Valentine’s Day

By Cathy Lee

 

You’re like a lullaby to me

So soft and pure

Like nothing is going to break us

Not if we hold on

 

Grasp,

Clasp me for as long as possible

This race of chasing time

I can’t win and neither can you

 

But we’ll try as much and as long as possible

Of course we will

Because together we can do it, can’t we?

That’s what they say

 

As long as your coffin lies by mine at the end of this

It means we’ve achieved something

Doesn’t it?

 

I really don’t want to get there

 

I wish to stay here in your wonderful presence

Where everything is youthful and exceptional

And something bittersweet

 

Light the cigarette and pass it to me

I really just like to feel it between my fingers,

Nothing much else

 

Sharing this something simple with you,

It’s all that matters

 

I’d prefer to be holding you though,

Simply by hand

Through fingers maybe even intertwined

 

Do you know what I mean?

Can you conceive it?

 

Because I can

It’s all that paints the walls of my mind

 

All consuming and surrounding

I guess there is no escape

But truly, I don’t mind

 

Just to breathe your air and engulf your presence

It’s like a summers day

The best day of your life

 

I want to spend with you

All days, from here and now.

 

No pressure

 

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Nothing in particular

By Cathy Lee

 

I’m not doing

Anything in particular

Just taking in those humble sounds

Of those around me, enjoying their selected company

 

From young to old, all collected here

 

It’s dimly lit and homely

Comfortably warm

While for show an unused fire,

Is completely provided for just in decoration

 

This is simply where I am

It’s recognisable

But not incompletely special

 

The wax trickles slowly down and it’s something steady

The bright yet translucent colour of the flame won’t give up

Not just yet

 

It’ll hold on with me, to welcome the next person to sit in its company

 

We’re in the land of a thousand welcomes

That is becoming something more special, now

Considering

 

Considering what’s going on, the current state of things

Those things that so affect us, going as far down deep as our morale and self-worth

 

The perspective of us, it’s shifting

The plates are moving further away

Shifting away from what’s known

 

I think these sails are facing backwards

The wind here is reckless and unusual

It’s no longer comfortable on this deck

 

I’d rather walk the plank,

Step off the platform and into the unknown

 

From one state of unknown to another

But consider this:

Coming out the other side,

Better.

the Last day

By Cathy Lee

You know it’s coming, it’s last

But what do you do knowing in advance?
Foreshadowing the hurt to come,
The crumbling sense of loss
On something that was barely even stable

I wish I could tell this story better, like a fable that everyone remembers
A warning, for the last day
As it slowly but surely comes

Don’t expect it to crash and burn around you, a bit too Hollywood and far from our reality.

The change is subtle, but something noticeable all the same
Like slowly stepping over something, knowing it won’t have the power to trip you anymore
And make you fall down.

You will know, on the last day
Whether it was all worth this,
Or if leaving it behind was the best thing.
To gently close on the door,
Complete.
On the last day.

Packs

By Cathy Lee

The house of cards is falling
The contents are calling 
Reaching out to be saved

But they are being left to face alone
The fall down of a home.
Ripping the numbers, all small things and signs within to something meaningless.

What’s the power of red without black to contrast it to?

Nothing but a pack of cards
The house is nothing but a gamble
Crumbling,
The hearts and diamonds, all flowing into just red.

Dig me with the spade, I might as well be dead
The weight is too much, to hold.

The diamonds aren’t precious anymore
The hearts are broken
Spades with no purpose and clubs abandoned left to wreck.

So we fold,
The house of cards is falling. 

A Political Poem

Back in March of this year, I competed in the National Slam Poetry final which was held in NCAD, Dublin. It was sponsored and judged by members of Poetry Ireland and altogether, it was an incredible experience to see poetry so alive within the youth of today.

Afterwards, I kind of didn’t know what to do with the poem. It’s a performance poem so I thought maybe a video, a recording or a live set would suit it best. But then I remembered I’m a writer not a stand up, more-so anyway.

I was informed yesterday via email that I had made the Longlist for the Irish Blog Awards 2016 (yipee!) so I thought no better way to celebrate than releasing this poem to my very own place, this blog.

I hope you enjoy it, thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in “Cathy In Conversation”.

 

A Political Poem”

By Cathy Lee

 

I don’t write political poetry

But I can

There’s nothing stopping me

Just a bit of research and insight,

Little bit of brain power:

It’s never out of sight,

The power is mine

 

I don’t swim long-distance,

But I’m sure I could.

A little bit of resilience and resistance.

Give it some time,

Sure didn’t my mother have me swimming since I would walk?

And my legs are still mine

 

I haven’t painted a masterpiece,

But I could try.

Little bit of focus, my hands and my mind.

Keep the point to the brush and visit the hushed galleries,

We all need a bit of inspiration –

And my hands are mine

 

I don’t have a PHD

But really, what’s to stop me?

I always did want to reach higher.

I have a brain inside this skull,
and I really should use it to the full

Sure isn’t it mine?

 

I could use my legs for good,

To flee from this green isle.

Go on a trial, somewhere fresh and new

Not like the Catholic school grounds I knew.

I have a passport, the ability to pack

What’s to stop me never coming back?

 

I have used my hands for good too

Recently,

I used my hands to make demands

I put my views down on ballot paper.

 

I voted for change, I wished and hoped

And saw a slap returned to me.

A national let down,

 

But as I said, I don’t write political poetry.

 

I also don’t have abortions

And I can’t

Because the state has rules over my body.

It doesn’t matter what my legs, hands, brain or power can do

This fact remains the same.

 

say goodbye to a stable government,

say slán to repeal the eight

and hello to a mixed range of politics

of TD’s filled with hate

 

thanks for letting the progression digress,

cheers for the recession

and the maintenance grant that I didn’t get,

because only one of my parents is in oppression.

 

Old fiends now friends, those FF’s

I remember the cunning smiles of your devils dressed

The suits and ties, telling the lies

On repeat far and wide

 

Keep smiling, it’s what you are trained for

Don’t Nama own you all?

Or was it the Treaty of Lisbon,

That fix or “change of mind”

 

Are we to see the same again,

When the decision makers can’t do just that.

 

Don’t say you called it,

Don’t go down to Paddy power and try your luck

Can’t make a buck around here anyway,

Have you seen the tax rates?

 

Inflation fluctuates

While we wait in hope

For the coming of the centenary year,

So we can be “different” from our peers

 

Those Europeans didn’t invent republican revolution,

No sure it was just Irish

Weren’t we told that in school?

 

The school that has religion compulsory

And demands you’ve had that dash of water tossed over your head before entry,

Are you saying I wasn’t born holy?

 

Ah let’s then talk about the unborn.

Probably has more rights than me now

The state have a say don’t they?

 

In Ireland we talk about the weather over tea

Pity the same isn’t done by the rulers of the country.

Choosing to be concerned about a concept

When the time suits.

 

Climate changes isn’t waiting for us to finish up our economic plan.

Neither are the women traveling to England each day.

 

But sure time doesn’t exist,

There’ll be another election yet.

 

What waste?

Simply Possible

Be direct, look

Open this book of endless possibilities

Of you and me.

 

Gaze, make me fall into your smile

I’ll watch closely as your expressions change,

Knowing there’s impact there

 

Feel me out,

Get to know my kicks and ticks

Challenge my imperfections

 

Get close enough to view my reflection,

From the mirror in the background.

 

I will reach out for you.

We’ll discover, together

All things new and thrilling

Always on the look-out for the next thing, fulfilling

 

Until there’s nothing more to see.

I understand.

 

It’ll soon fade and we’ll be fine,

Knowing we simply shared some,

Of each other’s time.

She

Of course it wasn’t about me,
Was it ever going to be?

Never the chosen one

but always the chosen, in the end I mean

 

I don’t feel jealousy anymore

I know she means something different to you

I will never understand.
You take my hand but I know somehow

hers is preferred

 

She can take you further than me

I don’t have that much to offer

She’s there and she can do it,

She has the power

 

She welcomes you in more than I do

It’s a safer feeling, such certainty

While I give you tales of some far away fantasy

that is never real for you

 
How selfish of me,

To expose this to you

knowing that you are where you are,

unchanging.

 
I will never get her nor her I

We will laugh and smile to one another but never talk, really.

She knows me but doesn’t ask to be kept up to date.

 
I’ll ask about her though,

Because I just want to relate to you

She’s your interest,

your something sweet,

in a setting I’m far gone from

 

 

Still you are my home,

My welcome back

While she’s something present and always exciting,

She can bring you away
Lift you from the reality that I left you in

Filling the gap that I was inevitably to bring.