from #ShapePoetry



Catch cotton kisses
blowing briefly over bodies
on beds, on beaches
basking, baking.
Catch kisses
cuddled in cotton sheets
freshly laid kisses
caressing carefully closed curtains. 
Kisses cuddled
on sandy beaches as tides tick through time,
tickling time
with waves washing over us.
Clean, crisp
cotton kisses, candy kisses,
too delicious to last too long,
long kisses
on cotton sheets, worn with laughter,
folds of light laughter,
making movements of moments,
moving moments,
catch the moments
of bodies on beds, on beaches
where tides kiss toes,tickle toes,
wash away woes.
Summer kisses,
cotton candy kisses
on soft sheets of surrender,
like the sand surrenders to the shore,
like the sea caresses the sand,
in waves never lasting
though sinking so deep
below the surface.

All words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:



I’m chasing 
beaches broken 
slipping in between sands sinking 
feet in search of footing firm
contemplating connections
between the sand and sea
as if to find reflections 
between the land and me.

I’m chasing 
beaches broken 
slipping in between sands sinking
watching tides through time trickle
dividing and subtracting
what’s lost and left to see
as if they’re reenacting 
what the years made of me.

I’m chasing
beaches broken
slipping in between sands sinking
currents coming to covet
corrections and corrosions
that trickle out to sea
along with the illusions
of who I thought I’d be.
I’m chasing
beaches broken
slipping in between sands


skipping over shallow streams


while holding on to hope.


All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:



He is as much the boat
as the water is the ocean

He is as cognate to the current
as the tides are to their motion

A simple man, a fisherman
with his home upon the sea
his only ties to an oar and cast,
he is freedom floating free

All words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


I walked to you today
Along the rocky shore
As the winds roared
And the rain fell,
Soft upon my face.
I walked to you today
In hiking boots
And specs of snow,
Though hills and dales
And pools of tide.
I walked to you today
To where you stood,
To the cliff you’ve claimed,
To the earth you’ve clung to
Through the raging storms,
Through the dawns and deaths,
Through the hope and hurt,
Through the tides and tears.
I walked to you today
Now but a shadow
Of your once gallant glory,
Now but walls of stone
Devoid of laughter and life,
No roof to cover you,
No door to open you.
I walked to you today,
A ruined remains
Of all that once was
To remind me
Of all that still can be,
To reassure me
That not everything
Must be lost to the raging sea