Tuesday, February 12, 2013



I was bored with the light falling on the piano. I wanted the music sheet to simply open—to be lazy—dwindled out and long, and play the stared-at song. And I wanted a door to close

softly—like the perfect ending to a song. But the light stayed, thick and dusty in the heavy afternoon. I was stuck in time’s slow meaning, staring at the dust on the piano. And the cat

jumped up onto the keys and walked a tune across them. I listened intently and the cat jumped down again, and I loved the cat for its disturbance on my reverie. And the light

shifted, and something moved across the room like a wet shadow, and I knew I was weeping to myself again. And the cat purred against my leg and meowed for my attention,

and the piano sank back into the wall as the hour lengthened. And I guess I could have held the mood a while longer—but it was over, and the cat won.

(first pub. in the Ina Coolbrith Anthology, The Gathering, 2005)



In the red mirror she glows. Candles burn around her.
The whole room flickers as her image
takes on life and mocks her.

The red glass holds her eyes—draws her in—
wavers with warning. The room seems
to burn. The glass melts.

The red cat wakens from its
its indolence—sleeps again in its circle—
on the red chair, has not seen or felt the shadows move.

She preens to the glass,
likes how the shadows move beyond her,
how when she moves,     they move,     like a dance.


(After "The Cat Decides" by Bob Girasek)

The cat loves the shadows they stir up between
them, little lost light-flickers that tease open
again—the way they show indifference—

the way they turn apart in two silences—
the cat will have nothing to do with such
grieving—no matter how trivial or tragic.

It lies in wait for fragile opportunity, waiting
for the kill—as they do with words while they
waste such a fine poetic scene to be sad in.

The Lady The Girl, The White Cat, And The Juggler
(After "Circus Memories" by Michael Parkes)

The lady in the black dress and the flying red hair folds her arms and watches the blindfolded juggler from her peripheral distance. He is spinning three golden spheres of secret, after secret, after secret. She notes the approaching swans, the day-time crescent moon, and no star. The enraptured girl on the perilous ledge is entrusted to her care, and it is the lady who holds all this together by her watching. She knows that the girl—by the intensity of her own fascination—will not fall—that everything is as wondrous as she wants, so long as long as the lady keeps the cavorting juggler performing with  the hypnotic effect of her attention.
The girl knows that she is never in danger, sitting on the jutting ledge of the precipice, hugging her knees and watching the blindfolded juggler keep the three golden balls in the air while the white sky-cat circles and circles the lariat, suspended like a circular platform. The sky is an endless blue. White clouds are forming like the softest of pillows. Two white swans approach on slow, slow wings toward the juggler who is forming ever-widening golden circles. As long as she sits very still and watches, the cat will not fall, the juggler will not drop a single golden ball, and the lady in the billowing black dress will hold all this all together with the power of her watching.
The blindfolded juggler in his gold tights and vest leaps and prances on the thin blue air, juggling three golden spheres for the approaching swans to fly through. Paw by careful paw, the white cat pussyfoots around the floating circle of the perfectly-thrown lariat. The juggler leaps, and points his toes, and lands with one foot on the lariat, the other foot circling in the air. As long as the fierce-eyed woman in the black dress with the wild red hair keeps watching him, he will perform. He knows she’s there.



I would not wish for time again
to measure by with its old conditions.

All those stages. Memories that hurt—
and please. Loved ones as they were,

and me, as I was—
many times over, stage to stage.

Loose fragments—
scatterings into absolutes

and guessings . . . .
Why would I want it all again,

unbound from
ribbons of thought?

This moment
holds a siren—going by,

bedside music—

and the cat, 
asleep in its own dreaming.

Our thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pix as she winds up the Seed of the Week that was started by her last week. This week we may as well go for the obvious and tackle that most slippery of subjects, Love. Send your love poems, either extolling it, hating it, or somewhere in between, to kathykieth@hotmail.com

And as a final nod to our feline friends, Michelle Kunert sends us a charming link to "catios"; thanks, Michelle!: See catioshowcase.com


Today's LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam

We could be sisters now, my Mama;
we are the same age now.

I sit here and talk to you in your picture—
the same age now—grinning at each other.