Friday, March 25, 2011

Poems by RD Hartwell

Cat Pelts

Cat pelts are draped across the furniture.
Do not become entangled in their lives,
For their claws will ensnare your soul,
Placing you under their dominion.

Dominated by cats, I shift yet again,
Contouring myself to their lives.
They give back more than they take,
Not something easily said of kin.

Something shifts, animating their fur.
Sleek bodies stretch in seesaw rhythm.
Silently, I watch their undulating lumber,
Stalking, readying to attack the sunbeam.

Company Cat

He is the company cat.
No, not the mouser in the warehouse.
No, not the doorstop in the front hallway.
No, not the backyard birder protecting fruit trees.

He keeps me company on the table as I write,
Loose hairs blowing across the papered plateau;
One paw lain protectively across my open page,
Poised to help my pen if I slow down or pause.

He is my abbreviated editor, the company cat.

Gray Cat

I lose my cat in the morning,
Gray cat melting in a gray dawn,
Freedom slinking over the lawn,
Lurking in the foreign shadows;
Padded paws tingling with dew,
Ears pricked to nuanced sounds,
Unnaturally alive, outside at dawn.

Postal Cat

I saw the postal cat today, across the sill, lounging in a chair.
He didn’t really greet me,
Or even deign to meet me,
Nor did I feel acknowledgment that I was even there.

I had to step around him, while his predatory glare
Kept me in his orange-eyed focus, as if to say ‘I dare
You to disturb me, and if you think to do so, I’ll share
My bureaucratic fangs with you in a most defiant stare.’

When I finally bought my stamps, and turned, I spied my foe.
That postal cat was stalking me,
It suddenly occurred to me,
For interrupting his naptime, he was intimidating me to go.


The stately Cheshire cat parades and weaves herself
Upon the ledge, in and out, among the many books,
Her gaze intent, alert for any movement on the shelf.
She soon tires and searches for a bed within the nooks.

Much like my cat, I’m searching through the books
Looking to parade my knowledge before the young,
But as the lunch bell sounds, they enter with those looks.
I know they’ll soon tire, curl up, and then be done.


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