Catherine Sweeney – Monastery Lane

Catherine Sweeney moved to St Leonards on Sea seven years ago after a varied career, which included working as a research chemist, a jeweller and an investment consultant. The town’s creative energy led her to begin to explore writing poetry as a way to express how she experiences the world.

Her first poem was published in Between the Lines 2021, an anthology of creative writing produced by CityLit. She is a member of Hastings Stanza and the Poetry Society.

She writes poetry in both English and Spanish.

Monastery Lane

It’s summer. With the sun on our faces
we walk towards the corner plot,

kneel to push our hands into dark
friable soil, pull the weeds

to clear a path to my grandparents.
As my father digs the flower bed

his words transform the air,
weaving images to sow the past

into my present. I feel the light
weight of my grandma’s hand, the lilting

humour of my grandfather’s wit.
I brush the soil from my skirt,

knees stained grass green,
notes of the Latin Mass spiced with incense

and the scent of decaying roses tumble
into Monastery Lane.

Holding tight
to my father’s hand, we say goodbye,

close the gate.


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