Friday, November 6, 2009

Quotidian Cat

Beautiful Princess Beaumont

I first discovered the poems of Naomi Shihab back in 1975, in a pubication called Power: Personal Reflections by Youth for Youth. My friends and I enjoyed subscribing to this little St. Louis - based poetry magazine and ordering gift subscriptions for each other every Christmas. Although Naomi didn't know it, I was her groupie in those days and copied all of her work into a notebook that I kept in highschool and college. Here are a couple more of my favorites:

My Cat

My cat is sitting on the floor
in the middle of the kitchen
during rush hour.

He is sitting directly between
the refrigerator and the sink.

In mean moments I kick him gently
and tell him to hit the road.

In other moments he acts as a kind
of reminder. I stop.

Why are you sitting there? I ask him.
He smiles.

He is sitting on the floor
in the center of everything
being peaceful.

Because I have forgotten something,
he gets in my way.

Feeding the Cat

Once I woke up early
and contemplated a coffee bean
in all its potent, brown mystery
and that was the day
nothing was empty,
the day a simple act
like feeding the cat
was reason enough
to be alive.

both poems by Naomi Shihab Nye (b 1952)
Contemporary Palestinian / American Poet

Our Tigress Pine at the Window

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