My soul is restless as a cat on windy nights,
when thoughts like pretty ribbons
in the wind are dangled briefly,
catch my eye, I reach, and
off they go, to draw me out and on
to dance the dervish, fly aloft
in silvern light ascending,
whiskers twitching, wideyes shining . . . .
The sky is a shiny black pearl
enclosing a crystaliquid world
with moon and stars lighting tiny structures:
Mountain forest silhouette
against a glowing silver sky
enclosed in darkness hidden greens
and russet brown of redwood bark
rapid rabbit heart waiting breathless
black beetle busy digging like
claw of cat with large and
limpid eye enclosing
Shallow breathing, slow and even;
The mat of leaves and twigs can barely hide you,
and he can smell you.
Pacing the light spot of the clearing
the puma is moaning low and long, insistent
to find your puny hairless flesh;
and you can smell his musk.
You sweat fear
he sweats rage
tail twitching, nostrils flaring, eye slits searching
Swallow the scream, still your shaking.
Warm Nuzzles Waking
Drifting up from dreams of comfort,
smooth, cool sheets and warm weight on my chest.
Claws retracted, paws that knead the covers,
and a purring, furry snout beneath my chin.
The murmur growing, glow begins to spread
Delicious stillness in my limbs
a sleepy fog inside my head.
The flush extending down my sides,
the smell of cat pee jangles me awake.
Cats don’t always land on their feet.
Gray unpainted pews in a gray unpainted station
hints of brown beneath the dust
no train, no bus.
The man in the pew ahead is holding
a huge black cat
long and thin, of silken soot.
He holds it like a baby at his shoulder,
rocking forward, pats its neck
and the cat glares back at you.
Rocking back they creak the pew
and the panther takes a swipe.
Taloned paw on snake-thin foreleg,
lifted high in graceful motion,
flung down, stretching out to strike,
but not quite reaching eye and lip
The wind of a near miss ruffles your hair
and all you can do is gag and stare
The yellow eye is welded to your own
and every slap comes closer
hunt the smoky crime-night street
and smell my fear
amid the dust and grass blades.
They glide by, purring
gut-low growl of
ego anger, self-assured
piston-pounding cylinder drums.
One crouches back to gather
paws and will and
sudden force uncoiling
flaring forward, burning
blue-white path through rushing night
Howling heavy metal
engine guitar gravel
turbine scream projectile
lengthens down the row of yellow lights
leaving a scent trail of sweathot rubber
burning bakelite, smoking grease
and hot black-carbon breath.