Poet in Residence at Poetry Ireland Catherine Ann Cullen (@tarryathome) sets daily poetry prompts for adults and kids to keep everyone creative during the Covid pandemic and this weekend I am the guest Poetry prompter.

There are prompts for adults and for kids and you can post your poems on my link on twitter (@deuxiemepeau) or post a copy here and I will post them on twitter for you if you want to take part.

The poetry prompt (NodFilíochta in Irish) for adults is Island (oileán). Your dream escape, your home or how it feels to be currently isolated islands.

For kids the prompt is either SnowPerson (DuineSneachta) or SandCastle (CaisleánGainimh). Which would tour child build first?

Come join in the creativity or come along and read the gems by other writers. See you on Twitter for @PoetryIreland 




in the mind
that had no
existence before,
a platform to ponder
in a place that doesn’t
exist, in truth, until it’s been told.
I move through this hemeroscopium
like an architect building a house
into a home, unearthing light
to contrast the shadow
my thoughts have
been confined in,
a helix that
spirals out
from within,
that will return
and move on, return
and move on, up towards
that light turning transparent,
sentence into substantial structure,
considerations becoming concrete
clarities that form walls, fold out
into roofs that consider creation
compulsory, stories rising from
basements, tales spinning
off, casting reflections
upon the windows
of this place,
this mind
that watches
the sun rise and set,
time twist and turn, again
and again, the circles, always
the spiralling circles, even in a straight
sentence, even in a slotted surface.
I build spaces to house beds and
beams and bright lights to lie
before this tower of truth
and watch the visions rise
and fall, like the sun, like
the laughter, like life,
like tales, like
that never stop
while always changing,
an ancient arch now foundation
to modern moment, a true temple
of contemplation in this space holding
space, light and space, shadow and
space, sentence and space, space
between the sofa, space
between the


All words and drawing by Damien B. Donnelly

Hemeroscopium is the place where the sun sets. An allusion to a place that exists only in our mind, in our senses, that is ever-changing and mutable, but is nonetheless real.

This is a repost for a week considering Creation



I lay
on the lines
that curl from curious
to consolidate as considered,
follies that find their form
someplace between
the pledge of pen
and integrity
of ink.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

From a poetry prompt “Pledge’ on @Microprompt



Lilac showers
Parisian walls
to lift the day
from tones of grey,

colours whisper
to hungry minds
from lithesome leaves
to planting seeds,

branches bound
like blood to body,
to walls so willing
like veins now filling,

lilac leans
with leaves of green,
gently swaying,
thoughts are weighing,

nature bends
to hear my call
and pens take flight
on lines at night.

All Words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:






I am touched and thrilled to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by fellow Paris lover, the lovely Alison Pierman (even if she herself compared it to a pyramid scheme/chain letter). I’m not fussy and have little time for shame, I’ll take any and every award going. 

So, Alison, thank you very much and I promise we will share a glass of vin rouge the next time you come to Paris for a visit.

Firstly, there are rules that go with the acceptance of the award (did I make it clear that I am accepting this award- it’s mine!): Here goes:

    1. Thank your nominator (done!)
    2. Post the Liebster Award logo on your website (done!)
    3. Answer 10 questions posed by your nominator (done- see below- I’m not kidding)
    4. Nominate 5-10 other bloggers for the Liebster Award (and notify them in the comment section of their blog)  (Or they can see if if they read this…)
    5. Pose 10 questions to your nominees

1. Paris or Provence?

It’s Paris for now and the foreseeable future. I first moved to Paris from Dublin, Ireland, when I was 22, naive, non-french speaking, no job, no friends, no contacts, It could have not started any worse but it was the start of a wonderful romance, Living With Paris, me and my lady of light. I left when I was 24, distracted by London and Amsterdam and have just made it back here last year. So I’m putting down roots this time. Thick roots, deep roots. I turned 40 here last august which seems fitting if life really does begin at…  Perhaps Provence will be my pasturing period, when the novels are filling the shelves and I’m seeking a deeper inspiration barefoot on the soils and bald under the sun.
2. What is your favourite topic to post about?

Poetry is my thing, always has been, ever since I was a kid trying to figure out the world and my place within it. It was cathartic at first before I braved that great barrier of letting other people read what I had scribbled (it took about 25 years) and from there it took off. I tend towards personal reflections mostly, even in photography I’m drawn to scenes that show reflections in windows, puddles, still waters, moments captured that will evaporate minutes later. I’m intruded by the stillness that can be found amid the hustle and bustle. Someone commented recently how most of my photographs of Paris are devoid of people. Substance, shapes and shadows but no people. It’s funny because I think that’s how I actually see this city that was home to me from the first moment my feet made contact with its streets. It’s always been Paris and Me and when I walk through the city, that rarely changes while I constantly do, I see no one else but me and my Lady, in her pearls and Chanel twin set. I hold a cane next to her to look more distinguished as opposed to delusional. 
3. Do you blog as a hobby or a career?

It’s a mixture. I studied fashion design in Dublin, during the early Irish chapter of life, and have been a pattern maker for various fashion brands for almost 18 years, but these days I see myself as a creative person, merging inspirations and interests from writing, fashion, baking, painting, drawing, taking pictures (I’ll never die of restlessness). In my heart I’m a writer, in reality I’m both, but at the bank I’m just a pattern maker who gets paid. One day I’ll be both financially.
4. Cats or dogs?

I had a cat once, he used to pleasure himself whenever anyone came to visit. I had a dog when  was a child, my mother may have frightened him away, she’s not really an animal lover as much as a shoe or bag lover. Maybe he feared for his skin! Can I pick a teddy bear instead. They need less looking after. My plants die quickly- I’m just saying…
5. Writing superstitions or odd habits?

On the metro on the way to work in the morning when everyone is rushing about and finishing their makeup or just eyeing each other up- it’s a world of inspiration all in one carriage. You got to capture it before the doors open and it runs away. No big superstitions but I love wiring on planes while flying over the world, clearly the altitude offers a different perspective both geographically and mentally. I’m off to Turks and Caicos, in the Caribbean, for my dear friends wedding on Wednesday so that’s a lot of hours to cut the clouds into super soft sonnets. 
6. Where did you go on your last big trip?

The last big trip was moving from Amsterdam to Paris. It took nearly 16 years to get back here finally but I’m here and it’s home. The shortest/biggest trip was India in 24 hours for work, a pit stop on the way to China but it remains in the memory, floating on a colourful swirl of sumptuous sarees sailing from motorbikes that broke through the insanity that was called traffic, including wandering, worshipped cows and goats lead by blind men who wore smiles like others wear worries. The next big trip is Wednesday. Caribbean here I come. Oh good god- wish me luck, Irish skin burns to a crisp like pig’s cheeks!
7. Favourite current fictional book?

I’m reading John Boyne’s Beneath the Earth, at the moment, a collection of short stories from the author of The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas, and I’m mesmerised by the various voices he has captured within the pages and between the lines. Did I mention that he is Irish.
8. Favourite current biographical book?

Katharine Hepburn. I’ve read 3 different ones so far and loved both ‘Me, Stories of my life’ by Katharine herself and ‘Kate Remembered’ by A. Scott Berg. I can hear her in my head speaking to me when I read them. She was just radiant. The eyes, the cheek bones, that voice, the timing and the determination. I wish I had her balls! I was born in the wrong time. I want to be in a screwball comedy with Kate and Cary, in black and white, of course, in a three piece suit and shiny shoes, and a hat and a cane! And later on, when I live in Provence, I want a lake like On Golden Pond and loons that look out for me as they fly over head. 
9. Number 1 on your Bucket List?

I’m working on editing my first novel, The Journey Home, at the moment. Seeing it on a bookshelf would be No. 1 on the Busket list. Or a book of poetry. I found a letter in the family attic I wrote when I was 16 to my older (less haired) self. It said that I was to have a book of poetry polished before I was 30- maybe I meant 50! I was also supposed to remember to that I am a total romantic! As if I could forget- romance keeps hitting me in the face!
10. What blog hashtags you follow?

Poetry, Nature, Photography, Paris, Steampunk (just throwing that in there!)


I nominate, due to the beauty between their lines, the following Creature Creatives:

1 Jane Dougherty Writes:  janedougherty.wordpress.com

2 Jennifer Calvert at Ink and Quill:  jennifercalvertwriter.com

3 Paula Antonello Moore at the Expressible Cafe pmooreblog.wordpress.com

4 Peter Notehelfer Gathering Stones Strung on Threads  notehelfer.wordpress.com

5 Elan Mudrow tricksterchase.com

6 Karma Linguist karmalinguist.wordpress.com

7 Musing of a PuppyDoc phoebemd.com

8 Crumbs of Expression  crumbsofexpression.com

The 10 Questions:

1 Why did you start writing in the first place? Can you recall your first attempt?

2 Where do you find inspiration?

3 Do you have a daily, weekly writing routine?

4 How difficult is it to set aside time to write?

5 If you could be any author, director, actor, sportsman, who would you chose? Why?

6 What is your favourite book, film and song?

7 If possible, what period of time would you most like to travel to and experience?

8 How difficult is it to write about personal experiences?

9 Fact or fiction? Is it easier to make up or to write from observation?

10 If you were to join me on my Caribbean Island holiday, (I said if) who would you most like to bring with us to keep us entertained?

And so that’s the Liebster award in a tough nut shell.

To those I have nominated, please don’t feel obliged to respond or continue this on, but I hope you feel a little twinge of pride. I’m certainly thrilled to have discovered and loved the lyrics and lines that beautify your blogs, along with a whole world full of other geniuses out there who are, so far, unmentioned by me…

Keep up the good work and to quote Gidget all grown up;

 “You like me, you really like me…”(Sally Field oscar speech for Places in the Heart,)

And to steal the most recently cool parting line… Damien Out!  

‘How I Write’ interview for the Series by Nicola Cassidy

Today you can read my interview for the series ‘How I write’ by author and fellow Irish blogger Nicola Cassidy who describes herself as a writer, blogger, Mum, daughter, wife, sister, singer, marketer, pet owner and pet complainer.

Nicola’s blog features posts on marriage, motherhood, fashion, feminism, pregnancy, parenting and her series ‘How I Write’, interviewing published and unpublished writers to get an inside look at how they approach their craft.

You can also find one of Nicola’s short stories ‘The Blood of Goats’ alongside mine in the http://www.originalwriting.ie ‘Second Chance’ short story anthology which was published in Ireland last year and available to buy online from their website.  





And so here’s to one
For the end of the road,
Words have been written,
Sentences steadily found sense,
Poems put together, pushed and pulled
On pages being published, hauled
And heralded, heard in hushed homes
Where hope is heartily housed and harboured,

Here’s to the unbelievers
The cynical thinkers of thought,
Leaning to maths in the absence of magic,
Scared to be seen perusing poetically
In their palaces of prejudicial pride,
In places where poetry is but a preoccupation
For pansies prancing about while decorating doilies
And fawning over follies, fads and followers of fashion,

Here’s to the ones
Who are missing out,
To those who dare to look away,
Ignore all that is spoken, reject all
That is written, miss the minutes of magic
Mixed with meaning and metre, meandering
Like madmen through a myriad of amused
And confessional men and women, all willing
To shed their skin, to drop their masks and reveal
The sometimes silly, sometimes scary, secrets beneath,

Here’s to the end of the road,
A month of calculating thought,
Converting concerns into so-called
Confessions, finding fact amid the fictions
Of life, figuring out the force within so as to find
The way to pen and paper, from thought to word,
From hand to eye to read, to lips, to mouth, words
For the mind to ruminate and meditate on the meaning,

Here’s to the completion
Of the composition, the composer
Can collapse, rest and recuperate,
Dream again, to look back and laugh,
Not dawdle in the depths of substance
But laugh at the lines he has lived through,
Lingered along, find light in the letting go, rhythm
In the rhyme, consume not oneself in the character
And caution and concern but release those creations
To live and love, to be heard and held without him and to be
Unburdened and unpunished if the rhythm didn’t always fit the rhyme.

All photographs and artwork by Damien B. Donnelly

The Poetic Point

Writing, with ink and pen

And open mind, thoughts

From the heartland of the questioning consciousness-

Muddled and moving, mixing

Musical thought with meaningful metaphors,

Subtly seeking the rhythm and rhyme

And fighting with form and formality,

Counting consonants and trying not to simulate,

Sawing sentences in centers

To shock, shake and stimulate.

Keeping, with honest integrity,

To the truth of the matter-

Uncompromised, unsweetened and unsaturated

In saccharine sentimentality,

Seeking instead what gets left behind

In the somber shade of the shadows,

Sorting the substance from the unsuitable,

The serious from the subterfuge,

And learning to lift lies from the legend.

Trying, with shaking hand,

To be true to myself-

To worry not about the funny, the foe or the awkward,

The downright stupidly silly,

Hoping, over time,

To vary not the voice from my voice,

To temper not the thoughts with temptations

From others with pretentious persuasions,

To be unafraid, unassuming

And always attune to the flow of the line.