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In Debra’s Kitchen – Selected Poems by Debra Lee Cathcart

Most of my family life has indeed revolved around the kitchen table. It’s been a place not only to eat and drink, but to share and to love, to laugh at times and cry at others.

[section label=”Solace” anchor=”Solace”]


There is solace in these solitudes

The early morn and break of dawn

The rising stretch to crowing calls.

We’re lucky here to sleep in peace.

There is solace in this time alone

Yet early morn I always see

A time to watch him deeply sleep

Not dying people at our feet

There is solace in our time apart

To know he will be back again

Within my arms, and so my heart

At least I know he is alive

Keeps watch by day and mostly nights

That he will be away from me

I pray him safe and not alone

A reminder comes from far away.

Some people never had the chance

To say the words before they went.

At least we do and so we should

One word not to be remiss amongst the
ones that we may miss.

Lets not forget our fortune
And not forget our pain

January 24.2010


[section label=”Obit for Dad” anchor=”Obit for Dad”]

Obit for Dad

For Russell Cathcart

It’s now time to write of pain and also of bliss, the very space within of what we call abyss.

In which he leaves us each alone, but knows we’re strong to carry on,

This space he leaves withinour souls was meant for us to have and hold.

He waited until such a time to know we all were well.,

We’ll wish him a good journey and that a Fare thee well.

It’s always hard to lose someone, your heart will always break.

But in the new day’s dawn, there’s nothing we’ll retake

We will miss him most certainly, of that I am most sure,

He loved his family, all of us and that I know I’m sure.



[section label=”Across My Path” anchor=”Across My Path”]

Across My Path

There came across my path one day a gentle, handsome man
I didn’t know at that time if or when we would connect.
Then illness and my family did their best to intervene
I hoped so much for a cure, and to follow you between.

Beneath the sheets, between our arms, our bodies did connect.
Our two lost souls now finally both quiet and content.
If I could take back any vitriole, whatever things I’ve said.
I’d tell you that quite frankly, you’re the best I’ve ever had

Our life together has not been easy, nor will it ever be,
I just wish to share it with you, whatever it will be.
There are times I wished to run away, forget about the pain
There are other times I have the hope to try it once again

Our schedules will be miles apart, you of the nighttime hours,
So I will live on my terms and you will live on yours.
I love you for your differences, for the squirrels and the birds,
I love you for the Kasha Cat and how he shapes my world.

My life is so much richer with all of you within.
I am very blessed and thankful that all of you are in.




[section label=”A Year Unlike Another” anchor=”A Year Unlike Another”]

A Year Unlike Another

There is insanity in reason,

The store-shelf order by which

I organized my life, now bare.

The compartments in which

I put people, things and feelings

coming apart and falling down.

My rational side undone by one

who favours expression and

not the hours it takes.

There is insanity in order,

The reason for doing the mundane

at certain prescribed hours or days.

Who wrote this for me, this script

and what it does to my innate

loving creating being.

That year all about order

caring for everyone only to

descend into displeasure and unease

To escape the pressure this script

put upon me and everyone

else around to see the damage

Control, I thought I was doing

well, but that veneer was thin

And then became transparent.

My skin becoming thinner

with each sleepless night breeding

fear, doubt and less sleep.

How I prayed for all of you

and in being selfless how

I felt I was losing both you and myself.

But the control kept me going

or so I thought, one foot after another

step by step and I’d get through

A year unlike another.


November 12.2006


[section label=”Dinner at Marguerite’s” anchor=”Dinner at Marguerite’s”]

Dinner at Marguerite’s

Most of my family life has indeed revolved around the kitchen table. It’s been a place not only to eat and drink, but to share and to love, to laugh at times and cry at others. A place where a huge extended family came together from all over the world at times to share an occasion and enjoy each other’s company. People of many beliefs, philosophies, nationalities, political parties and colors all graced her table, and no one was ever turned away.

This is a very small tribute to a very great woman that I miss alot, my grandmother.


I feed people, pets, pigeons
only to find I am more
well fed in return.

Its perhaps an upbringing
of seeing people, with little to eat
themselves, feed others

Without hesitation, there was
always another place at the
table that we all shared

An only child, but never lonely,
from the parade of people
and characters at the table.

And in sharing food, we shared
love and a belief that to
sit and share was to love.

My grandmother taught me well,
not how to cook, but why
and not for whom.

I am filled with her presence
at times when I feel that love
and comfort in her food.

And now that I now cook for others
I am well fed in return.


November 27.2006


[section label=”Test Me” anchor=”Test Me”]

Test Me

There are times that test the best of us, there are times that show our worst.

I want to see the best in us, if not I will be cursed.

With painful and unseemly thoughts, which I don’t want to have,

I want to see the best of us and that which we never had .

It’s hard to say goodbye to one who said goodbye so soon,

A different house, a different life, a larger private room…

If such is so I wish you well and promise you to keep,

Within my thoughts and in my heart so dearly and so deep.

August 2, 2009.


[section label=”Child of Mine” anchor=”Child of Mine”]

Child of Mine

In the dark and ungodly hours between night and dawn,

I think of you, birth, life, love and death in the same breath.

Your departure so sudden and my news so heavily shrouded

to protect you from yourself.

Your pain and incertitude worn on your face

like a battle scar, so I wondered how to add

another life to our mix.

So I kept my news more heavily shrouded.

Now that my news is known to you a burden has been lifted,

Yet I bore alone the burden of your silence

and that of my grief and hope.

I prayed on my knees for deliverance

and guidance from this pain, and I still do.

Physical pain is only in the temporal realm.

The psychic pain will ebb and flow.

Like the loss of this child

That in it’s innocence was conceived of love

And was love itself, personified,

If only for a brief time, in your absence

You could not share my joy,

because I didn’t share it with you

And the weeks went on and I bore alone

Both the pain and the joy.

God works in mysterious ways,

That I know and have seen before.

My body and soul were bared to you,

for better or worse.

Now both my body and soul feel very tired and old,

if even a hand just to comfort and hold.

I won’t ask for forgiveness for the wrongs I have done

Nor that you will come back, based on what has gone on.

I wished for a miracle and it briefly came through

Which should be a sign, both for me and for you

That hope and possibility aren’t entirely untrue.


November 5.2006


[section label=”Cat Steven’s Song” anchor=”Cat Steven’s Song”]

Cat Steven’s Song

Father and Son, by Cat Stevens on the radio, made me cry,

Not for me, but for the son you may not have..

“you will be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.”

Struck a chord so deep in my heart.


I’m always filled with wonder and that may be

A good thing or not, but the wonder consumes me

sometimes, wondering about you,

the mysterious man of few, but poignant words.

I tread water carefully these days, not

wanting to be pulled down by the undercurrent

unspoken, words run under the surface

hurtful and deep, perhaps unintended.

It seems you’re sailing a different ocean,

a world away and actions another day

apart, and I’m seasick with fear,

that comes with uncharted waters.

But your words of honesty and discontent

I can see and hear and can understand,now

Our life together is so disparate, fragmented

by my time, your time and no time left for us.

I want picnics and sandwiches, laying

on your chest in the park on a blanket.

I want a house for us ,and a life together

and for this buffeting wind to stop..

And I want it with all my heart.




[section label=”A Little Angel” anchor=”A Little Angel”]

A Little Angel

I was the queen of one last time, those early days now far behind.

To help and nurture, feed and find, to give of self and soul and mind.

Those men I helped to get their wings, was there a thought of anything

I could have done to help them fly, sometimes a thank you, then goodbye.

I’ll live my life as I see fit, might not be yours,

but then again, we’re all just human, mortal men..

There’s sin in anger and in bliss and I have chosen to reside not

On the darker, but the lighter side.

A mortal man today I know, lost his child so far below

The water of a swimming pool, where children play and adults lounge

Why was there no one else around.?

The answer could be summed as such:

In many ways we have lost touch

With what is right and what is wrong and

It’s just so easy to play along, we turn our heads to chat and hey

A little life is taken away. A little girl of three or four

Who is now knocking on Heaven’s door.

I have chosen the lighter side and really hope it’ll be my guide

I hope it guides these parents too, whose faith and courage will be askew

With illness and or tragedy, sometimes I think you find

The person that you thought you knew was somehow left behind.

My little trials and problems such, now really don’t amount to naught. But,

The little angel who left her parents will be always in our prayers and thoughts.


August 21.2009


[section label=”Une ame perdue” anchor=”Une ame perdue”]

Une ame perdue

La, inspiree des paroles et de la langue francaise et de ses possibilitees, j’essais de nouveau, un poeme:

La peine ecrite dans sa face
cette haine nefaste envers le monde.
Pourquoi qu’on ne pourrait pas l’aider
a surmonte le moindre des choses?

Un jeune de temperament instable
le monde un huitre qui s’ouvre a lui.
On n’en sait rien de son vecu
mais qu’est-ce qu’on sait n’est pas permis.

Cette rage qui le tourmente dedans
Comme personnes proches on veut lui faire
Confiance et lui prendre dans nos bras,
Pour calmer les horages temeraires

Nous ne sommes des anges, surtout pas des dieux
Ce jeune esprit qui a deroule
On espere juste qu’il peut faire son mieux
pour nous surprendre une autre journee.

Cette rage qui dort au coeurs des hommes
c’est ca qui cause les guerres subites.
Les guerres de l’ame, l’amour, pays
Il faudrait bien qu’on reflechi,

Avant d’agir, les consequences
de nos actions qu’on vit toujours
De voir toute journee avec esperance,
et l’espoir de la paix un jour.




[section label=”Pour Martine” anchor=”Pour Martine”]

Pour Martine

Cet arbre qui a grandit dans votre cours
est la reflection de votre amour
L’amour qui grandit tout les annees
Vous allez vivre vieux, deux vieux ainees.

Peut-etre , les deux petits vieux,
deux chaises bercantes sur les lieux,
C’est pas grave, dirait grand frere,
Si vous chicanez quelle chaise que l’un prefere

A regarder cet arbre qui fait
chiallez les voisins a cause que les
racines poussent a travers leur cour,
Rapelle leur dont de votre amour.

Cet arbre qui a pousse tout petit,
Comme un enfant on la nourrit,
de votre patience et votre soutient,
Maintenant sa force il est le tiens.

Pense a ca quand tu serre ton arbre
Votre arbre qui vous ais vu grandir
en couple et surtout d’accomplir
Son but etait de votre survivre.

Le bon dieu regne au coeur des choses
et on ne peut pas etre oppose
Il prends soins de ceux qu’on aime
Pour nous rendre la vie sereine.

Debra 11.09.07


[section label=”A Prayer” anchor=”A Prayer”]

A Prayer

My faith was always there in him, the
tortured artist of.our souls.
I loved him then, I’d love him still.
The stillness in his life right now
to gain his soul, and life to hold.

That week I wished the God would take, my soul
before my soul would wake, I wished
He’d take me in the night
and so deliver me from this plight.

My faith has now been shaken
in the dark and fitful night.
That love bestowed upon me
now taken from above.

My footsteps wandered aimlessly
at first ,then stood to fight..
For what I truly want and who I
really need, to be embraced again
by his knowledge and his light.

Enlighten me so that I can
with only him to understand.
Enlighten me so that I may
rise to bravely face the day.
Enlighten me so that I should
Remember I did all I could.


[section label=”Prayer 2″ anchor=”Prayer 2″]

Prayer 2

Once I wished upon a star, then

prayed to God from here and far

to send an angel. And when he did

I cried out, being so surprised,

perhaps the word is mesmerized.


To care for me while I cared for others,

be they sisters, Mothers, brothers

My shoulders felt too weak and narrow

to carry what I needed to follow.

The trial of a mothers’ pain inspires

you to get up again, At 5 or 7, 3 or 6,

This pain became my family’s mix.

And in this mix he did arrive,

To be there with me, by my side

Those nights I cried or held back tears

He held me close, relieved my fears

when I thought it was her time to bide.

The person I became of obligation and duty

had totally obscured in me all the beauty

That he taught me along the way, regardless

of what I had to say.That our paths

have changed in place, I’d like to

remain in his good grace, The Grace that

brought him to me first, will never

quench my rekindled thirst, for truth

And knowledge foremost, when we forgive

ouselves from whatever sin, the sin of thinking

that We know, and that it will absolve us so

It’s only for him to know..

I no longer know anything, that I believe, so now

I wish to find my place, and thank the Lord my life

he graced with his presence and his soul and

Within that place that I become whole.




[section label=”For Partick” anchor=”For Partick”]

For Partick

I hope the suffering that we face
on this earthly plain will help us when
we are guided home by his sweet face
and home at least we rest and then..

That knowing that he loves us all
with sinners, saints within our midst.
Protect us now, for when we fall
we want to be within your grip.

Protect the ones who went before
That they should be our guiding light,
they’ll help to open heaven’s door
And help us through a mortal night.




[section label=”Amazing Grace” anchor=”Amazing Grace”]

Amazing Grace

Another six down, the paper read,
Turn off the TV, go to bed, after all
you’ll read it all tomorrow, forget
they’re there, forget the sorrow.
It’s not like they’re our son and daughter.

Our son and daughter fast asleep,
I pray the Lord their souls he’ll keep
From useless slaughter from this war
brought upon us from him afar.

Product of oil bureaucracy,
his family of idiocity stay tucked in bed
throughout the night, without pondering
the poor man’s fight

It’s rich, not poor, who start
these wars. It’s poor who only serve the rich
to gain their enduring cross of fame
an endless parade of those young names.

They could be neighbours,could be sons
Remember they’re not the only ones.
They could be mine, they could be yours
Concripted through revolving doors.

A better future and better place, the
posters said on that blank wall, they
took the bait and there they went, we know
that now, repent, repent.

A government that is born in war,
cannot be trusted very far.
Our voice must rise against the din,
to save them From more awful sins.
To save the Newborn children too,
that they may start the world anew.

The ones who are born
of peace and grace to take the blinders
from our face.

That we may see with our whole eyes;
the fact that many innocents die,
In saving country, saving face, to me.
is not amazing grace

Amazing grace how sweet the sound……..
is not of hearses coming round

Debra. 07.07.2007


[section label=”Debra and Dylan” anchor=”Debra and Dylan”]

Debra and Dylan

Isis, he said, was a mystical child and

what drove him to her, is what’s driving

me insane.I hurried down the corridor

looking for that exit lane.

The door was barred,so then I turned

to see him right before my eyes.

Come with me, you long, lost child, I’m

someone who will listen to your cries.

Come with me on thisshort ride

and I’ll show you the other side.

The side where money and where fame

Will make you want to go back again.

I followed him down that long, dark hall

Compelled, somehow by some great call

To be in the presence of a prophet, who

said what he sang and surely knew of it.

That times are tough and getting worse,

how we should escape this growing curse

of greed for profit, then pass the blame.

It’s not the way to clear your name.

In two short nights he said he’d teach

what seemed to me beyond my reach.

And what I learned in such short time

I said I’d always keep in mind.

I’ll remember always what he said,

about Isis as a figurehead,

in ancient Egypt deified as wife

and mother to create our life.

We parted ways and then I’d sleep to

wake from thoughts so far and deep.

That what I dreamt, or so it seemed

I know that I will be redeemed

Debra 07.15.2007


[section label=”Montebello” anchor=”Montebello”]


Orwellian in its secrecy and now from protests infamy.
Of meetings born in false pretense, the beauty obscured by that fence.
The natural beauty of our land, sullied now by heavy hand.
The hand that claims to represent, we’ve all come truly to resent.

And wipe that smugness from his face, protect us from this false embrace
It’s sad he said and walked away, prepared to let the media sway
Our opinions, thoughts and mind, if only he knew he pay in kind.
The power of the people still, reminds us all we have the will

to change the world for better yet, before they have the next summit.
Let’s not throw stones, but words at them, so they remember why they came
to power first because of us, and grovel to re-earn our trust.

Debra 26.08.2007


[section label=”Virtue” anchor=”Virtue”]


Virtue is a product of compromise,

The vexing vein of self-restraint

Virtue is born of discussion when

You know you won’t go back again.

Upon your word and nor your life

That life alone now filled with rife

And awful dreams and nightmares when

Your life was short and memory brief.

My life now long, and sometimes much

Too long for me to even touch.

I haven’t now but two, but four

My efforts cannot be ignored.

I pray each night that we shall stay

Within our arms and safe we’ll sleep

Our life now entwined in such a way

I’ll sleep my love, so soft and deep.