Tag Archives: cats

On how fragile life might be by Enoch Thompson

car dash board at night

We hit something
she said “a raccoon?”
I said, “opossum.”
I said, “turn around,
let’s turn around.”
and there it was lying in the street
a silhouette of sharp snout and feet
orange on grey on black, the colors fade.
A cat, we hit a cat.
So this is death, bulging, leaking red eyes
protruding from its crushed and swollen head.
She, distraught
me, disturbed
so this is death.
I’ve been punished
now to forever drive
slow
and hold a breathe
at every shadow
flashing
across the road.

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Enoch Thompson 2014Enoch Thompson is an aspiring poet and storyteller.  A grave robber, a pirate, a wizard, an ugly shambling skeleton, he trudges the paths eighteen million other better men have skipped down.  Always, as new words become published and new voices shout to be heard, his anxieties grow.  He is a modern-day writer and encapsulates all of the insecurities society has placed on the cliched profession.

To see more poetry on WIZ by Enoch, click here.

Near a pond, with bread by Percival P. Pennywhistle

Blake's lambs

If ducks be here, Lord love ‘em,*

For ducks** were made by Him:

Like lambs and tigers,*** sticks and stones,

Whales and whistles, broken bones,

Dogs and squirrels, cats**** and mice,

Girls***** and gimmicks, fire and ice.

And, if ducks, then children,****** too;

Which is to say, the Lord made you.*******

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* There is, as the most precocious among you will already know, a saying about ducks and lords and love which has a profound and mystical meaning at its heart, as the Professor is attempting to show, and so will not spoil by giving it away here.
** Among, as is about to become apparent, a host of other things (though not, clearly, individually), several billion of which are not mentioned here, but at least two handfuls of which are.
*** The Professor thanks his auspicious and decidedly dead colleague, William Blake, for the notion, which can be found in his haunting and intricately illustrated book, Songs of Innocence and Experience. Indeed, the image above the poem is a portion of one such illustration, which is why it is of lambs and not of ducks. (The tiger, as it turns out, is hiding on another page.)
**** The Professor has included cats against his better judgment.
***** This fact will, perhaps, surprise young male readers, but it is true, and the Professor is pressed to report that girls are not only more interesting than boys in the main, but they also generally smell better.
****** Do not, under any circumstances, allow your parents or your older brother to convince you otherwise.
******* Which is not to say that He meddled in any particular or immediate way in your making—that is entirely your parents’ fault—rather He made the system by and into which you were born, which he occasionally bumps and nudges, but only, the Professor suspects, when invited to.
Nor can He be held responsible for broken bones or other maladies and misfortunes. Such things are, we must accept, a part of life. To think otherwise is to engage something called a “theosophy,” which is box-like, awkward, cumbersome, but ultimately less weighty or important than it thinks it is.
In any event, Mr. Blake’s lamb would agree, bleatingly.
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Professor Percival P. Pennywhistle, PhD, is, as many of you already know, handsome and brilliant and hard at work at several collections of poetry for people, especially smallish and precocious ones.

Chairman Mao by Percival P. Pennywhistle

Chairman Mao

My cat’s named “Chairman Mao”:*
She’s dropped the “i” somehow.
She’s dropped the thing,
But, Marx bless Ming,**
Still has a frightful Yao.***

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The image above is a 2012 scan of a 1999 oil on oilcloth reproduction of a 1942 photograph of a late Victorian cameo of an early Victorian watercolour portrait of Chairman Mao’s maternal great-great-great-great-(yawn)-great-great-great … great-grandmother, who looked just like her, but was considerably more pleasant.

* Chairman Mao, otherwise known as Mao Tse Tung, is widely considered the founding ruler of the Chinese Communist Party, which is either revered or despised depending on the holiday and/or who’s looking over your shoulder.
The Miao people together comprise what is called an “ethnic minority,” and a fairly large one at that, which typically means they eat more interesting things than everybody else and are happy to invite you for dinner. They live in Southwest China, in Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan, Hubei, and Hainan provinces, and in the formidable sounding Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Prefecture. They believe that everything has a spirit, even Chairman Mao. Continue reading Chairman Mao by Percival P. Pennywhistle

Oreo v. the Expedition

Last week my husband found himself in need of a computer monitor.  In our part of SE Utah, if you need affordable computer parts of middling quality right away, you drive the 160 mile round trip to the nearest Walmart, located in the shadow of Mesa Verde in Cortez, Colorado.  He left late and returned home about 1:30 a.m.  Our household keeps late hours so we were all up when he arrived.  He came through the door in obvious distress carrying something wrapped in a sheet of plastic.  He’d hit a cat that ran out in front of him near a neighbor’s house about a mile and a half away.  When he stopped the car and turned it around to see what had happened to the cat, he found it lying in the road, down on its side but still breathing.  Rather than wake the cat’s (possible) owners at 1:30 in the morning, he brought the unfortunate creature home. Continue reading Oreo v. the Expedition

Dazzle

When we moved into our current house four years ago, we noticed a pretty, tortoise-shell cat crossing the yard frequently, always on her way to somewhere else.  Her usual route brought her in from fields to the north, from which she traversed our weedy plot then went under the fence on our south property line, across the grazed-down pasture, and into the pinyon-juniper forest that slopes into the head of the canyon.  Or we might see her on the return trip.  The cat’s small build suggested she wasn’t full-grown, and while she appeared to be wild, we wondered if this might be our cat.  You know—that cat that comes when you need a cat. Continue reading Dazzle