The early bird gets a lot of good press, but what about the late worm?  He effortlessly escapes death. So the question Joe, our Topicsmaster last night,  asked us to consider is, is it better to be an early bird or a late worm?

Topics abounded with thought-provokers such as the above. Can politically correct men have good manners? What has Europe done for us lately? And what’s a woman’s best friend?  I loved Joe’s intelligent and fun questions which inspired two first timers, John and Luis, to jump up and talk with insight and fluency on the attractions of Dublin.
Talking off-the-cuff is a  coveted skill.  We devote thirty minutes to it every week at Vox in ‘Topics’.  Topicsmasters put prepared questions to individuals who must talk for two minutes. These sessions can be hilarious  but they are also excellent for improving your naturalness as a speaker. Guests are not required to talk, but may if they wish.

The second half consists of prepared speeches and sometimes Open Mic sessions where members can deliver a poem, book review or anything of their choice.

Everyone was captivated last night by Maria Ortega Garcia’s skillful  delivery of her emotionally rich poem One.  Maria was quietly fierce in her delivery letting the poem speak for itself . It is really worth listening to her do so here https://soundcloud.com/mariaortegagarcia/one.


We are one
you and me.
Not yet free.
Not all that we can be.
You and me
We are one
with the same plea.

Your marriage at 13 subjugates me
Your burned face due to an unaccepted rejection sets me on fire
Your ironed breast numbs and un-womans me
Your unrecognised rape shames and puts me down
Your denial to have education disempowers me
Your unlikelihood of being the boss dissuades me
Your forced silence when you’re not asked mutes me.

The laws passed on your body.
The critics on your attire
The judgement on your figure.
The blame you receive
even when the crime is committed against you.
The voices telling you that you can’t have it all…

What you endure
makes me grit my teeth
and shrink my stomach
with sadness, pain, rage…

We are one
you and me
We are the same
and your suffering
creates ripples in our sea.

How can I accept and distance from your pain
when the main reason of your suffering
is the very same thing that links us together?
When borders and differences are an illusion
and what causes your pain is also what gives me an identity?

My rights are not universal
and fluctuate whenever I cross a border.
My value and worth
is determined by location
and is not undisputed.

My privileges are just a hideout
where I can pretend I am safe.

Fake pretension.

I can pretend your struggle is not mine
and trust there is a reassuring reason
in the randomness of my birthplace.

Or I can admit that I am part of a minority
that is still suffering beyond words.
I can leave my safe hiding place
and join the fight
because I won’t be fighting only for you
but for me,
for what makes us one.

You and me
not yet free
You and me
we are one.


Maria can be found here http://www.mariaortegagarcia.es/

Next week we have a debating workshop with Maria MacMullan, former Vox President, where you can learn how to argue politely, yet always win:). Entry is five euro, 7-9pm, Oil Can Harrys.

Early Birds and Fierce Women