the cat


While I was washing roses by the gate
with a dash of liquid Omo on a toothbrush,
fish-heads came to mind,
and I began a metaphysical meander
with just the two of us: my neighbor’s cat and I.

Two chords for self-taught breathing,
causality’s unwound tidal oscillations,
nor birds nor raindrops nor Pangaea:
everyone is waiting for a doorway in the wind,
feather-dusting the furniture for departure.

Self-taught science, so forth art,
henceforth predilections;
a hollow beetle, its midsummer buzz
hyperventilates the unbreathable,
shows you how to finalize the world.

She didn’t like that, the cat:
ending after ending;
lucidity not fluidity,
she preferred.


She, Felix Sapiens, with a doctoral degree in felinity
(only the Egyptians of antiquity caught a glimpse),
and me, with Omo,
fish heads and roses,
a secondhand bouquet.

I almost forgot to mention
the cat’s communication skills:
mostly telepathic, unless
a parallel scratching was warranted.

She whispered softly inside my head.

Which is the rose’s prima petal?
Where does the deciduous moon
start its orbit?

Collateral questions, contemporaneous perplexity,
and I didn’t like that.

She didn’t wait for my deliquescent thoughts.

Once, when the moon was bloated and blue as the sky,
it made Infinity jealous.

She went looking for Eternity
to clarify the universal observer’s role.

As anticlimactic as an unsmoked cigarette.
Still, I would go with her.

dedicated to the cat


  • Omo, laundry detergent, copyright Unilever Australasia P/L.
  • “Hablar cabezas de pescado” (Spanish, literally, speak fish heads) say nonsensical unimportant things.
  • ancient Egyptian cat worship

the future of green paint (part above), from VEE, the visual evolution engine, with EMMA, an entropy min-max add-on.


33 thoughts on “the cat

  1. Love this poem and art work, Steve! My favourite lines (there’s many more), “mostly telepathic, unless
    a parallel scratching was warranted”…” she went looking for Eternity
    to clarify the universal observer’s role.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The cat is out… to have a chat with the moon, I suspect. It wouldn’t want to miss the chance to howl at the Super Blood Wolf Moon. Cats and moons are fascinating muses, Steve. I enjoy this so.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m glad someone knows what the cat is thinking. I hope she’s not some sort of werecat though: I imagine their scratches are less than playful.

      I had a muse once. She wasn’t particularly impressed with my efforts, but I managed to untie the ropes and swim back to shore. 😸 Thank you, Annie.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, yes, poisonous scratches laden with spells. (In another life I’m probably a cat.)

      Muse, ropes, and shore. Sounds like an adventurous voyage. 😁 You’re welcome, Steve.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not surprised so many people like this, How do you think of it all? I love it especially the picture. It is so delicate and puts me in mind, rose petals in a wash of clouds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am perpetually surprised, Margaret. It’s just whatever pops into my head. Wine and coffee both have an effect, but I’m not sure whether it’s a good one. 😸 Wine definitely helps with the panicking when I haven’t written anything though.

      Glad you like the artwork, I’m still experimenting as usual.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Paul. Have to admit I’m feeling less than skilled these days in a number of areas. I find it is quite different to write one-off pieces, that, perhaps, come closer to my own reality and have a little less fantasy. One thing that remains constant is the pleasure of writing.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Deliquescent? I’m becoming very word-savvy since reading your work! “everyone is waiting for a doorway in the wind, feather-dusting the furniture for departure.” That would be me! And this: “A doctoral degree in felinity.” I so envy them just being who they are. And that last line… Loverly, Steve.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sooner like if not in strict form, but in shift of perspective, which all comes together for with these very amazing lines:

    “Once, when the moon was bloated and blue as the sky,
    it made Infinity jealous.
    She went looking for Eternity
    to clarify the universal observer’s role.“

    Such interesting personifications, making strange sense through a window of felinity, interesting to picture infinity envious of beauty, and then infinity seeking her sister eternity, and what is the difference between them other than the infinitesimal divisions that separate us all? Or was it the moon, or the cat, or the poet seeking eternity? This is gorgeous Steve, too bad I am allergic (really, I really really really want a cat).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Lona, I appreciate your thoughtful and thought provoking comments. I find my mind wandering off into a pleasant forest of hidden earlier and later sonnets. And is Eternity at the beginning or the end of time or both, waiting where there is no time, where the sea runs from the horizon? I will have to ask the cat.

      I have a lot of allergies but fortunately I’m not allergic to cats. That’s a nuisance, the Buddhists tell me attachment (such as wanting a cat) is the cause of suffering. When I consume wine to alleviate suffering, they tell me I am breaking the precept of maintaining mindfulness. They are spoil sports.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “And is Eternity at the beginning or the end of time or both, waiting where there is no time, where the sea runs from the horizon?” This needs to be enveloped in a poem, like time within eternity. An achingly beautiful question.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve been carrying around an image in my head all week of liquid Omo, tooth brush’s and roses all week. The line about door ways and wind would be at home in a sixties folk song . From detergent to cosmic yearning, brilliant stuff, Steve!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. (I am currently hosting Felix the rabbit… from a children’s story… the daughter of a friend in the US is doing a class project where Felix gets to travel all over. I was just wondering about the name Felix, and how I can’t get “Felix, the Cat” out of my head since it arrived!)

    This is brilliant, Steve. I laughed out loud at the opening, sighed at doorways in the wind, perfect. And well, everything else. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A felicitous feline coincidence with Latin sound-alike words I guess. For example, Felicity (my niece), “Happiness.” I don’t know anyone called Felinity, or Felix for that matter.

      Thanks, Vanessa. I am a happy cat despite the windy world. 😸

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I think it’s best not to believe cats unless they say something flattering. As it happens, last week, my neighbor’s cat explained the metaphysical purpose of my life to me. I wish I could remember what she said. I wrote it down, but I’ve lost the piece of paper.

      Liked by 1 person

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