Saturday, September 10, 2016
Cats: a poem and a painting
Cat and Yellow Butterfly
Hsu Pei-hung, Chinese, (1895-1953)
O Michael, you are at once the enemy
And the chief ornament of our garden,
Scrambling up rose-posts, nibbling at nepeta,
Making your lair where tender plants should flourish,
Or proudly couchant on a sun-warmed stone.
What do you do all night there,
When we seek our soft beds,
And you go off, old roisterer,
Away into the dark?
I think you play at leopards and panthers;
I think you wander on to foreign properties;
But on winter mornings you are a lost orphan
Pitifully wailing underneath our windows;
And in summer, by the open doorway,
You come in pad, pad, lazily to breakfast,
Plumy tail waving, with a fine swagger,
Like a drum-major, or a parish beadle,
Or a rich rajah, or the Grand Mogul.
-- Mary Ursula Bethell --
New Zealand, (1874-1945)
Just a slight change of pace. The poem and the painting remind me of Molly and Dusky, both of whom have moved on to wherever they go after their stay with me: Molly for about 16 years and Dusky about three weeks shy of 18 years. Both had very active fantasy lives as I watched them out in the front and back yards.
Note: Both the poem and the painting are featured in Art and Nature: An Illustrated Anthology of Nature Poetry