The door from 7 Ecceles street which Joyce made into a home for Leopold Bloom in his novel Ulysses 

Haiku poetry based on Ulysses 

James Joyce

Sweny Druggist in Dublin, featured in the novel Ulysses

Exterior of Blooms Hotel, Dublin 

The Dublin Writers Museum 

Beckett, Shaw, Wilde, Joyce, Behan, Yeats, Kavanagh, O’Brien…

Samuel Beckett

Bram Stoker 

Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square

WB Yeats exhibition in The National Library 

Yeats’ love and muse who rejected him for the wild streets of the rebellion, Maud Gonne

Lady Gregory, co-founder of The Abbey Theatre with Yeats

No Second Troy, Yeats and his poem for Maud

All photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

SLOW FALLING, day 30 of A Month with Yeats


I can’t believe this is it! 30 poems in 30 days inspired by Ireland’s greatest poet W.B Yeats. A poetry challenge created by the brilliant Jane Dougherty. Today is day 30 of this wonderful, inspiring, breathtaking adventure created by Jane Dougherty entitled A Month with Yeats. The final quote comes from the poem ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,” —W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blog which no one should miss out on is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com

My final poem is called 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?


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

DUALITY, day 28 of A Month with Yeats


Day 28 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats and our quote today is: ‘I would that the Boar without bristles had come from the West and had rooted the sun and moon and stars out of the sky’ —W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blog of beauty is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com

My poem is called DUALITY


And here

is where we battle

the truth;

east or west,

the sun’s heat

or the moon that spies

on our rest.


And here

is where our paths


the war to be won

or the human

we are fighting

to become.


And here

the Indian

draws the honor;

mild man stands

in the boar’s breath

with integrity

in hands.


And there

in the east

with helmet high;

fearless fighter

bares the beast

and blunders into battle

as bloody blighter.


Are we then

of both moon

and sun;

tied tightly

to burning planet

and that eye

watching nightly?


Can we

be honest

behind the armor;

can the blood

we gorged

be erased

by a single flood?


Can we

be both brave

and beast,

can we cry

for the famine

and still eat

at the feast?


Are we not

confusions caught

between the confines;

are we not stars

burning bright

like the sun

but in the falling night?


Are we born to be beasts

or born to brave the beast?


Let us be wild boars;


in the face

of our foe,


in our greed

to grow.


All words and paintings by Damien B Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud…


THE CHILD INSIDE THE MAN, day 27 of A Month with Yeats


It’s day 27 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats which means all of us who’ve taken part in this fantastic poetry challenge have created 27 new poems inspired by Ireland’s greatest poet. Today’s quote is: ‘Once more the storm is howling, and half hid under this cradle-hood and coverlid my child sleeps on.’ W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blog of treasures is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com

My poem today is called THE CHILD INSIDE THE MAN


Oh child, sweet child, sleeping so

beneath these big shoes and ties

knotted to a life of change and choice,

but we had to run, had to keep going,

didn’t we have grow up so quickly;

stand up, show up, give up, pay up.

Oh child, sleeping child, so sweet

beneath this bitter battle we must wade

through, the waves come not solely

on the current, not timely like the tides

but in the solitude, in the silence

we thought to be a comfort, I feel you

twist through the dreams you still dream,

that I have lost hold of, that I have let

slip from a grasp now older, less bolder.

But you, dear child, sweetly sleeping

as I make movements meant to be manly,

meaning to be mature, how I hear

your voice, amid the louder, broader,

vulgar tones beyond the preying

playgrounds of concrete corporations

and communal conformity, yours

so soft and gentle amid the riots

and the roars, yours so soothing

amid all that is smothering. I see you

too sometimes, in the mirror, briefly,

a spark of what was once a projection, now

but a reflection; wide eyed

and hearty of hope, I see you, laughing

at my troubles, calling me to come play,

to see the adventure in the danger,

to see the impermanence of these little

interruptions that come a calling.

Oh child, sweet child who painted

pictures to make the grey days

more grand, who penned poems

to let the pain find its place to perish

on the page instead of in the person.

Oh child, sleeping child of my youth,

how much I still have to learn from you.


All words by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph from my first day at school, aged 5.

Audio version available on SoundCloud…


IF ONLY, day 26 of A Month with Yeats


Today’s quote for Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats is from ‘The White Birds’: ‘I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea!’ W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com

My poem today is called IF ONLY


We are land birds,

bound birds,

we have made homes

in twisted trees

growing hallow

growing hard.

We are land birds,

ground birds,

we have been deluded

by illusions

growing careless

growing cold.

We are land birds,

drowned birds,

in a dying desert

growing doubtful

going dry.

If only

we had been sea birds,

crowned birds

in a current caressing,

wings wild

at the will of the waves,

weightless instead of weighty,

free falling

on a bed of floating foam,

flexible instead of friable.

If only…


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud…


A WHITE WING RISING, day 25 of A Month with Yeats


Day 25 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats and the quote is: ‘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 little silver trout.’—W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com

My poem today is called 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


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.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

IN DREAMS, day 23 of A Month with Yeats


Today’s quote for Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats is from ‘He Wishes His Beloved Were Dead’. ‘…your hair was bound and wound about the stars and moon and sun:’—W.B. Yeats

Jane’s beautiful blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/a-month-with-yeats-day-twenty-three/

It’s been a challenging 24 hours but at least this poetry challenge has let me tune out to some of the chaos.

Today’s poem is called IN DREAMS


If to sleep, if to dream

was to live, was a part of life,

was left to the living

and not just the dreaming,

then how close we would be,

you and your smile of the summer,

you with those eyes, brighter

than all the stars,

you; no longer a dream

below the gentle moonlight,

so subtly deceptive,

but we live in a light

that is blinkered

and see our souls only

while sleeping neath the stars.

We are bound to dreams

that whisper wishes

we cannot always reach,

like stars we cannot touch,

like holds we cannot have.

I held you once, in a taxi

turning through time,

neither yours, never mine.

We were star crossed,

blazing a trail towards other sparks

we thought we needed more

than each other.

If to sleep was to live,

then in dreams we could be more

than life allows.

But no, we live in this blinkered light,

never quite seeing the whole picture,

never quite knowing

who is standing beside us

until they are gone.


We are sleeping stars,

sometimes we are bright,

sometimes we are no more than a blink.


all words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

BUOYANT, Day 22 of A Month with Yeats



Day 22 of A Month with Yeats and the quote from Jane Dougherty is:

‘I wander by the edge of this desolate lake where wind cries in the sedge:’ —W.B. Yeats

My poem is: 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,


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

buoyant instead of beaten.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:


LISTEN, day 20 of A Month with Yeats


It’s day 20 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry challenge and today’s quote is: ‘Out of the dark air over her head there came a murmur of soft words and meeting lips’

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/a-month-with-yeats-day-twenty/

My poem today is called: LISTEN


We cannot truly change that which

we are, we cannot really laugh louder,

be brighter, stay longer than our journey

has already jotted down in a journal

whose language is not our own.

We cannot truly change the air,

the ocean, the fire that forges its way

through us, leaving us inspired

or expired, hot or just overheated.

We cannot truly change much

but we can cast corrections

into the darkness caught in corners,

we can see sages that hover over heads

if we need to add meat to the monotony,

singing songs of stories never too old

to be retold, never too new to be anything

more than necessary.

We cannot truly change that which

we are, we cannot promise to hold

any longer than time allows us,

we are tied to the tension of the knot

that knows more than we do,

whose heart lays on a hinge

that hangs both the hope

and the hammer. We cannot truly

change much but we can learn to listen

to lips that have lingered, that have

laughed in the face of lies

and been nourished by the face

of the fortunate who found favor

with who they were and then substance

in the soft stream of steady words…


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

SPELLING PEACE, day 19 of A Month with Yeats

It’s day 19 of Jane Dougherty’s brilliantly creative and challenging A Month with Yeats poetry challenge and today’s quote is a second one from ‘The Valley of the Black Pig’: ‘We who still labour by the cromlech on the shore, the grey cairn on the hill, when day sinks drowned in dew, being weary of the world’s empires, bow down to you, master of the still stars and of the flaming door.’—W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/a-month-with-yeats-day-nineteen/

My poem today is called SPELLING PEACE

And in between turns the tide,

in between the heavens on fire

and the heathens

freezing below, for hire,

I watch from this ticking tomb,

this dolman of deserved doubt,

forced to find footing here

on front of all this currish clout

as the sand’s siphoned

from the slithering shore,

greedy for the grains

human hands cannot hope to hold,

the sea ceaselessly

sucking more and more

from the less and less

that lunges listlessly

with the rest who hope and hoar,

souls for sale

as selfishly subservient civilians

seal another nail

in another box of beaten bones,

bruised with too many battles,

stones have warped on the waves

as time twists tongues into telling tattles;

we are no longer ripples;

buoyant in our beauty,

but grown greedy

as we dig the graves

we’ll one day drown in,

never quite trusting the fights

that came before,

the truths once worth the marching

of boots through the mud.

These are the days of the duds,

envy is the new enemy,

celebrity the sought-after salvation

as the hopeful fall to but a handful

on front of such talentless damnation.

Do the demons derive distraction

as we disappear

beneath our own destruction?

We no longer discern

the halo from the horn,

nor have time to stop and mourn,

the devil dances in the daylight

on main street’s prime time,

Disney has dipped below the darkness

and god is now a forgotten phony

once founded in faith,

now fated to be nothing

more than wraith.

And still we stand beneath the dolman,

dull men, trying to spell peace

with the wrong alphabets letters,

wondering if time’s tides will ever cease

and how many wrongs must we right

before we can come face to face

with our betters.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly