Monday, August 30, 2010

Harbinger

Last night, it rained.

My mood fell with the barometer

Like a cat jolting and skidding down the trunk of a tree,

Outraged and offended.



I hot-footed it across the wet grass

Until I found sanctuary on the planks

Under the porch light.

There, I allowed myself to drift into dreams.



I dreamt that two realities had split.

I, and a few rag-tag others remained in one,

While the crowd was consumed by another.

I stole a small blue car

With a little boy in it.

I asked him, "Do you want to get out?

"Do you want to wait for the woman you came here with?"

He did,

And so I unbuckled him, reached across and opened the door.

When I saw her,

I longed to be released, myself,

But the road called me

And I answered, out of duty.



You may think it a strange thing

For a cat to speak of duty;

We have it,

But on our own terms.

That night

(in my dream)

I made myself human

(a weary dream in itself)

And made love to the woman I had seen.

It all came back to me

As these things will.



When I was a child,

Our neighbor would always ask, "What are you today?"

Because

Every morning I declared myself something different.

Today I woke from sleep

--and both of my dreams--

Asking myself the same thing.



Coffee seemed the only cure.

Do you find it odd that a cat should crave coffee?

Women wrap their hands around us both,

For our warmth,

And for the hint of other lands.

We love them

As we love ourselves,

And so I wanted coffee.



My cupboards are most distinctly feminine--

They have no handles.

One must place fingertips in just the right place

To move them.



I mix mocha

With Francais;

Perhaps I am a Moor,

But I think I am a simple tabby.

Today, skies are clear.

The outside light is off.

I say nothing of the things I have seen.

I go on looking.

I switch my tail.

There is much to be done, and I am doing it,

As still as a saint at her prayers,

On your porch rail

Under the steadily rising sun.

________

29 comments:

willow said...

We used to have a house full of cats. I often wondered what they were dreaming. I love-love "I stole a small blue car with a little boy in it"!

Lynn said...

I always think that about cats - "there is much to be done, and I am doing it..." Love this.

Jinksy said...

That moggy has ulterior motive written all over its whiskers! LOL :)

Brian Miller said...

you have the most amazing cat...with fantasical dreams...and i understand completely about the coffee...

Susannah said...

Nice writing, I really enjoyed this. :-)

TALON said...

Stripey says there is nothing simple about a tabby, but they like to make us think there is. ;)

This just flowed, Shay, and I felt like I was with you on an amazing adventure.

The descripton of the cabinets? Pure Shay brilliance :)

Daryl said...

Love this ... (my sister told me recently that coffee is poison for a cat)

Fireblossom said...

Not THIS cat, Daryl. lol

Robert Lloyd said...

You words always amaze me. You are a wonderful writer. I like the use of the verse There is much to be done and I am doing it. In relation to a cat it snearly perfect. I also enjoy the visual of a cat scurrying acros sthe wet grass. You give so much life to this poem. Thank you for sharing.

deborah said...

I very much enjoyed this, and read it to my gray tabby Wilbur and Miss PP listened too! I am their person and like to share what others have to say about cats. Both are nodding with approval!

Mama Zen said...

Love the cupboards; that just floored me.

Mojo said...

I knew it had to be a chick that designed those cabinets doors with no handles. I just knew it. that or a cat -- since they have no opposable thumbs, handles are superfluous. And they delight in the consternation of humans, so... It just follows.

Of course when I was growing up we had no handles... on anything. Because we didn't have anything to put handles on. I think we actually saw a handle once, in a shop window... maybe a hardware store...

Dulce said...

A simple tbby? you?
No way

This is high standars poetry Shay!

mac said...

I'm glad I am not a cat. I do not like coffee !

Dulce said...

I meant 'standards' or ...'top notch' ( a word I just learnt today!)- So appropriate here!

and you know how i LOVE those kittens... OMG
;)
D.

PS, Sorry had to delete 'cause i made another mistake...must be the excitement.. LOL

Scarlet Ily said...

What a journey! This is excellent, Chica! It's a mind trip without a road map! How'd you do it???

Riot Kitty said...

Was that really based on a dream?

Tabitha Bird said...

I love this Shay. I too declared myself many things. Until recently. Now I am in the process of declaring me. :)

faye said...

Maybe a little too much coffee. ;-)

Senorita said...

Nice pussy you've got there !

Lydia said...

This is so darn original. I love being surprised by poetry, and this poem had surprises in spades. I love cats more than anything, and that means this poem rates five sterling whiskers.

Dayana Stockdale said...

OH WOW. What do I say??? You intrigued me, surprised me, confused me, and left wondering what kind of cat am I? I am a tortie. Splotchy and nutso.

Dayana Stockdale said...

P.S. your comment about the writing room inspired me so that it fueled my next post. so mucho mucho thanks!

Sarah said...

Excellent & very clever! I love the way you wrote of hands wrapped around things...the cat, the coffee, the cabinets as if they're all seeking the same thing.

Sara said...

Wow...we must be on the same wavelength regarding cats.

I liked these lines as they really fit cats (at least the ones I've known).

"You may think it a strange thing
For a cat to speak of duty;
We have it,
But on our own terms."

Right now, my cat is sitting in a chair next to my desk. She and the blind dog are keeping me company before the thunderstorm on the horizon scares us all:~)

Great poem and story. I like your redecorating:~)

Debbie said...

I love thinking about my cats and what is going on in their minds. I just know it is busy in there!

Cloudia said...

coffee cat my comfort

moondustwriter said...

This cat knows it's way around town in a blue car.

Loved it Shay

Moonie smiles

Kay said...

puuuurrrrrr-fect example of how much i have missed you :)