Poems June 1987
Shine of shadow on a dark window-sill
Through lamp-lit glass, barely visible till
The mouth splits in a miaow of reproach, white fang,
Red tongue; a grin of here I am, let me in,
Animates the whole couching outline:
Black pads, lips, wax-black whiskers,
A genuine prince of darkness, sleek as a ribbon,
Demonic, determined wrap of affection,
Triumphant treader of cold paws into human warmth;
Or close coiled to the carpet
Total oblivion alert
At a breath or a pin-drop,
Drops back to total repose;
Rivals Napoleon for knowing what it wants,
And Zen for knowing when not to want,
Withdrawn into a haunt of non-thought:
From all his ancestry how did he select
This glossed integument of perfect jet?
Dogs run to liberal mongrel, cats revert
Through bar after bar sinister to pure-bred
Sudden Egyptian deity, jade-eyed,
Careless of where it came from, a personal infinite.
A Message from the Editors
Support our crucial work and join us in strengthening the bonds of civilization.
Your donation sustains our efforts to inspire joyous rediscoveries.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 5 Number 10, on page 41
Copyright © 2023 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com