The Cat with No Eyes

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Was photographed

on a bus seat with sunglasses

smoking a cigarette,

on a pedestal wearing a tiny

camouflage boonie hat,

floating on a little pillow in a

wading pool with flowers

behind its ears,

& in ninety other poses —

and because it had no eyes

that cat from Abu Ghraib

they put pebbles in the sockets

of its mummified head

which looked out at the world

with a blank stare..

 

[ based on a New Yorker story on Sabrina Harriman: the woman

behind the camera at Abu Ghraib]

 

 

 

 

I Hate being a Cat

angry cat

I hate being a cat, she says.

Not that I’m a wuss

But there’s more minuses than pluses

at being someone’s puss.

 

You have to wait until they’re ready

To get food put into yr bowl

The one you sit behind so patiently

and try not to scowl.

 

And when they have a friend stay

Then it’s a hey diddle-diddle

You’re no longer alpha female

but playing second fiddle.

 

I like to go out and in, she says

Or in and out at will

But someone sadly has other ideas

Which is why I’m here still.

 

Oh I could write a novel, she wails

There’d be fury on every page

Not that I’m a Prima Donna

But I like being centre stage.

You Coming Up?

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It’s a great day to be on the roof. You coming up?

I don’t know, I say. It’s an awfully long way.

Don’t be a wuss! She says.

Watch it, I say.

 

But she scrambles up, climbing the tiled slopes and disappears.

What’s it like? I call.

Fan—bloody—tastic!! She says. You should see this.

You can tell me about it later, I say. Write me a poem.

 

The sun climbs towards its zenith, begins it s long slide towards the sea.

I hear nothing till dinner time when I hear plaintive cries.

I let her stew for a while then  go out the back, look up.

She’s near the gutter but doesn’t go any further.

 

What’s wrong? I say.

Get me down, she whimpers.

What’s wrong? You can get up. You can get down.

It’s an awfully long way, she wails.

Who’s a ‘fraidy cat now?

I’m sorry I called you a ‘wuss’, she says.

I reach up, lift her down. She runs straight to her bowl.

 

What’s the forecast tomorrow? She asks after she’s finished eating.

Overcast with a chance of showers.

Damn! She meows but sounds almost glad.

 

 

Execution on the Golf Course

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We sit on the deck, sipping our gin and tonics, watching the sun go down over the golf course when we spot a police vehicle drive onto the fairway and towards the rough where the car stops and an officer gets out. Three shots ring out.

Over dinner the head waiter fills us in. A king ‘roo had been hit by an SUV and wandered onto the course badly wounded, terrifying golfers whereby the manager phoned the RSPCA who suggested they phone the police. The ‘roo had been put down.

We drink our wine subdued as the dark creeps in.

The Insoluble Problem of Motivation

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It had been on the vacant lot next to the church

For over half a year and no one in all that time

 

Could rustle up enough motivation to mow the lawn

Or clear it of rubbish. I thought of calling

 

The number on the back a few times but just couldn’t

Get motivated enough to ring or attend one

 

Of their weekly meetings & I thought about something

A friend had said about running a Special Olympics

 

For the Motivationally Challenged but the problem

With that, I said, was that nobody would bother

 

To turn up. I thought then of the historically highly

Motivated: Hitler, Stalin, the rapacious bankers, Isis

 

And concluded that a low motivated populace isn’t

Necessarily a bad thing.

 

The Parable of the Pearl Oyster

pearl oyster

 

I envy the patience of pearl oysters

Which can labour up to twenty years

To produce a pearl of great price.

 

The freshwater ones lacking the deep

Patience of their seawater cousins

Produce a pearl in a mere six.

 

But I have the shallow patience

of a gnat: a poem in a few minutes

else I lose interest.

 

No wonder I produce little of lasting

Value.