REGARDING REFLECTIONS, day 16 of A Month with Yeats

 

Day 16 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry Challenge and the quote today comes from ‘He Mourns for the Change That Has Come Upon Him and Longs for the End of the World’: ‘Do you not hear me calling, white deer with no horns?’—W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blogs is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/a-month-with-yeats-day-sixteen/

My poem today is called REGARDING REFLECTIONS

 

What follies the daylight

carries when then,

before the darkness,

a blindness banishes

the glitter we have

heaped onto our horns.

the night has no light

for lies and disguise.

Blood runs black

in the moonlight

and no one can

see your fear.

 

And there you stood,

somehow in the shade

of shadow, somewhat

in the mirror watching

and I, leaning on the light,

by the doorway, waiting

to enter your world,

your skin, your body,

and I saw your breath

as it billowed in the glass

all frosted, all fuzzy

and I took in your scent

there in the room

now vacant of all else

but you looking out

to see what the pale

reflection could offer

of the inside and me;

waiting for you

to come back from

that frosted reflection

within the mirror, darkly

shadowed by all that lay

unsolved, by all as yet

unresolved and then

we revolved and it was I

watching and you, my dear,

waiting for me to find you

and lead you back home.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud…

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/regarding-reflections

NORTH OF THE NOISE, day 15 of A Month with Yeats

 

Today’s quote for Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry challenge is from the ‘The Rose of Battle’ by WB Yeats: ‘You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring the bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.’

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/a-month-with-yeats-day-fifteen/

My poem today, penned in Stockholm Arlanda airport, is called NORTH OF THE NOISE

 

And so I come north

where the air cuts colder,

where daylight is a breath

that barely bays, night

a blanket bound to days.

I am not here to stay but

on a sway through ticking

time, to see what rests

where the light is less,

where day finds end before

being truly bent, where life

harks to harder as the day

hangs darker, dreams now are

the comings and goings,

the stuffing out of hours

before a bitter blanket of

blinkered blindness. Sad hearts

grow sadder, they say, grow

seasonal into sombre, into

the shadow of a city standing

still, waiting for the will. Days

fall short, are gone before

they can be caught, like hours,

like time, like the hand in that taxi

I once held, like all we cannot

hold, like all that ticks onwards,

all that moves off with the light

while I come here to the land

which time has left behind it.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

BORDERED IN, day 14 of A Month with Yeats

 

It’s day 14 of A Month with Yeats coming to you from a wet, wild and rather wintery -2 degrees of Stockholm. Today’s quote from the genius of Jane Dougherty is: ‘That you, in the dim coming times, may know how my heart went with them after the red-rose-bordered hem.’ —W.B. Yeats.

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/a-month-with-yeats-day-fourteen/

My poem today is called: BORDERED IN

 

Rough round that rose bordered hem

we ran, regardless of where her skirts

did scurry, no fretting to the fraying

of her fringes, never noticing how

nimble had turned to not-so nifty

above that border of red roses, oh

so pretty, on those placid petticoats

until we laid her low, on a hill so high,

hemmed in forever by a border

of bright red roses, and only then

did we sigh, only there, by her final bed,

bordered in by all we took for granted,

did we feel that teary thorn that

comes at the end of every rose.

 

All word and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/bordered-in

 

TOPPLING HIS TOWER, day 12 of A Month with Yeats

It’s day 12 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats where you are asked to be inspired and pen a poem based on a WB Yeats quote. Today’s quote from the poetry of W.B. Yeats is taken from ‘The Rose of the World’. ‘He made the world to be a grassy road before her wandering feet.’

Jane’s blog so you can follow read or join in is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/29181/

My poem today is called 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 word and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

SURVIVAL OF THE WITLESS, day 11 of A Month with Yeats

 

It’s day 11 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats. Today’s quote is from ‘The Harp of Aengus’ by W.B. Yeats: ‘Where time is drowned in odour-laden winds and Druid moons, and murmuring of boughs,’

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

This morning I was watching Planet Earth, and so followed the poem.

My poem today is called: SURVIVAL OF THE WITLESS

 

And swept is the land

over the Okavango,

water washing once more

over earth that was once arid,

Impala in movement;

hind legs on the hop

dogs on their tales

in packs panting

along their ranks

as the hunt for hunger

breaks through bushes

newly beating, boughs

bending over fresh bones

licked bare after yesterday’s scare,

nature’s race is a rough one

from the sun’s rise

till she is toppled

by the moon’s eyes,

watching, observing the order

of hurt and hunger;

who is the bravest,

who can last the longest,

who can seek out the scent

of something stirring

on the curling wind of the Kalahari,

who can catch the perfume

of prey prancing, dancing

through the ignorance

of what lies in wait

on the sacred sands

once devastated, now saturated.

And swept is the land

as time turns to toil

over ancient soil,

its reckless routine returning

like the water returns, like the

rivers refill, like the impala prance

and the dogs devour their dance.

And so swept is the land

and turned is time

but the moon’s eye

will tell in turn

of the beasts, like you and I,

who walked on two paws

and shot each other

with pistols in the other,

survival of the fittest

now lost in the hands of the witless.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

THE LEGEND TIME WILL TELL OF US, day 9 of A Month with Yeats

 

It’s day 9 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry challenge and today’s quote to inspire something new is: ‘Troy passed away in one high funeral gleam, and Usna’s children died.’ W.B. Yeats

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/category/poetry-2/

My poem today is called THE LEGEND TIME WILL TELL OF US

 

We are the tales

our children will tell of us,

our mystery and musings

bound to a cord we hope

was not cut too deep,

those not bound to bare

will be buried in the hearts

of those who loved them

more than in the earth

that will eat them,

the worms that will weave

trails through their tissue

now taunt, their flesh

now fallen to fodder.

We can be glorious

if they can recall our goodness,

or a rouser of war if they grew

weary of our tales before

time grew tired of us. We make

what we can out of time, but our

legend is what time will make out of us.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

WHEN THERE WAS BUT A WAVE, day 8 of A Month with Yeats

 

For Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats poetry challenge, today’s quote is taken from ‘The Second Coming’ by W.B. Yeats: ‘The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned;’

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

My poem is called: WHEN THERE WAS BUT A WAVE

 

Was it not all an ocean once

before bodies forged out land

for feet to fondle, to flatten?

Was it not all trickling tide once

before hands hunted harbors

for bellies to fill, to fatten?

Was it not all blue waters once

before creatures courted color

to devaluate, to distinguish?

Was it not just wind and wave

before man thought to wonder

what on earth he could extinguish?

What will ripple on the waterfront

when the tides turn on time

and man is pulled asunder?

What will be the second coming

when man is taken down for all

his pillage and all his plunder?

When rivers rise all red and roar

to wash away the tarnished trace

of the soiled sand we ravaged,

will it carry on it’s current

the power to plant a second seed

on the land our deeds have damaged?

Time turns on every twist,

tides rise after every fall

but we can never get back to before.

Innocence, once lost,

is quickly forgotten.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud…

https://soundcloud.com/damien-donnelly-2/when-there-was-but-a-wave

WHILE YOU WERE DREAMING, day 6 of A Month with Yeats.

 

Day 6 of Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats Challenge and the prompt is as follows: ‘Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven’

Jane’s blog is: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/category/poetry-2/

My Poem today is called While You Were Dreaming

 

And as you dove through distant dreams

just beside me, you left to my center,

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…

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

SUNKEN SHIPS AT SEA, day 5 of A Month with Yeats

 

Day 5 of Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge A Month with Yeats. Today’s quote is from The Wanderings of Oisin: Book One: “and like a sunset were her lips, a stormy sunset on doomed ships; a citron colour gloomed in her hair,” W. B. Yeats.

Below is the link to Jane’s blog: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/a-month-with-yeats-day-five/

My poem is called: SUNKEN SHIPS AT SUNSET

 

 

And down fell the sun

and drowned within the sea

and rough raged the wreckage

as the sailors tried to flee.

 

And down fell the sun

as a storm claimed the skies

and water stole the rafters

and silence crushed the cries.

 

And down fell the sun

as the sirens swam to shore

and laid down the bodies

of the lives that were no more.

 

And down fell the sun

and a sorrow filled the air

as the sirens sang their song

combing cords through golden hair.

 

And down fell the sun

as their tears flowed like waves

and they kissed the fallen sailors

on the sand, now their graves.

 

And down fell the sun

as the sirens said goodbye

to the men mortal men who loved them;

the sea’s sad sirens who cannot die.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

SALMON DANCERS, day 3 of A Month with Yeats

 

Jane Dougherty’s 3rd poetry challenge based on a quote from WB Yeats is as follows: “With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,”—W.B. Yeats. Follow Jane and her inspiring poetry at her blog, link below, where you can also see a photograph from Paul Militaru which influenced today’s poem: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com

My poem today is entitled SALMON DANCERS

 

And so swim the salmon, against

the rising stream, foam flushing

against fins as falcons fly overhead

in the fight for freedom, destiny

is not a dance that can long

be distracted, shiny specks of silver

dancing, darting, borne to beat back,

to wage against the rushing waters

as they make their way west. And so

swim the salmon, along the corroded

current of Connacht, that Atlantic

sojourn, that shore still swaying

in the shadow of those ancient songs

when souls set off in search of security

overseas, burdened boats battened

down with the beaten and the broken,

culled like cattle in the rain, boats

with bodhrans and fiddlers, singing

and dying through their dreams

of a new world, already mourning

the old lands, the homelands

they’d been swept from, kept from.

And so swim the salmon

as the storms rage, as they battle

onwards, salmon dancers, skating

on the waters, leaving trickles like stones

once tossed by hands now lost, tracks

to follow for others who’ll follow,

as others have followed, as others

who’ve fallen, their faces now faded.

And so swim the shining salmon,

off into the world with the sound

of home in every stroke.

 

All words by Damien B. Donnelly

Picture from the internet of the Salmon of Knowledge.