10 August 2016

Of Cats and Mice and Other Food for Thought

 Illustration of "Le vieux chat et la jeune souris" by Auguste Vimar (1851-1916)


Mice know the reason
cats are in my home—
the murderous instinct
beneath their poise,
the sharp eyesight
that takes to hunting flies
as Shakespeare’s gods
hunted humans for sport.

Biblical psalms, reveal such longing 
for holy actions of life and death
within the joyous song and dance in praise
of God’s all-knowing vision and justice.

Cats hunger for con-
quest as well as food,
instinct armed with tooth,
claw and speedy grace,
playfully honed
in my sweet living room
where I meditate
and dangle strings.

Oh, but I am innocent—never kill,
rarely read the old testament, credit 
my sources, and buy where everyone
else shops, blissfully ignorant of harm.

Cats blink innocence,
perform full-body
baths, snuggle up for
well-earned praise and pats
rewarding me for
keeping them well fed
by their purring, posing
and marking of turf.

And I cuddle with cats.  Having received
my money’s worth of protection, I now
share priceless affection, wondering what
their poetry would say beyond “meow.”



For Sumana's 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Predator and Prey

Forgive me.  I love my cats without apology.  Otherwise I might have titled this "Snuggling with the Enemy."

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.

© 2016 Susan L. Chast 





14 comments:

Gillena Cox said...

Susan the serious ponderings, of old and new, is nicely sweetened, with the wit of your end line. An absolutely marvellous read from start to finish

much love...

telltaletherapy said...

I like the parallels in the two voices - non judgemental indeed

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Oh I LOVE this especially the lines "Biblical psalms, reveal such longing for holy actions of life and death within the joyous song and dance in praise of God’s all-knowing vision and justice" left me in a sort of daze. Beautifully executed.

Lots of love,
Sanaa

Jae Rose said...

I think they would say thank you - but that's a simplistic response to your poem which i know means so much more - and yet perhaps the very essence of life is for all beings to be able to experience safety, warmth and nourishment..and of course full-body baths and playing with string help too

Julian said...

Certainly captured the character of a cat, and then cleverly set it with contrast against psalms. Love the progression from mouse, to cat, to I. Did enjoy reading this Susan

Martin Kloess said...

Extremely clever reflection. Thank you for this

Mary said...

You really know cats, Susan, and have learned much from them. I wonder what their poetry would be like too and wonder if 'meow' has multiple meanings!

Sumana Roy said...

"Oh, but I am innocent—never kill,
rarely read the old testament, credit
my sources, and buy where everyone
else shops, blissfully ignorant of harm." this is my favorite portion..."murderous instinct", "such longing for holy actions", "hunger for con-quest" really speak much about life with humor...and o my the last line is stellar Susan...soooo enjoyed this poem...Thank you...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

It is wonderful how we can love their playful innocence and turn a blind eye to other facets of their natures. I had to do that with Pup - he had that wild streak that kept me on edge when small animals were around....but he also wandered around with great big stuffed animals in his mouth, blowing his cover completely. LOL.

Old Egg said...

Whatever they said I am sure they would say it purrfectly.

Jasmin said...

sooo love this. arn't cats so cute, they would write slinky poetry i think.:))

Maria said...

Meow, meow... Purr, purr, purr... <3 Too cute!

Panchali said...

Oh, I would love to see a book of cat-written poems!! Interesting piece, Susan. Enjoyed reading :)

Nicholas V said...

Well said, Susan! Pets are really part of our family and they give so much back of the love we lavish on them.
Though I am a dog person myself, I enjoyed reading this!