Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Cat (For Diamond. Inspired by Galway Kinnell)

The Cat
(Inspired by Galway Kinnell)

He isn’t alone
People simply assume he is
But something follows him
Some luck or protection
A thing like a misty spirit
Bringing him always home and mostly safe
Alive definitely, albeit battered
Yowling for food
If the neighborhood rabbits were too fast
If not, lounged on the couch
Washing and pondering victories and defeats
His gouged ear and broken teeth
Never seem to bother him
Crusted blood, many scars
He isn’t alone

He sleeps with a girl
Close and warm
Breath rattling a bit
Moving in-between fantasies
Of his former lives
Golden king of a pride
Amenhotep’s exalted cobra-killer
The shipping company’s rat-scourge
Joyfully and wildly running
Sprinting fierce after game
Savannah rolling grass and sweet rain
Bunched muscles powering on
Scent, taste and feel of meat and blood
Shared with those he protects and loves
In his way, the only way he knows how
With strength and growling and rough play
Keeping safe from hyenas and vultures
A guardian, sentinel, barrier, fire
He sleeps with a girl

He enters deeply, these hearts
He knows how they wait, worry
How they are so happy to see him
When he comes back proudly
Tail held high, a present (dead sparrow)
Clutched in mouth, displayed proudly
Or a friend following, a guest
Another cat who samples his food
Takes a nap with him, and moves along
We always believe they don’t care
Their snide and sarcastic demeanor
Is merely for some kind of show
That we aren’t meant to understand
But he loves and loves and loves
He did, does, can and will always
He is always
He enters deeply, these hearts

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Daughter" (Revised a bit. Let me know!)


And as they stretch, these woods
Masking and turning dull the sunshine
Leaking through gaps, thin and terrified.
She runs loud, trilling after the rabbits
Never catching them. My daughter
Laughs to be here; young and living

She reminds me to breathe, live
To build with sand and water and wood
To appreciate Earth’s sons and daughters
Her moss and rain and rocks and sunshine
Her bumblebees, lizards and rabbits
To breathe, and be not terrified

Of this truth which is terrifying
What it truly means to live
How four year olds name rabbits
Moving in-between vast suns
In places damp, cool and wooded
This pretty one, she is our daughter

When he calls her, “Daughter.”
We know the lie, and are terrified
Looking forever away from the sun
Pretending to be again and alive
Ignoring the soft, welcoming woods
Where I take her to see the rabbits

Truth skitters and hides. It rabbits.
All our focus on her, my daughter.
I want to weep truth at the woods
Crouch and tell her. To terrify
Hurt her in her new, fragile life
When all she knows is sunshine

I will not eclipse her glorious sun
She may chase every rabbit
And never catch them, all her life
I won’t stop my beautiful daughter
I will stay quiet and terrified
Hiding, unlike her, deep in my woods

These woods have always terrified me, Daughter
Along with the sun, these rabbits mean my life