Poem: By and Bye

girl bed flowers

By and Bye

I dream about you
but I wake up without you

I’m in love with you
but I can’t be with you.

You’re always on my mind
but you never have time for me.

I see you
but you don’t see me.

I’ll always remember what we had
You forget so easily.

All I have is a fleeting moment of you
that’ll weigh heavy on my heart
for a lifetime.


Poem: The Guitar

man woman sat guitar

Then one day
alone in a room
he sat strumming on his guitar
and realized
if he couldn’t be with her
he’d write songs about her instead.
His lyrics would express all the
words he wished he could say to her….

Her laughter inspired melodies,
the longing for her night after night
soon turned into an album.


Other poems by Catherine can be found in her poetry book “The Quarter Life Crisis Poet”
Buy USA   Paperback   Kindle
UK     Paperback   Kindle

Twitter: @CattVaughan
Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter

Poem: When he fell to his knees

man crying in water

He cried so I reached my hand to his face
wiped his tears.
He broke down.
Fell to his knees,
looked up at me,
begging and pleading.
My hand raised to my mouth
I tried to fight back the tears.
I couldn’t,
it was over.
There was no us,
there never could be.
It was doomed from the start.
I never stopped loving you
we just weren’t meant to be.
Fate intervened.
It was not part of God’s plan.
So forget me.
Do good on Earth
and maybe, just maybe
we could unite in Heaven.
Maybe I could meet you there…


Other poems by Catherine can be found in her poetry book “The Quarter Life Crisis Poet”
Buy USA   Paperback   Kindle
UK     Paperback   Kindle

Twitter: @CattVaughan
Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter

Poem: Tiara


He gave her the Neil Lane
engagement ring
The Lorraine Schwartz
Her make-up on
her hair undone.
Then he uttered those
cold words
in her ear one last time.
He wanted to complete her look for the night
not with a tiara


Other poems by Catherine can be found in her poetry book “The Quarter Life Crisis Poet”
Buy USA   Paperback   Kindle
UK     Paperback   Kindle

Twitter: @CattVaughan
Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter

“… It cuts me up inside and the only person I share that with is me. You don’t know me…” – On Poetry, emotions and reactivity.

girl staring darkness

My poems are very personal. This August challenge literally makes me feel like the whole world is looking inside my journal and they are going to know exactly who and what I am writing about… Which is false. We are usually just projecting ourselves and at the end of the day nobody was there for me, nobody was around when things happened so they cannot possibly know…

People deserve to take what they want out of a piece of art and I hope that at least they can get some kind of comfort, recognition and feeling of belonging from my poetry that they are not the only one feeling the same way or have been through similar situations.

I really like recalling lines from film or TV or art or anything that captures how I feel. The above headline quote is from an episode of the 90’s TV show Angel and it sums up how I feel about my poetry even though the original context and meaning of the line is irrelevant to my poems.

The point is we need that understanding from someone to explain and surmise a state or emotion previously beyond our comprehension.

You are welcome to share lines of my poetry that make you feel something and ignite a feeling of connection from writer to poem to reader to your heart… Tag me on twitter @CattVaughan or share poems from my Facebook page /CatherineVaughanWriter.

At the end of the day my poems are about my life yet are also not about me and they are in some ways about “saving somebody’s soul” [Angel, Sanctuary S1 ep 19] and then they end up being about everyone, particularly everybody that is hurting right now. I’m very conscious of the fact that souls need to be saved, I’m so aware of human suffering on all levels…

Notably it’s too agonizing to write about certain hurts or traumas all the time so in this upcoming August poetry challenge some poems are about lovely things like cherry blossoms others like “Tiara” are completely imaginative and fictitious and some bare my deepest secrets… In my earlier published works it was autobiographical yet expressed in a veiled manner as I did not have the audacity to say what I felt whereas now I am more explicit with my feelings yet the events described may overlap it may be about more than one person or there may be some artistic licence and imagination to bring a poem to life…

I know how important and meaningful certain song lyrics and quotes are and how they make me feel and I truly hope and would be honoured if any of my poems make you feel that sense of deep connection.

The biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t control anything or anyone. People just think what they think regardless. Sometimes it’s because they don’t know how to think other times because they’re just closed up in their own minds. I made the assumption that when girls said to me they have dated a guy like the one in my poem 2am that suddenly their relationship pattern played out the same way mine did. But in reality they could tell me what the guy did and how it made them feel and it could be totally DIFFERENT to the situation I was writing about. Sure the poem has resonance but it’s possible the sentiments or situation differs vastly. I’d hate to explain the literal meaning of a poem and then it is totally at odds with the reader’s initial interpretation it would just give the feeling of dissatisfaction like when a book is turned into a film you can’t be happy with both versions because one conflicts with how you imagined it to be.

I’m still at a very early stage with my poetry and there is no gap or separation from my words and me. Some Poets have a totally separate identity from their art and heart they can convey personal experiences in poetry yet remain detached. At this phase in my life I haven’t got to that level but I just have to remember that I will someday and everything I’ve poured my heart and soul into will just be words on screen/words on ink. Eventually I’ll reach that threshold and be detached… Or perhaps that’s the beauty of my art that it truly is an imprint of my heart and soul and maybe my poems will forever make me suffer and I will become a tortured artist because I cannot let go…

I felt the need to maybe explain some poems but what is the point? It would still get misinterpreted anyway… Unless someone was in that period of my life and was right there next to me as I wrote the poem they would simply have no clue what it’s about, they don’t need to. They can just take whatever they want from it. I relinquish control from then on which is a very important step to making poetry.

Explanation isn’t required in art. I’m only just starting to understand this. Misinterpretation also acts as a liberator and gives me the permission to write what I need to write.

I may have published “my heart / your art” in a self-conscious moment as I lacked the bravery to admit that “my heart is my art” but now I come with full force to declare to the world “I chose my art over my heart.”

I have to remember I’m still young and it’s so early in my literary career. I haven’t even started. These emotions fuel my art and help to counteract writer’s block. As painful as some of these poems were to write, ultimately, it’s inspiration and is helping me build a body of work. It comes at a huge cost but I couldn’t not be doing what I am doing.

I’ve come to a place of acceptance and maturity. Quite simply all this pain and anguish is a creative catalyst, without it I would have no art. Literally. It is just who I am.  It took me a really long time to realize it and understand what my style is but it is romantic, not necessarily filled with lovey-dovey stuff but with attention to detail, appreciation, sentimentality and nostalgia.

Juxtaposed with the fact that in my mind I keep thinking that my poetry and my novel will (verbatim) be “the death of me.” I really do die a little inside each time I write poetry particularly when I have to read my poems aloud. So much of my art is simply a mirror of the cocktail of chaos that my life has been, so I have no choice in what I write.

You have to be so painfully honest in art. At least, that’s the standard I hold. I guess it’s because I’m so intense and an all or nothing kinda person. It doesn’t mean you have to be explicit like describe how they look or outright explain that it was your best friend who screwed you over or whatever the case may be. It just has to be the absolute truth of the emotional dynamic or the wave of emotion or ’emoji’ has to be accurate you can’t downplay it.

If Van Gogh didn’t go all pointillism on canvas we wouldn’t have Van Gogh. If I hadn’t have experienced repeated lost love and unfulfilled love and dissatisfaction with the philistines I dated I’d never have have my novel.  If I had the bohemian boyfriend I always thought I would have my novel would never be conceived and I’d be lost and never found.

From absence and lack we can make our best art. A lack of love or a lack of understanding can create a covetous cocktail of creativity.

I guess without it I’d be stuck feeling like I had something to make and do but coming up blank. If you want to be a writer you have to have something to say…

It’s the dissatisfaction that keeps me moving forward therefore I’m always searching. I shall continue to be on the search for everything and may spend a lifetime this way.

Join me on my journey…



First (or maybe 2nd) attempt at a Novel February 24th 2013


I wanted to share with you guys my fiction writing journey and chronicle how I made the switch to write fiction despite my more non-fiction focused and blog/article based reading preference.

Back in 2013 I had a vague notion of perhaps writing a book for teens. I wanted to draw on certain aspects of my own life and tell a story. It surprises me to see that back then I used the names Jack and Serena, it’s like these characters have been sat dormant inside of me waiting to be released.

This is not a reflection of my writing style, it’s more my attempt at writing for teens in a colloquial, casual manner. This does not come close to my writing style for my next book Welcome to Wonderland. I am after all a self-confessed Literary Babe.

I just wanted to share this with you so you can join me on my Author’s Journey and someday when my debut novel gets released we can sit back and chuckle at this extract and see how my writing has come a long way. I hope it delivers a feeling of nostalgia akin to looking back at old high school photos.

I only wrote exactly 2,360 words and that was it. The story remained untouched and completely forgotten about. At the time I wasn’t even thinking of it as a book or becoming a Novelist I just wanted to sit down and write and set myself the challenge of writing the amount required for a manuscript. It was more a question of how does one face the mammoth task of writing 50,000+ words? Then wandering if I could do it. In some ways it was more of a way to cultivate a new hobby.

Below is just a sample of those 2,000 (ish) words.

“As with many things in life it stops and starts but the journey however imperfect continues…”

Sunday 24th February 2013

(From my old Mac computer it says this fiction file was created 24/2/13 11:33 and last modified 24/2/13 15:11)


I woke up at the crack of dawn today feeling restless. My eyes were heavy with the deep need to sleep but my mind was racing with silly thoughts of yesterday and things I needed to do later in the week.  Then came the unanswerable question. Why didn’t I have a boyfriend yet? My mind raced back to my last non-boyfriend boyfriend. He was so handsome. I loved him and I loved him but he never loved me. The pain and thwarted passion lingers every single day.

I’m still in bed. It’s 5am on a Sunday morning. I know I don’t have to get up for work today so I snuggle into the duvet cover and feel the plush duvet envelope me. I think back to how Jack would put his arm around me as we sat on the park bench on our dates. He was so physically perfect you know the kind. That 6ft 3 well built Taylor Lautner-esque physique like the hot guy you see in movies who has the manly arms to hold you closely and make you truly feel safe.

I breathed in deeply and smelt the soft scent of my bed and pot porri on my bed stand nearby.

Why did he let me go? Why can’t a day go by when I don’t think of him. I think back to when we met up in the summer after a semester of college.

I recall one June afternoon when we stood under an oak tree in the shade. We finally kissed after a couple of months of not seeing each other because we studied in different cities. I look up at him and he looked back at me with such want and passion and he slowly leaned in and our lips gently met and he kissed me.

Our lips parted and we felt a cool gentle breeze. I looked back into his baby blue eyes and he spoke of how he was so glad we had the summer together and how he enjoys the feel of my lips against his. He murmured that my small mouth had full lips that felt like a cushion on his.

Jack and I still live in the same city. We broke up a year ago. Well actually he ended it and I was left devastated. We’re both 22 years old and I work in a bookshop and he works for an IT company. I should’ve known it wouldn’t last as we were so different. I was from a wealthy family and he wasn’t. I had dark hair and eyes and he was a blue-eyed blonde. Opposites attract and it can be awfully hard for them to part.

We met when we were nineteen. I was at work in the bookshop and he was over by the sports books. I was simply walking past on my way to the staff room as I’d finished my shift. I just happened to turn my head for no reason. I noticed that he was looking at me. I saw him for the first time then. He had a tight white Henley shirt and was holding a hardback copy of TK. So I instantly saw his huge muscles and the outline of his well-built physique. He had blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He was so handsome. I quickly looked away. I could feel my cheeks gently blush a soft pink shade. I slowly opened the door to the staff room and was taken aback by his virility and how handsome he was. He was the type of man you just have to look at. I didn’t want to take my eyes off him. The first sight of him was etched in my mind. I quickly got my handbag and belongings from my locker. Popped into the ladies to smear on some lip-gloss and another lashing of mascara just in case I’d see him again.

I went back onto the shopfloor and there he was still in the same spot. I really wanted him to approach me. I knew he wanted me. I knew there was an instant attraction. I  walked over to a colleague at the till. The till was near where he was.


“I’ll see you tomorrow Serena” I quickly blurted.

“Yeah see you then.”

I took just two steps away from the till counter and could feel a presence behind me suddenly I heard a deep voice say “Excuse me.” I stopped dead in my tracks. The voice was still behind me and I still had not yet turned round. Could it be.? Was man following me. Making his first attempt to pursue me?

I turned around and an attractive tall, dark young man had a pleased expression on his face. I sighed and noticed the blonde guy in the corner of my eye.

I automatically asked “Can I help you?” As I would normally ask a customer whilst working.

“You were the girl who recommended TK for me. You were right it’s truly wonderful.” “Oh yeah, I’m glad you liked it,” I utter in a strained tone. He continued whittling away. I was about to make a polite excuse to leave when suddenly a man said “Is he troubling you? A beautiful lady like yourself shouldn’t be harassed by such an imbecile.” I was a little shocked that he’d describe a complete stranger an imbecile but pleased he was speaking to me. I was wondering what to say back. I opened my mouth slightly ready to reply only I didn’t know what to say. “Oh not at all.” I lied.

The two guys looked at each other and chuckled. “Mate, leave her alone she’s mine,” the tall blonde one said. Gosh he has such a forthright sense of humor. The tall guy told me that the two of them were old buddies then the blonde guy took his hand out towards me to shake hands. I feebly reached my hand forward too. “I’m Jack, this is my mate Scott.” “Oh hi.” Wtf am I suddenly saying hi for mid conversation? “I’m Catherine nice to meet you. You know we’re both about to grab a coffee would you care to join us?” I was standing there stunned. He’s a total stranger OMG what do I do?

“Oh gosh I really must be off I’ve got a bus to catch. Nice to meet you both ,”I quickly mutter and am just about to turn and dash off when Jack says: “When can I see you again?”

“Oh I don’t know. I mean well…you know I work here. So you know where to find me.” I smile knowingly.

“Can I have your number?”

“Um sorry but I’m not too sure about that. Was nice to see you both but I must go now my bus leaves in 3 minutes.

I walk and head towards the staircase and rush out the store doors.

I must confess the following day at 4pm when I finish my shift I did secretly hope that I’d run into him  again. That he wants to hunt me down. But no sign of him.

However the next day practically bang on 4 o’clock as I walk out of the doors of B & N I look up and he’s there’s in front of me walking back into the store. I looked stunned to see him.

“Well fancy seeing you here?”

I blush. “Hi.”

“How about you take me up on that offer for coffee?”

I feel totally compelled to say yes to this beautiful stranger. He’s so tall and manly and I feel dainty in his presence.

“Okay sure.”

We then both head towards the nearby Starbucks. He pulls open the door for me then let’s me walk ahead of him to the barista. I feel very aware of how I look. Thank God I put some perfume on earlier. Chance by Chanel-my absolute fave!

“What would you like?” I’ll have my grande white choclate mocha with cream and… I’d like that carrot cake.”

“Ok I’ll get you it. How was work today?”

“It was fine thanks.” I feel so shy around him I feel stuck on what to say.

“So do you study part-time or anything?”

“Ummm I’m on a gap year. Well actually it’s not really a gap year because a gap year would involve travel and having fun and getting wasted on a beach in Thailand… And well I’ve just been working non-stop.”

“Haha. I just dove right into uni. Doing a degree in Psychology right now.”

“Oh cool.”

Our drinks are ready, he carries them to a cosy table with the sofa seats. I sit on the sofa side and pop my bag down next to me. I’m surprised to see Jack choosing to sit next to me. I lean back into the sofa to get a little space. He leans in too.

Starbucks mug

I reach forward to my mocha drink and take a quick sip almost as a subconscious effort to edge away from him. I burn my tongue instantly. Ow,” I quietly mutter.

“Easy now, there’s no need to rush. Are you ok?”

“Yeah.” I lie.

He rubs my back as he says this.

“So where do you study?”

“In London. I have family that live their so I’m back and forth a lot.”

“Oh, that’s kinda far.”

“Yeah but the London night life is great and there’s lot’s of places to see and museums to visit.”

“Museums?” I ask interestedly.

“Yeah I’m really into… and …” [TK insert noteworthy places he’d be into.]

I think I fall in love just a little. He’s handsome, athlectic and into the arts.

And for the next 45 mins or so it just all flows. The conversation is easy and interesting. I just feel like I’ve known him my whole life. It’s not that we have a whole lot in common we’re just in sync and there’s no awkwardness at all given that we’re strangers.

I took a quick look at his IWC watch* and noticed I’d have to dash.

“I’ve really had a nice time with you today.”

“You’re heading off?”


I pick up my handbag and am ready to get up when he asks for my number. I pause and take in the exciting fact that this gorgeous guy wants to see me again. It feels good. I tell him my number trying to play it a little cool and then I make way out of the coffee shop.

I’m back home and by the time I’ve showered and eaten dinner I notice a text on my phone.

It’s Jack! Wow he likes me. Can’t believe I’m finally getting close to a guy who actually likes me. I’ve spent 19 years practically single. And now I’m certain this is a sure thing. I know that sounds crazy. I don’t even know him.


Even back then I knew I’d use the names Jack and Serena in my book someday… Notably those characters are not in anyway similar to the Jack & Serena of Welcome to Wonderland. It’s funny how things brew in your mind and how it takes a while for them to manifest fittingly.

The love interest Jack was definitely based on the guy in my poem called 2am.

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However the real 2am guy does not make an appearance in my novels because he has no bohemian credibility. We were opposites and as I declared in the above passage: “Opposites attract and it can be awfully hard for them to part.”


*Slight inconsistency with him wearing an IWC watch-LOL!

Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter
Twitter: @CattVaughan
My other blog: Boho.blog