poet30Cathy Donelan is a writer from the west of Ireland and worries daily that her coffee addiction may be getting out of hand. She is currently completing her BA with Creative Writing at Nationa University of Ireland, Galway. Her fiction has previously been published in ROPES 2015 and her poetry has won the December 2015 Poetry Pulse prize.


* A state of extreme intoxication; commonly to be found in various small-town establishments in the midlands.

Gis’ a twenty will yea got a beaut,
Auld lads raiding the tills to line
gaping wallets, gone on the horses next door.
Grief crawlin’ up blackened fingertips
on cracked countertop.
Slices of coins, wages
of toxic nights.
Powdery stuff drawn, scattered
over the filth in the jax, bleedin’ your nose
with your one at home, on the phone
wrecking your head with stupid questions
– Where the fuck are yea?

Fallin’ into young ones
drinkin’ soft blue sugary shite.
Fluttering dirty lashes laced in tar
– Will yea buy me a drink hag?
Yea give ‘em a fag, or two
till the earth moves underneath

and you’re staggerin’ up the street
to the other lad.
Who went off with some beure,
but yea found him
drinkin’ cans in the square
singing to the horse
who’s giving yea eyes
dark judge-y copper ones
that watch the hole in the wall
tellin’ yea,
you’re as broke as fuck
and go home to your one.

C’mon sham, are yea coming to Joes?

Between Love and Abuse

On blue moon nights,
the old satchel lies stuffed
brimming with utensils to life
– the sickly sweet stars that pop.

Luminescent rays escape through fog
as keys clank to lock, murmured goodbyes,
to aged wooden door, a home no more
– how young we were then.

Soft footsteps on cold cement,
the dewy night holds still,
out on the platform
not another soul waiting
at Ceannt station
– shivering bones.

Waiting watching passing trains,
late night travellers come,
eyes watching a flutter above
grey wings caught in black nets-
lying among others stuck,
frozen to the spot.
Hot air from sliding doors,
marred by memories of
love and abuse.


Crisp tales fall
from your mouth,
the dancing leaf’s
damp little things
with a cold sting.

Down the lengthy path
you brought I
then her
now him.

Flakes of bark stuck
under my nails-
carving your name in that tree,
Is it still there
for other
young fools
to see,
another nail stuck-
with bark
another him,
old chestnut tree.

He was there before
but knows not of it,
only a smudge with a footprint-
four tips and a thumb,
safe inside
my fruitful tum.

Came home with
grass stains, mud in your toes
leaf’s in your
red, orange
counting the conkers,
little treasures
for mammy
to clean.

With a coloured
brown tissue
which upon you drew,
a sea monster
a dragon-

and the swans
at Coole.