Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Poems, Cats, Snakes...

Garfield, being a cat.

By Mary Oliver

Salt shining behind its glass cylinder.
Milk in a blue bowl. The yellow linoleum.
The cat stretching her black body from the pillow.
The way she makes her curvaceous response to the small, kind gesture.
Then laps the bowl clean.
Then wants to go out into the world
where she leaps lightly and for no apparent reason across the lawn,
then sits, perfectly still, in the grass.
I watch her a little while, thinking:
what more could I do with wild words?
I stand in the cold kitchen, bowing down to her.
I stand in the cold kitchen, everything wonderful around me.

from New and Selected Poems, 1992

Little Debbie, huntress, pouncing on her brother-cat.

Steve Kowit

This evening, the sturdy Levi's
I wore every day for over a year
& which seemed to the end
in perfect condition,
suddenly tore.
How or why I don't know,
but there it was: a big rip at the crotch.
A month ago my friend Nick
walked off a racquetball court,
got into this street clothes,
& halfway home collapsed & died.
Take heed, you who read this,
& drop to your knees now & again
like the poet Christopher Smart,
& kiss the earth & be joyful,
& make much of your time,
& be kindly to everyone,
even to those who do not deserve it.
For although you may not believe
it will happen,
you too will one day be gone,
I, whose Levi's ripped at the crotch
for no reason,
assure you that such is the case.
Pass it on.

from The Dumbbell Nebula, 2000

Yeah, baby, it's Spring in the swamp.  Let the snakes slither on!  I think this is a King snake.  I let it live, but I'm not sure if the cats did.  They deplore reptiles. 

Sometimes what's in my head demands to come out and it scares the hell out of me.  This was one of the last times I smeared glue and pictures and words from my head onto a piece of cardboard.   I know, right???!!!

Marion, still celebrating National Poetry Month with gusto!!!


Kelly said...

I love the Mary Oliver poem and the kitty pix. (actually, I like both poems) Cats are such contortionists!!

Phoenix said...

Garfield seems like a yoga-master. Wow. I'm impressed.

Mary Oliver, of course, being the goddess that she is... can she even write a bad poem, one that does not strike like a snake into the very heart of my being? I'm obsessed with her poems, and the way she thinks.

Kowit's poem "Notice" is also fantastic. It's those little moments of stopping and looking around at what we have... I think that's where all poems are born, anyway.

Happy National Poetry Month to you, Marion, who keeps it in your heart year-round.

Wine and Words said...

"It was a relief to have no hope because then I had no fear." WOW Marion. I wrote this down, to digest in incremental pills of either nutrition or arsenic. I know not which, or in what order, or if I shall outlive either.

It's a dark collage, and yet there is hope in it. It is the moon Marion, half always in shadow, half in light. You have become the muse.

Much love dearest.

Ben Ditty said...

We both posted about cats :-D

erin said...

i take notice))

sometimes taking notice shakes the firmest ideas.

you do poetry well for us all, marion.


Anonymous said...

Cats are great. That does appear to be a king.