Husky voice cribs my troubling thought.

I turn with fear hard on heel at the far end
of an ancient lane.

I borrowed these footsteps, I reply
to the open side of a ploughed field where wires allow
random thoughts to teleport across the sky.

This is not your path. This was the thought in my head
this voice had entered and uncovered and stolen.

Stolen? It asked.

You’re right, I continued, I forgot your presence
in too many cites of crushing television cables. This is not my path-
it is ours to share.

I remember now, can see how truth befalls in the darkness
these recent weeks of stillness seem to be resetting
an imbalance.

Husky voice returns to a tweet, but this time
it is a tweet that is sung in the trees.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly



Silly things
sabotaged for the case of creativity-
barren bark
becomes blank canvas
becomes blue
becomes oceanic
becomes bewitching monster of humour
and not hurt.

This is the crisis
of clearing out,
not shelving all that will come to know stale,
but for shedding.
Sheds are no longer for the simplicity of storage
but the new distributers
of distraction.

This is no hoax,
no harm, no hostage
but a painting of honour, perhaps
for all that’s been felled-
for all that we’ve cut down
and for all the rest-
that’s been taken from us

in these days
where we’ve slipped from being held
to a slim holding of hope,
to painting bare bark in the back garden
in order to smile. 


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



Packed like yams into dusty carriages
we watch from the safety of our sitting room
where Nana used to sit and iron by the table
and Pop, in the corner, with his pipe,
now just names in prayer and that picture
of their wedding on a wall that still stands
and they, long taken to the sleep.

We sit in all this space while passengers
are packed like sandwiches in tin tubs,
trains swapping stations and germs
on the Underground, over the water
where I used to live, once, when nana
was still ironing and Pop, already sleeping.
I was happy then, I think, I tell myself,
I played happy at times, hilarious
and happy little me in Hampstead,
back stage, behind the spotlight
and considering the distance
I’d covered and the sitting room,
the sofa, the Nana and the Pop.

We watch from that sitting room,
now, with its ceiling since lowered
so the heat stays closer to the body-
the only contact we’ll consider-
she on the sofa and me- single armchair
for single boy returned home as man
and now kept home in quarantine,
in close quarters, two grown-ups
counting the money they cannot spend
and watching lives unfold on the telly
after playing clean-up in the garden
and looking to the trees for carvings
of connections since taken to the sleep.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly










All photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

A lot of photographs, I know, I did edit, I promise, I took over 250 photos in about an hour while skipping like a 4 year-old around the place that was practically empty. I think this might be the city’s best kept secret and ‘how dare you’ Roland Garros, the neighbours, try and dig this place up to extend your tennis courts! This is priceless! Now who’s Out!

THE TRUTH IN THE WATER for Poetry Day Ireland


It’s Poetry Day Ireland so I am supporting from abroad. This year’s theme is Truth or Dare so throughout the day I will be posting a few of my older poems on Truth and a few more on being Irish…

The Truth in the Water

I see you, this morning
in sweeping reflections
in the waters, reflected
in the sleeping stillness
of the morning’s silence

as if the world was looking up
as if the sky had fallen down.

I see a tree, a weeping
sea of a tree, leaning,
reflected in the waters,
reflecting its reflection
into milky mists of morning

and I wonder if the world is truly what I see
or if my reflection is the truth
staring up
at me.


All words and photographs of Dublin by Damien B. Donnelly



Trees tremble

in winter’s clutch,

hardening soil

hardens hearts,

frost will follow

till spring’s breath

beckons icicles

to gently weep.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Inspired by a twitter poetry prompt from #WrittenRiver



Blackened hands hardened
over the heart exposed, expunged,
red roses rubbed into ruins,
‘We are no more
than the dust we leave
after death,’
a curse forgotten,
a force too rooted to be released.
Black heart burnt to broken,
banished to the ashes
of her aftermath and he cannot
cry, but he can crack,
like a mirror, now marked,
shaped into shards now,
splinters to spilt the skin,
grown thin, torn.
Blackened hands hardened
over the heavy heart,
bloodless, no longer
bound to the beat,
no longer whole.

‘Kiss her and curse her,’

and so the curse was cast
but they were young
and too busy kissing to take time
to listen to the whispers
of the witches of the wood.
All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly



And so it begins, National (Global) Poetry Writing Month #NaPoWriMo

30 new poems over 30 days

Gird your loins! (Or Lines!)

Who’s joining in? Feel free to post your blog address in the comments section here to make sure everyone knows what you’re up to…

All pillars fall
over time,
all gods
grow down
out of grandeur,
grow pale
out of waste
(we cannot
always worship
that which is distant)
and gravitate
into grasp as age
and taste and circumstance
wrinkle the concrete columns
we set them once upon,
so high, too high
to truly touch at times
like trees too tall
in forests to far to reach,
too distant to be seen.

All pillars fall
over time,
all trees topple,
and their tales
revealed as circles
turned and twisted
in trunks we could not
wrap ourselves around
until we cut them down,
like bodies
bound by loves
and lusts
we could not reach
until we found a way in.

But you

will not
come down,
will not be grounded
(precious distance
demands still
songs of glory)
will not
wrap around
this flesh that feels
your fingers too far,
though still I breathe,
though not do I rot.
not made
for me
but a moment
too late,
too complicated,
but mystery,
but man
becoming myth,
no kisses but misses,

still missed.

I tended
too much
to the roots,
thoughts twisting
through a time
now past
(like your eyes to my sight)
now lost
(like your voice to my ears)
a time
never touched
(we never touched
but watched it
slip though fingers).
I let it tower
not over me
(how I wished),
but away from me
and found myself
firm footed
on strange soil
and you;
in the sky
of dreams
on a pillar
I built for you
never thinking
you’d one day
grow out,
out of reach,
our of hand,
out of hope,
out of hold
(all that I never held),
hand that I can’t
let go of
even if it’s now
too far from reach.

If you never had it
to begin with,
are you still
to miss it?

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud: