GIVEN TIME

 

Rushes rustle a calling to the rain

mimicking
the sound
of those
molecules
of moisture
they long
to feel
against
their
sharp-
edged
skins.

We all
learn
to mimic
what we
must,
let go
of all
we can
not
hold,
lean in
to what
we love,
fake all
we can
not
feel.

Gulls
squawk
overhead
for prized
position
whilst
wings
spread
out
to claim
all that
eventually will come down from the clouds.

  

All words and photos by Damien B. Donnelly

 

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POSTS AND PINS, LOTUS EATERS, BLOOMSDAY

 

Are there any letters for me?

Soldiers eyes watch
from behind dead frames
while he assumes to be a flower.

Henry hopes
and hosts thoughts of other blooms

like his wife back in bed
eating bread and singing of other men.

Leo sent lines off to lift temperatures
naughty he is beyond his Molly-
all boiling with Brazen

The reader turns writer
and returns a pin with a promise to punish

But the dead soldiers will never rise
And dreamer sees only a bath of limp flowers.

What rose blooms without a thorn.

Purchasing lemon scented soap
he thinks of others while dreaming of bathing.

Letters float out from under bridges. Limp.

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All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

AFTER W.B YEATS

 

5 Poems based on lines from W.B Yeats…

‘And I shall have some peace here, for peace comes dropping slow,’
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
W.B. Yeats

Slow Falling

Snow falls behind the glass, beyond the reflections
this window cannot see. Snow, soft as the soul;
a canvas of white fleeting purity, as pure
as that first kiss; always caught, never captured.

Slow falls the first snow as fine as feathered fragility
like that first time, as tender as it was terrifying;
the feeling of discovery, the fear of being discovered.

Slow comes the season, and we are seasonal,
and we too are seized; were we not yesterday daisies
dancing on hilltops, a spring in our step and blind
to the slope, were we not once sensory below the sun,
bonds burning along bodies bare, but now,
beneath the snow, red reigns regal, enfants eyeing
the skies; hushed and hopeful before the innocence
falls from their belief, falls like this snow, this frozen
miracle already melting hearts we’ve had to hide
from the cold and we can be cold, like the morning’s
first breath beneath the crippling clutch of winter
when his touch is too far to find.

Slow falls the snow beyond the glass, beyond the shattered
reflections of a world of riots and reactions, slow falls
the snow and I think of peace and of people parading
under its hush of hope. Snow falls and I wonder
how it would feel to have a season of slow falling peace?

 

‘I wander by the edge of this desolate lake where wind cries in the sledge,’
Aedh Hears the Cry of the Sedge
W.B. Yeats

Buoyant

Is it here where the tears come to find peace
in this place of serenity?
I lay down this lake of loss,
hope for the soil to soak up the sorrow,
by the side sedge I wedge myself
up from the waste and bury all that turned base
at the bottom of this bed,
no longer sheets of cotton comfort but sludge
soon to be swept under, asunder.

Is it here where reality ripples into reflection,
the sinking illusion of what I thought to be
perfection?
An impression of light and shade, now lighter,
now shadier, now just a remainder
waiting for time to submerge.

I lay down in this lake; a lough of loss,
locked, lost,
waiting for the tide to wash over me,
waiting for the tears to dissolve within me,

waiting for time to refine me,
re-find me as buoyant instead of beaten.

 

‘And when white moths were on the wing, and moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream and caught a silver trout.
The Song of Wandering Aengus
W.B. Yeats.
A White Wing Rising

A starlit day, on a distant shore, as if summer had sent it
swarming like a snowflake; silken wings to summon
the sunset, a white moth to raise a sweet soul departing.

And there, as a star was added, the bright moon was kissed
in berry blush as the sun settled beneath the lake
where the lost trout turned through tresses of silver dancing
and he smiled at his love, since lost, now glimmering

in eternity.

 

‘And suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven.’
The Cold Heaven
W.B. Yeats

While You were Dreaming

And as you dove through distant dreams
just beside me, you left to my centre,
I woke to the night sky splitting above me,
the stars were burning, bleeding through
the darkness as the heavens opened,
their gates no longer golden as the
rooks took flight, soaring into my fright
here in this cold night as you tossed
through thoughts and I watched mine
beating, beaten with feathers on fire,
the disparate darkness drawing delight
in my downfall, in my blindness, and you
turned in sweeping motions, your back
to me as I should have done, as I could not
and I wondered where you had wandered
as I was culled into consciousness, frozen
by the flames and shivering, were you
moving through memories we made
or making room for more to come
in other beds, in other arms, and then
befell the bodies, bound, in chains locked,
in flames crying, cursing, trying to pull
apart bonds that should have broken,
and you turned again and your arm
came over my chest and the vision
was smashed in contact, reverie
retreating but the burning continued.

 

And a final poem recalling his unrequited love…

Toppling his Tower

What can I lay by the feet of such beauty?
What can I offer my love on this land?
A garden of roses, omitting the thorns
with this golden ring I hold in my hand.

But a garden of roses, omitting the thorns
is barely enough to garland your grace,
so I’ll pave you a path in the finest fabric,
a velvet so sweet to mirror your face.

So I’ll pave you a path in the finest fabric,
a cloth of brocade to comfort your cares,
a daylight distraction to hold your attention
from rebels and riots that are not our affairs.

A daylight distraction to hold your attention
to paintings and poems that hang by our side
in a tower I’ll build you to keep out the cries
of a world lost to power and drunk on its pride.

In a tower I’ll build you to keep out the cries
and a lark then from the meadow I’ll borrow
so she’ll sing of the stars and the moon that is ours
as we’ll lay in arms and let love sooth the sorrow.

But restless was her soul on the call from outside,
her beauty diminished by the sounds of their cries
and one day he lost her where his paved path divided
and he cut down her roses with tears in his eyes.

I gave her the finest, the fairest and fancy,
I gave her the beating heart of this man,
but she was bound to the call of the lost and the lonely
which now I have become and therein I see her plan.

  

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly. Inspired by W.B Yeats 

Today is the 155th anniversary of W.B Yeats. Thanks to Jane Dougherty from Jane Dougherty Writes on WordPress for running A Month with Yeats back in 2016

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MY THREE FATES

 

I- The original

 

Water                            floods flesh

From carnal comes forth     creation

Washed in sin

and they watch. In judgement

Water releases               hold

Sign away the rights                to his name

 

II- The Second Coming

 

Tears flood                   drained desert

She will be  an ocean             once more

Blood             is not the only bond

Longing leans in                  with twice the light

while they watch. In judgement.

Her tears           taunt their dried lips.

 

III- The Journey

 

You are ocean endless   and I worry

about growing                tired.

Sides streets         hold songs.

Every cobble     a connection for collection

Born from one and raised                by another

Now the road    is the mother

Feet turn    on judgement.            I found the refuge

The final fate          is on the road.

 

All words by Damien B Donnelly

BRUSHING IT AWAY

 

Blue sky growing old,
sun sets into dusty pinks-
a hark for tomorrow

for today cannot be harboured any longer.

In this slow field
surrounded still by stilled life,
still the trees grow,

even daisies have returned after the mower’s menace
last Monday.

Single crow comes
to gather seeds
from once shadowed sections

of the garden I have only now revealed to the light.

Evening’s air is kissed
with today’s stagnation
but the sea is sweeping the shore

at the far end of the near lane where that dog barks next to buttery bush
that cannot concede its connection to the coconut.

And there, on the rock
once integral to the land,
I picture a mermaid, sitting,

combing the tide through her auburn hair in the hope that the current
can wash away the chaos

still carrying on
beneath the dusty pinks
of this ageing sky.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

VREEMD OF MISSCHIEN NIET (STRANGE OR MAYBE NOT)

 

She was called Éireann, even in Holland,
(misschien vreemd, ik weet het)
though she was greener than I ever was,
back then, with the mud of the land
still caked into her guards while I was off
and running, ever forward, adding guards
to my guards till I saw the earth was round
when home appeared again, on the horizon.
(Vreemd, of misschien niet).

Later, decked in a fur coat of fine snowflakes
that clung to your form while they melted
off mine, you appeared as blank canvas
before a river to skate away on, like she sang,
once, in a city that was not this one. Funny,
what sinks in and what drowns, even light
can fade into the wrong water, even water
can remain on solid structures as icicles.
Some things cling on while others slip away.
(Vreemd, of misschien niet).

Round that red bricked bridge we rode,
a decade of being Dutch, (how long?
Ik weet het- vreemd, toch?), thinking
I was only stranger and the road my home,
but those were the days when the wheels
spun in circles around canals that turned
back on themselves. Maybe that’s how
we learn to come home- spinning in circles,
on roundabouts or her carousel of seasons
that went round and round.

She was called Éireann, even in Holland.
Maybe the answers to all I was looking for
were already there in her name.
Misschien wel!

Maybe some things take a cycle to sink in.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

PERMISSIBLE TO ASK?

 

I take the boat out on the water,
rowing out to come into the stillness
in this place where space is still displaced.
Chez moi, c’est quoi, c’est où ?
Il est permis de demander ?

Merci, I say, still, when I should just
stay still, like this water where I row out,
stretching limb, exhausted, after the search
that brought me back, to pacify.
Pacifier- je peux le toucher, presque…

but these movements, however measured,
deprive peace from pacify, remove the stillness
from all this space I am, still,
struggling to reach. Mais.

Priver, je ne veux pas, non, non plus.
Je ne regarderai pas mon nombril, pas comme avant.

Moi- I shed who I was, am, along with time
but not breath- I lost breath, once- tu te souviens,
tu étais là, non ? Oui ! Tu ne te souviens pas.

Regarde ce bateau-
hope is a delicate placement of desire upon wish,
of wood upon water.

Je suis le bois, ou non ? C’était toi avant,
Mais tu as été viré. Viré. Fired. Sacked. Sack.

Meanings can give way to so many misunderstandings,
like translations- so much gets lost in the turning,
in the movement, going out and coming in,
with each row

further out. On the water.

Sometimes thought is not what is needed but stillness
within a world that cannot stop.
Arrête. Stop

but that word is too final.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

TIPS FOR CLEANING UP

 

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 

WATER FLAMES

 

We moved, once, and habitual was your foot to my follow,
in debt my blush to your concern

like we were the oxygen of the other, at either ends of the water.

We swam, once, to the other, in crossed currents, in avoidance
of those cold-blooded fish dipping their blond hairs
into clotted canals that your darker locks turned briefly bland,

the beginnings of a ballet in two parts, you the body and I the babble

written in flame on the water

in this city sucked from the sea with its ferry, crossing and connecting,
as habitual to its route as I became to the curve of your spine.

You were fire and I the fury. Or was as I the fire and you the flight?

We lit fires, for moments, on the water, flames that found their place,
finally, in the stars, fading before fully noticed.

We moved, once, as if each was the compliment to the other’s jewel
even if we knew that time was not the compliment to the us

that danced, for a time, as a flame, on the surface of the water.

If I was still there, by that water, waiting for the blue ferry, crossing,
I would habitually dip foot into current to test its temperature.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

 

Inspired by a Twitter Prompt