Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Cats of various sorts

Cats: the world, the flesh and the Devil.

We called her Kitten – just a farm cat loaned
for us to nurse with chloramphenicol
and food; for cats are never really owned
the way that dogs are or a Barbie doll.
She used to bring us gifts: a mouse’s head
or tail, but then she left. No debt was owed.
Her present world attracted her instead,
or else another pet killed on the road.

Beware the tigress, prowling and feeding deep
in the forest, needing her yellow stripes to steal
from her black back the drops of sun that seep
through darkness. Death is her dominion; feel
the blood congeal upon those amber teeth.
The taste of every future meal she knows.
She longs for flesh. Light fails to pierce beneath
the trees, so nothing shows and chaos grows.

The lazy lion roars a lofty yawn;
he lifts his paw and shakes his tawny mane
and contemplates his pride with studied scorn.
In certain ease the lord of air and plain
enjoys his comfort and his prey’s distress;
views his domain; displays his solemn power.
Vain, indolent and proud, he nonetheless
considers whom he might today devour.

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