"Why," thought the cat,
"can I see through the glass,
but when I try to go through it,
it won't let me pass?"
"There are bugs out there,"
the cat thought to himself,
"yet to them, I'm as dull as
a book on a shelf!"
The cat shook his head,
"This is really too much!
There's two squirrels in the yard
and a bird in the brush."
"How much fun it would be,"
with a mew he announced,
"to hunt and to stalk and then
"Why, I'd shake them until
their necks were broke!
Maybe then," mused the cat,
"I'd be more than a joke."
"They'd be amazed by my prowess,"
he thought with a sigh,
"I'd torture them slowly and
they'd wonder why,"
"they never realized that
I was a threat,
while completely ignoring me
like I was their pet."
"I'd show them," he growled
as he laid on the sill,
"with them in my tummy,
I'd savor the kill."
"They'd show some respect,"
he thought with a yawn,
"I'd shown them who's king
of this yard and this lawn."
Head full of adventure,
he fell fast asleep,
safe in his house,
with plenty to eat.
So, he thinks the game is done,
But it's been too much fun
Bouncing him back and forth between my paws
And taunting him with toothy jaws.
He used pretty words to get away
But he knows he cannot stay
For I have the cheese that is his fix
And even addicts run out of tricks.
Now my little mouse has taken a mate
And looks to love to resolve his fate.
But when he thinks he's free and clear,
That's when I shall reappear.
This is a game he cannot win.
Felines know the minds of men.
One day my little mouse must resign
To live his life by a cat's design.
Gambit you were such a friend
twenty years we had together
filled with the fun of your antics
like the time as a kitten
you jumped on the table
and sniffed a burning candle
you leapt up high and sideways
in shock and nasty surprise
every hair of your body on end
You hated it when I sang
and would get in my face
I knew if I did not stop
you would bite my nose
just like you did Rita's
one time when she was crying
which only made her howl the more
you ran our lives with military precision
food on the table right on time
or you would let us know you were not pleased
The black scourge of the neighbourhood
you intensely disliked the other cats
but also you hated it if you were alone
a special bond you shared with my dogs
to them you were always kind once they
knew their place that is, too boisterous
and your claws would inflict a scratch
as for the birds you hunted them with glee
often taking them out of the air as by they flew
Our twenty years together were not enough
I still miss you and your own lovable ways
Gambit dearest Gambit you were and are the best
unique and a tyrant you ruled my heart
fearless and bold you now await me in paradise
contest Animals Alive
Hello, my name is Pearl Smudges and I am a cat
I live in a beautiful apartment in an old building
With My Girl and until recently Violet Patches
One day My Girl got the cat carrier out
She put Violet Patches inside and left
When she came back the carrier was empty
And she was weeping
I rolled myself up in my blanket for three days
Slowly, sadly we are coming to terms with our loss
The end of grieving is just within reach
April 12, 2015
For the contest, Just Within Reach, sponsor, John Lawless
Familiar avenue, follies in the midst abandoning themselves to the fresh-air moon,
lured by old hallway allies into the bedroom bay, where the garden will still be, with a
The laundry turns,
the night dries.
They harass and blame those who follow far behind, await a signal from inside to
let 'em starve, ignore as they toe past the prow of the porch, past the tattered
drapes, tilting their tails;
old memory prints on window panes, that, at first glance, still have some taste
evaporate from a distance.
The prowlers aren't afraid to be strays, and they empty into the streets with
ashtrays, living their own way, solely opportunistic,
they usually pay for it in the end, if they ever get a glimpse.
And inside was a lifetime ago, as was her childhood, still stirring outside, roadside
across Fifth Street, underneath anything, to fall slowly, and awake sleepless,
remembering sounds of talking news.
* * * * *
At first light any morning, we blew smoke in the corners, a breath across the
covered picture frames wrapped in winter quilts of old coats that filled the front room,
memory replaced with swamped cardboard and wet newspapers
from the guest bedroom, and a mattress of molded mothballs.
Those last few nights, her friends came to visit but they hand’t returned;
the well-wisher and rubber neck gave more than some passerby;
left and chose not to write, ditched fifty miles east, right at the bend, on the back
fork of a highway river without a number.
© 2013 Wesley T Cutlip
I am not sure where I was born or even when,
Many grand places I have called home;
Now, I am one of many in a second hand store,
Some chairs are old like me and some newer.
Some days, if the sun is just right it shines on me,
That feels so good but mostly it is darkness;
I woke, to find a little girl looking at me thoughtfully,
Grandma she called, I found it, I found the one.
An elderly woman came to look at me closely,
Oh Dear Heart, it is so old and looks faded;
Grandma, I love it, please, please can we buy it,
Okay smiled grandma, let me go pay the man.
Dear heart and Grandma carried me out,
And down the street we must have been a sight;
Up the stairs and in the door and beside a big window,
Oh, I like it there with the dappled sun shining on me.
They spent quite some time cleaning me, how it tickled,
Then each took a turn on my faded upholstery seat;
And Dear Heart announced that I was to be her chair,
Most days they would sit opposite with cups of tea.
They talked and laughed, read books and wrote poems,
It was a perfect home and did I mention Fluffy Cat;
Oh yes, Fluffy Cat enjoyed a sleep in the sun on my seat,
She could spend a whole day there sweetly purring.
One day, she jumped up and curled up for her usual nap,
I felt her take a sigh and then everything went so quiet;
And I knew my furry ball, Fluffy Cat was gone up to heaven,
All day I held her in my arms, I had lost a friend.
Dear Heart is the one who found her and picked her up,
Sitting down on me she wept and wept and wept;
I wanted to wrap my arms around her and to comfort her.
But of course because I am a chair that is silly.
Well, days passed and I could feel the pain in both,
My two loves were grieving for that old Fluffy Cat;
Then guess what, a kitten was scratching my old leg,
And all that Dear Heart girl did was laugh and laugh.
July 9, 2015
For the Story Poem Contest, sponsor, Carol Eastman
The black cat creeps through the alley in the dead of night
Careful not to wake the man slouched over, hiding under his wide-brimmed hat,
one hand tightly wound around the bottle disguised by a paper bag
She gently licks the drops around the mouth of the glass flask and tiptoes back,
leaving no trace of her presence
The sweet smelling incense behind the chain link fence entices her
The curandera smiles down at her while playing the tambourine and chanting at the
The night sings its song and the cat listens, the bass coming from the small house
with four walls, vibrating underneath her paws
She stops to lick them and scratch between her eyes
Her eyes glisten like bright green marbles and meet the eyes of the girl pressed up
against the shed with the Virgin Mary painted on it
The boy stomps his foot, making the cat jump and scurry away
The man walking with his daughter’s porcelain doll does not see her
He has plans
The cat sees all
She pounces on the little red ball surrounded by garbage,
quickly passing it from one paw to the next
She flips it upside down and holds it steady with all fours, playfully biting the rubber
She owns the alley and the night
Few make it to see the light of day, the vagabonds and cat’s surroundings constantly
Her lithe shadow pays tribute to the same
The black cat creeps through the alley in the dead of night