Burmese

The cat is the forgotten candidate when they fight:

sure, they hurt each other but the cat recoils too,

even the walls and lounge chairs at the suddenness,

the squall of this. The walls and sofas cannot move,

but the cat can. Exit, pursued by bear. Only small,

but with the memory of an elephant. The cat remembers

long after they forget.

They Say I Shouldn’t Read

toadstool

They say I shouldn’t read anymore.

That I read between the lines.

What isn’t there.

They say I shouldn’t read anymore.

That I read the writing on the wall.

That I scare residents.

I scare visitors.

They say I shouldn’t read anymore

because I read the fine print

the little white-gilled toadstools hidden

in the mushroom fields of the text.

They say

they say

they will revoke my privileges.

Shame

351px-Anarchist_black_cat.svg

From a corner of my mind it came

a timid little mouse called Shame

no one suspected no one but I

yet I saw it clearly with its ruby eyes

 

looking all around , urging a retreat

its grey fur twitched , its tiny heart beat

you can’t be seen with her like that —

the thought pounced on me like a black cat

 

& so , it implored me to do as it bid

& though no one knew , to my shame I did

 

  • illustration from Wikimedia Commons

Focused

eddy-billard-M5UD_FyuDl8-unsplash

Speckled with yellow and black light

he focuses on his phone, has he got it right?

Tentatively the fingers tap.

She’s aggressive, he defensive,

She certain, he apprehensive.

They both know what’s coming next

if he misreads another text.

 

  • have you ever sent or received a text that was misinterpreted?

 

*photo by Eddy Billard on Unsplash

 

 

Waiting for the Apocalypse

Bril_Jesus_walking_on_the_Sea_of_Galilee

I am lying in bed waiting for the Apocalypse.

It is due fifteen minutes after midday.

We have been told these things before.

What do they know?

It is sunny outside though clouds are building.

There’s a piffle of a breeze rustling the bush outside my window though I notice it is picking up.

Could there be something in it?

Damn. There’s someone on the phone.

It’s Emily from my insurance company calling from interstate about a failed payment.

I question some details.

Just bear with me a moment, she says, as she scurries off to her superiors.

Don’t be long, I say. The Apocalypse is near.

Pardon?

The Apocalypse’

I’ll put you on hold, she says.

Dogs whine, doors clatter, the sky darkens.

Just then ADT Security phones.

What is wrong with you people? Don’t you know the Apocalypse is nigh?

Silence.

I go out to the verge, bring in the bins, look around. The winds have dropped.

All quiet on the western front.

Gus, the Jack Russel next door, barks at my presence.

It’s okay, buddy. It’s only me. And anyway it’s been postponed.

What has? it barks.

The Apocalypse.

Again?

Yes, again.

What the %$%&#.

Calm your farm, buddy.  We get to live another day.

I go inside, wait for the next alert.

 

Archangel

Luca_Signorelli_-_The_Archangel_Gabriel_-_Walters_37520

My neighbour worried I was having a meltdown. She came by one evening with her three Pomeranians in tow as my brother-in-law pulled in to pick me up for a barbecue at their place. She assured me there was no need to panic, that I could stay as long as I needed till I found a place of my own. The front porch light shone down on us. Wings of light enfolded her as the dogs wound their way around her legs.

Who was that, my brother-in-law asked.

That, I said, was the Archangel Gabriel. Deliverer of glad tidings.

Huh? my brother-in-law said as we hopped in the car.

Good news, I clarified. I get to stay.

Like Polite People Do

 

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Summer-times I grow feral

Shed my suit of civility

& head into the backyard

Where I pee like an animal

But that saccadic screech

From the crab apple tree

 

& razor-winged birds flashing by

Threatening life and limb

& certain other appendages

Send me scurrying back

Where I l lift the lid & pee inside

Like polite people do.