Sunday, June 15, 2014

Healers of the Creolan Mission

Saint Creola keeps cats.
treats them as her children,
even though, upon interview,
--and perhaps strangely--
they have not learned any catechism
and have no idea who the Pope is.

What the cats do know, is the moon
and how it lives in the windows of the Creolan Mission.
They hear how it pulls the waves themselves toward the cliffs
as a mother would; without words,
or, at least,
without words being the important thing.

During daylight,
the cats are allowed to wander in and out of the sanctuary.
I have never known them to act any differently
on one side of the arched doors
than on the other,
and while it is true that the toms go off to scrap at night,
they cause no refugees to appear in the morning;
everyone still has their beds,
their bibles,
and their babies in their arms.

The cats do not care
who may be Russian Blue, or tiger striped.
They do not fear the power of females;
they have sex, and kittens, and catnip,
and sleep on the sill without a qualm.

At night, if I am afraid,
Saint Creola gathers me to her breasts and the peace there;
when I am feeling bold,
I offer her mine and let my hair trail down over us
like a blessing from God.

Saint Creola keeps cats,
and a single shepherd dog who belongs mostly to me,
though he attends Mass at best sporadically,
and, like the cats, can't name the Pope.
He is what is called a Blue Heeler,
though I misspelled it for the longest time
in light of his gifts, Saint Creola's kindness, and my need.
______

Inspired by the cat art of Guido Vedovato, and linked to Fireblossom Friday.

 

12 comments:

Cloudia said...

I read it aloud to my poet (blog invisible) mate, myself, and our cat.

Verdict? 5 meOWs!

[ like my dreamy new header, Doll?]

ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= <3

hedgewitch said...

This is full of that sense of innocence, simplicity, primary colors, child-like exaggeration and mystery that Vedovato's cat paintings display, but it has something in it that is all female, and all Fireblossom as well. My favorites, if I had to pick, would be the last three stanzas. So good to see you writing.

Joanne Sprott said...

Definitely five meows. The feeling was gentle, poking at the uptightness of others, reveling in the freedom of being animal on the Earth. Snuggly. :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a poem to astound the reader as the description unfolds. Each stanza has something to delight the imagination. I especially love the cats eye view that the moon lives in the window and how they have made the holy place their home with scant regard for man-made religion. Then at the end, the Blue Healer... seemingly added as an addendum but all important.

Shadow said...

I feel I'd like to be a cat there....

Helen said...

During my visit to Montserrat, I was surprised and most delighted to see cats roaming the grounds, the very Catholic grounds at that. Your cats would have been most welcome.

Mama Zen said...

This brought me to tears, Shay. And, it brought me a little Creolean peace.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I loved it. As I was reading, I was stretching for the story and feelings behind it. It holds back enough to be very intriguing. A life with cats and one blue healer sounds good to me!

Vanessa V Kilmer said...

This feels so mystical and yet basic and elemental, sacramental.

G-Man said...

Say...Is she related to the colorful Saint Crayola?

Susan said...

Back for a second visit. It looks like I forgot to publish my comment which was all amazement. This poem is a surprise to me, though I am not surprised that the calm acceptance and healing this poem offers is found with cats, sanctuary with St.Creola and one Blue Heeler. Such a place can meet one's needs outside the barriers of established religions. I was in that space once, and wish everyone could be. I'd like to find it again: persistent, loving and consistent as a tree.

Sara said...

Well, I loved this one and read it out loud to Aggie. She opened her green eyes and slowly blinked. By the way, that a sign of cat approval:~) Check it out sometime. I know you're more of a dog person, but next time you run across a friendly cat (and I mean feline!) slowly blink at the cat. They often do what I call a "double take" but in cat talk it means "I like you." It really works:~)

Have a great day, okay!