O Again --£…≥÷¢* 7. O Emmanuel (already) O God-with-us in NICU bassinets and nursing homes and truck cabs and warehouses. God-with-us-now on battlefields and bombshelters in churches and congress (even there). God-already-with-us dashing through the snow on city sidewalks in the bleak mid-winter. O. That’s all. Just O. *(cat typing. Why not here, too?)
Tag Archives: cats
DECEMBER ZUIHITSU It is easier to awaken in the dark of winter. The body opens slowly, warms slowly with Qi Gong practice, with hot coffee. The summer body is restless, quick, easily exhausted. Why must my study be the coldest room in the house? From the windows I watch bare ash trees and brushy hemlock trees moving slightly in the North wind, dark against a silver sky. Sometimes a feeling of desperation. The weather, the news. The way my hips still hurt. Driving into town we pass a herd of young horses racing across a frosty pasture. We agree that it must be a wonderful thing to be a young horse on a cold morning. On weekends, the woman who calls herself The Lady From the Gravel Company sells Christmas trees for her son who is out West hunting deer. She hopes he doesn’t get one, she told me, because already she has two deer and a bear in her freezer. The dog wants to eat her scraps on the living room carpet. The old cat wants the young cat’s food. The young cat wants the old cat’s food. My husband wants cooked chicken thighs. I want Rasta Pasta. At supper, I find the jalapeño pepper that had disappeared into the stew. Water does not put out that kind of fire. Strange bedside fellows: Neil Gaiman and Barbara Pym. I expect she could write about him: a mysterious man with tousled hair, much admired by excellent women. I cannot imagine what he could write about her. The dog must go out in the dark again to see if the fiend who hides under the steps is still hiding under the steps and to see if every deer track down the driveway was made by the same deer. I must go out with her to see the moon and to listen for the owl who sits in the oak tree behind the house.
Imaginary Paintings: Old Cat
`Japanese brush painting, artist unknown
His shoulder bones sharp,
he is a lion drinking
from a white clay bowl.
BACK TO THE EDGES OF ODDNESS
BACK TO THE EDGES OF ODDNESS
Since midsummer, fairies with green wings
twinkle around my eyes all night long.
They beg me to be invisible,
offer me fernseed and a cap woven
of milkweed and thistle fluff.
The dog is restless when they are in the house,
and my husband can’t sleep,
and I can’t explain. The cats
don’t seem to mind.
Whatever shall we do with realism,
reason, logic, the sciences that deny
the way things are? A cloud of demons,
their sharp laughter, the steadfast angels
raising their lavender shields.
Every tree has a soul; early in the morning
you can hear them singing to the sun.
Their music wakes the birds.
Angels are stars, balls of flaming gas.
Everything is real, but more or less
than anyone can imagine.
God is everything.
Nothing is mutually exclusive.
~after Marc Chagall
His mouth is open, mid-sentence.
The soles of his shoes are yellow,
his pants are green, his jacket
is blue. The figure behind the swing
is a brown blur. The swing
is in mid-arc, coming toward
the artist. In the ether
above the child, three cats
and a dog named Crazy
who is brown as Earth
are springing into being.
Crazy went away once
for a fortnight. When he got home,
he fell asleep at once. The animals
came with the swinging child
when he drove from California
to Vermont in one day. The cats
are named Thak, Willy, and Quilly.
They all died before you were born.
BLACK CAT ZACH
BLACK CAT ZACH
I am the only one who spells
his name correctly: Zachariah.
He appreciates that, and rewards me
by losing hair on a patch of his belly,
by leaving half-eaten mice on the rug,
by snagging my sweaters with his claws.
He is seven years old today.
Climber, racer, shoulder-sitter,
keyboard menace, (;ljhd )
friend of Thumbs Magee,
destroyer of plants and china bowls.
His beauty covers his sins.
Winter Prompt #21: A Country-Western Song
A COUNTRY-WESTERN SONG
Winter Prompt #21
He came through the night,
runnin’ all alone.
All he’d had to eat
was a thrown-out chicken bone.
This old cat has seen a lot of years
From the night I saw him first—
A streak of white across the drive,
Just fur and bones, but real alive,
All hunger, fight and thirst.
We trapped and took him to the vet
We thought we’d set him free
When he was fixed and had his shots,
But it turned out he liked us lots—
My good old man and me.
So now he’s sleeping on the chair
All full of fish and cream.
It goes to show that any stray
Just needs a hand along the way
To realize his dream.
Refrain, fading. . . .
Winter Prompts #1: Write a Proverb
Proverbs 31 King James Version (KJV)
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
This woman is worth her weight in rubies, all right—
she rises while it is yet night and makes the coffee,
feeds the cats and gives them medicines.
No matter how cold, she takes the dog out in the snow.
She sits then, or tries to, while her husband sleeps,
and she attempts to write and meditate.
The white cat climbs on her desk past the candle
trying to catch his tail on fire, and settles down
on her lap. The dog yelps to go out again
because the rabbits have come to feed.
Her children—her child, really, since she has
just the one—does not rise up to call her blessed.
No one rises up before she does, to call her
blessed, or anything else, for that matter.
January 20, 2018
The Spring St. Poets have decided to use prompts as a way of getting ready for a reading we’re doing in late February. This one is rather raw, to put it mildly.
TEN RULES FOR POETRY, #6, #7, #8
10 RULES FOR POETRY
Stop being superstitious. You do not
need a special pen or a blue notebook.
You do not need a tidy study with
a writing desk, or a corner table
in a dark café. You do not need to
drink anything but water, and any
cup will do. You do not need stars aligned,
flights of birds, a yellow candle, a white stone.
You do not need melancholy or fear.
You do not need to be in love or war.
You do not need an oracle or a muse.
All you need is a word, and another word.
You have to do something besides it.
Reading resembles it too much except
for books about the Civil War or bird-
watching. Birdwatching is good, except for
seagulls, who steal words. Robbery is okay,
but do you really need more things? Taking
care of things, in moderation, can be
helpful, except for electronic things
that claw out your eyeballs. Nobody wants
to read any poetry about that.
Silence is essential but not absolute.
Breezes are allowed, a bit of birdsong,
some water sounds—no seagulls or faucets.
The undertow of café chatter is fine,
but not the shrill of phone chat. Purring cats,
yes. Barking dogs, no. If your husband is
drilling or sawing in the next room no
matter how much you want a new tub surround,
you might as well give up.
TEN RULES OF POETRY, #1
TEN RULES OF POETRY
Give the cats away.
Throw the houseplants over the bank.
Offer the garden to the deer.
Put the baby in a basket in the bulrushes.
Send your husband to Ultima Thule.
Change your name.
Open the door.