Category Archives: poems about animals

Overpacking

 

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Overpacking

Where is it that a cat belongs? She’ll be the judge of that.
Wherever I am going, I am sure to need a cat.
She’ll help me with my packing and be my memory
so I don’t forget to take her when I set out to sea.

She can’t see how her company could go against my wishes.
A cat goes well with boats and anywhere where there are fishes.
Each morning she repacks herself and each night in the dark
she asks herself once more just when we’ll finally embark.

After a week of packing, my case is finally full.
I shut the lid, secure the lock, pick up the strap and pull.
I’m off to catch the red eye that will fly me off to Rome
to catch the boat that for one week will make do as my home.

I have packed so carefully, checking off my list
that I’m sure there’s nothing that I could have missed.
But I know that Annie, sleeping curled up on her mat,
when she wakes up and finds me gone, will not agree with that.

In spite of her best efforts, alas, she’s left behind.
It seems that human planning isn’t always kind
to cats who have spun fantasies of travel and romance.
Did human plans concur with hers? Poor Annie. Not a chance.

It’s a wonderful coincidence that the dVerse Poets prompt today is “Felines,” since just this morning I found this photo taken three weeks ago as I packed for my Mediterranean cruise with my sister. I meant to publish it back then but forgot and was wondering when it would be appropriate to use it as an illustration. I didn’t have to wait long to find out.

 

Unlikely Pairing

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Unlikely Pairing

One ungainly orphan elephant, wandering and uncertain
of where his journey’s leading him, comes upon a curtain
of mist that rises from the plain, shimmering, evanescent.
The stars now muted overhead, the moon a fuzzy crescent.
He splits the curtain, comes upon a lone and lost impala
split off from the herd during some wild stampeding gala.
They form a duo and plod on, each looking for a herd.
Such an unlikely couple. Impossibly absurd.
And yet they struck a certain chord, each one with the other.
She was the sister that he lacked, and he her missing brother.
One thing led to another. She fit him like a glove,
and before they knew it, the two were fast in love.
When the baby came, it looked a bit like a nyala,
a bit like a rhinoceros––an elephantiala!!

Prompts today are intent, orphan, elephant (good grief) and evanescent. Add this one, too: curtain.

Unplanned Sighting

I had driven Yolanda home after giving her the gift for Yoli, which was too fragile to hand carry down the hill, and the day too hot as well. Her street is a long one with no guaranteed fast exit to the carretera as side streets are  usually plugged with trucks parked in their middle or chairs and canopy out for a funeral visitation or children playing soccer or neighbors gathered in front of a makeshift tienda—table spread with crisp snacks or candies or huge jug of horchata. So after leaving her off, I drove the long blocks to the main street that leads down to the malecon—and the glorious monstrous magnolia tree that is home to dozens of huge snowy egrets—most of whom bedeck its top branches like glorious white magnolias. Maddening that in my rush I didn’t grab my camera, as one particular egret was putting on an incredible show. If it was a mating ritual, no creature other than myself seemed to be noticing, but, in lieu of a camera, I have to try to share it with you.  The photos above are of previous viewings and none of them present the incredible performance I saw today.  Oh, that I had been able to show you that glorious long neck snaking out in an expanding “S,” again and again against the unbroken blue of the sky, then the whipping of the fragile long  feathers of the underwings!                    

 

Unplanned Sighting

Delicate white fan,
glorious in its expanse,
puffed chest expanding upwards,
    above it sinuous long neck expanding, roiling upwards
as though in supplication, or crowing splendor,
wing fanning and then whipping out, again and again
that S of neck from the top of the
biggest tree in town
majestically
jeweled with the glorious bedecking
of egrets at rest, tucked into themselves,
unlike you, glorious worshiper of calm blue sky,
spreading your feathers as though seeking to be the envy
of all those others whose gazes seem to be
directed inwards, to private memories.
     Only I, human observer of your world, to witness
caught helpless, without camera,
­­­­only an eye and tongue
to try to convey
your lovely
fragile
swaying

ballet of puffed
             pride or
grooming?

 

Only three prompt words today. One of the sites didn’t post.  The words are chest, envy and gaze. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/rdp-sunday-chest/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/07/fowc-with-fandango-envy/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/gaze/

 

Retribution

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Retribution

He built himself a sanctuary in the old garage
to shelter from his mom’s complaints, his stepfather’s barrage
of insults that he spewed out whenever he drank beer
and his teenage stepson happened to be near.
He frequented the shadows of their viral house.
Took shelter in the attic, quiet as any mouse.
Hid out in the garden in a cave of loam.
Anyplace his stepfather was not became his home.

His meals lacked spice and savor also missing in his mother.
Her meals furnished nutrition, but very little other.
No laughter flavored mealtimes. The food rendered no spice.

He secreted small bits of food—a slice of bread, some rice—
to feed to his companions—a family of mice.
It was worth the beatings that he’d suffered twice
when that man not his father saw him hide away
some morsel in his pocket and said he’d have to pay.

 Raising his fist, he said he would take it from his hide
and gave another beating  to the boy who never cried.
The boy who simply stored it up—kept all of it inside—
bore the abuse stoically and then crept outside
to commune with his real family who lived in wall and  rafter
of the garage he’d made his home, and filled with love and laughter.
They came out at his bidding, swarmed around his feet
to eat a bit of porridge, some carrot or a beet.

Some crackers from his school lunch, some lettuce or a plum,
proved the presence of a heart that otherwise was numb.
Mice frequented his pockets and sat upon his shoulder—
every generation seeming to grow bolder.
They slipped into his mother’s house when she was sound asleep
and crept into those places where he could never creep.
They nestled in her shoes and chewed out all the toes,
severed all her bra straps, gnawed holes in all her hose.

They found the belt the monster man used to beat their friend,
dragged it deep under the bed and chewed it end-to-end.
When they crept into the larder to finish off the pie,
it must have been an accident that the can of lye
spilled into the sugar, pouring out in one fine stream
right into the bowl that would be placed beside the cream
on the breakfast table.  For how could it be
that vermin knew only the man took sugar in his tea?

 

The prompt words today are sanctuary, garage and nutrition.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/rdp-saturday-sanctuary/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/02/09/fowc-with-fandango-garage/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/your-daily-word-prompt-nutrition-february-9-2019/

Basking

Basking

Cats love of apricity is more than just a fluke.
It is a vital tendency and so we can’t rebuke
our cats for lying prone a lot in any ray of sun.
A cat’s in need of toasting as much as any bun.
If you can imagine a Kardashian without
the flash of any flashbulb, you will without a doubt
be able to imagine a cat without the rays
filtered through venetian blinds, or fully in the blaze
of a scorching summer sun. A cat can withstand all
the heat that we can give them, in summer, winter fall.
And if there is no sun at all, a cat can just make do
with the full attention of a surrogate like you!!!

(Enlarge all photos by clicking on any one.)

Prompt words for today are vital, rebuke, apricity and imagine.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/rdp-monday-vital/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/01/14/fowc-with-fandango-rebuke/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/your-daily-word-prompt-apricity-january-14-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/imagine/

Breaking Her Diet

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Breaking Her Diet

I measure her cat food with care from the vat,
but she has such an aptitude, my little cat
for flushing out lizards and others like that.
With delicate paw thrusts, she gives them a bat
’til they barely know where it is that they’re at,
then unleashes her claws for a more severe pat.

Be it lizard or bird or scorpion or rat,
she defeats it as though it were merely a gnat
and lays it out nicely on my front door mat:
one scorpion sting less or a feather for my hat,
then returns to the stool where she formerly sat,
licking her chops, and that’s why she’s so fat!!!

 

The prompts were cat, aptitude and delicate.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/rdp-72-cat/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/08/11/fowc-with-fandango-aptitude/

https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/delicate

Another Modest Proposal

DSC08411Macho” assemblage and photo by jdb

Another Modest Proposal

Once a species has been depleted,
it’s sad that it can’t be repeated.
This is true of guys and gals
as surely as for animals.
So though we hate to limit fun
that might be realized with your gun,
unless you’re hunting for your fodder,
we ask that you confine your slaughter
to paper targets, or wood or clay,
and do not blow game sport away
like rhinos, elephants, giraffes.
Their slaughters are the greatest gaffes.
If you must kill a living thing,
form yourselves into a ring,
make prayers to the Holy Mother
and target practice on each other!

 

Yes, this is hyperbole!! The WordPress prompt is deplete.