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The cat's rear rises
to meet my stroke...and is gone!
Was I not worthy?

Sam ran off last fall,
dumb cat. Bird song everywhere.
Is he still alive?

Home late. Three meowing cats
lead me into the kitchen.
Call of the tame!

Trying to write;
the cat invades my lap --
HER lap.

I hold my notebook over her,
she's gone.

Now she won't look at me,
but soon I'll be, alas,

The above three haiku go together. She wanted to take possession of "her" lap. I wanted to write. I tried a compromise, left her on my lap, held my notebook above her so I could write, but tht wasn't good enough for her. The "alas" in the third one refers to the likelihood that when she forgives me, she'll return to my lap.

Sorry, sleeping cat:
I've just got to
uncross my legs.

Of her own volition
the cat leaves my lap -
I can walk!

When, after a long stay in my lap, insisting that I stroke her head precisely the right way - no, not that way, this way! - when the cat leaps off me, I want to stand, like Dr. Strangelove rising from his wheelchair, and cry out, "Mein Fuher, I can valk!"

The cat goes
from my lap toward the chair...
hell, she's back.

"Hell" because I was hoping to have regained freedom of motion.

White cat leaps
into the bushes...out floats
orange butterfly.

We've lost a cat,
but look at the three fine moths
we've gained!

Cats like to dawdle when you open the door for them, giving the moths lots of time to fly in. After all, to keep them out, you'd have to shut the door on the cat's tail.

Made to release her mouse,
the cat won't look at me.

White cat on the path
sees me coming, scoots.
Lonely human.

Strange house. Cat walking
toward the door sees me, stops with
forepaw curled in air.

Easy to tell her
from the other cushions -
two pointy things stick up.

Touch them...they twitch.
Whistle...they twitch. Touch almost...

These two haiku go together. Both deal with the cat's ears.

Peeping out of my shoes
which is sillier - kitten's face
or behind?

Cleaning the cat box -
we haven't been feeding her
THAT much!

in the bird bath. From the grass
a black cat watches.

We read. Far off brakes
screech - QUICK! to the window - cat
stares into darkness.

Scooping stuff out of
the cat-box...Aha!
yet ANOTHER lump!

Like any job, cleaning the cat box can become an obsession.

A black cat
tiptoeing on her
white stalkings.

I've scolded poets --
now I'll explain myself
to the cat.

Finding fault with someone else's poetry is about as fruitless and painful as trying to explain to the cat why she can't do or have something.

The cat stands,
looking up, her feet and tail
right where they should be.

Two green sparks ahead...
no, four! Two headlights
in each cat eye.

Cat's eyes --
how do they turn headlights' flare
into bright pinpricks.

Feeling sorry for the cat
because I won't get up
to feed her.

All day overcast,
but few drops. The cat blinks,
dozes: Rain -- big deal.

August. Almost sat
on the cat, draped across
my chair.

Pam and I are big;
Gypsy, the cat, is small.
Well, that's the theory.

The cat attacks our feet
from beneath the bed. I think
she's serious!

Light touches, both sides
of my ankle...a scamper;
cat counting coup.

Among some tribes - the Dakota for example - warriors in battle would prove their bravery by darting at an enemy soldier, touching him (without harming him) and escaping. This was called "counting coup." Our cat does this when she wants us to play with her. USUALLY she keeps her claws sheathed when she does this.

Here's the cat – come in!
Do the birds sing

Up and across the dresser,
over wallet, pens –
cat chases fly.

Chased by the cat,
a fly floats ahead
just out of reach.

All right, cat, go out,
but, please, no more
baby birds.

I can't resist
the cat's pleading. Birds
know better.

I get out her toy.
Running full tilt -- the cat's

Hard to describe the tiny mews of eagerness that are squeezed out of her by her gallop to tear at the latest toy.

not a horse, just a
tiny cat.

The cat is huge now –
9 pounds. More than I weighed
at birth.

Even when I see
what the cat is thinking,
I can't say it.

If I tried to say it, it would sound a lot like "meow".

Decide, cat!
Before this door trims
your tail's tip.

She looks out the window by the door. I open the door. She moves in front of the door, between it and the outer door's glass or screen. I open it. She doesn't move. Or she moves out, but pauses with the tip of her tail still inside....

Only the tip
of the cat's tail twitches.
Is the dog jealous?

The dog didn't have such fine-tuned control of his tail. Excited, his flailing tail might whack the furniture, knock things over.

Ting tinka ting ting –
the cat's collar-tag against
her metal food dish.

Usually the cat wants to be unheard, has learned to move so as to keep even her collar tags quiet. She must be very eager to eat.

Water flow uphill?
See, rippling on to the table,
a cat!

CRACK! says the sky.
Eyes seek mine - two cats and two dogs.
They just look at me.

Cats and women -
the voice questions while the eyes
know all the answers.














Loss and Loneliness and aloneness


Old Age


A Poet's Life








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