We stood in arms,

two boys at play

as the sea swept the shore below,

as the wind wound its way

around us, trying to cut 

through us as a bird 

battled above for the right 

to go left though the current

had other thoughts,

saw other connections

in this flight of feathers

fighting the force

of rising and falling,

of coming and going,

of getting to and moving 

on. We took the boat

that took our breath

as it waged through waves

past homes housed on hills

born from the water

that held no shelter

(can it still caress?)

that offered no comfort

from the cold (where to find

the heat?) as you slipped 

your hand into mine 

in this foreign land,

you and your foreign hand

already feeling so familiar

coming in, coming closer,

going out and coming back

stronger like this boat

that sweeps the shore

from city (of sexy trams

traversing and curved girls

smiling) to the walled

edge of nowhere

where the guns

sound the silence

in the shadows

of a ghostly grandeur

where soldiers once stood

to secure their settlement

and I told you I would

fight dragons for you

if we make it through

the waves that come

and go, these motions 

that make or break

the connections we are now

curious to keep current,

these arms we want 

to keep so close.


On the train I left you

and climbed the steps

to the east of elsewhere

as you continued

along the tracks south 

and then so far south

that the sun still shone,

both with other connections

to catch but aware of the current

of comfort we had begun 

to create and I wondered 

if the bird found its way home

before the guns roared again

through the sky. And later 

I wondered if it were that bird, 

that same bird, that echoed

through each of us,

as we made our way,


through the night.


We take tracks

on lines ever crossing

but are bound to circles

ever spinning like echoes 

calling back on themselves.


We are tides torn 

between the depth 

of the ocean bed

and the safely 

of the sandy shore.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:



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