Friday, April 8, 2011

Shadow's Say

Here is that poem I have been working on from the pov of the cat. I'd appreciate comments.

Night Patrol

What is that shining
beyond the branches
here and nowhere
everywhere at once
silver as a saucer
filling all the windows
with ribbons of cold light?

A spectral creature
my shadow self
conjured out of bluish
light lifts her paw as I
lift mine in warning
or salute. Her eyes
burn golden in the glass.
Her fur feels cold
raises no spark of scent.

Surely this room
this creature in the glass
the shocked books
on their shelves
exist only at night
and then only
halfway between
inside and out
in the wild light
of the swollen sphere;
gilded by morning
this room is somewhere else.

I sheathe my claws
in the powdery shroud
shed by the pane
shred it to fine floss
sit like a sphinx
in the very center
of my domain.
Something stirs
beneath the stove.


marly youmans said...

Yawn, I'm just back from a dinner party and my brain is soporific. But like it and I'd say you could drop the line "and then only." Not sure if you mean to be making a shadow from light in st. 2 or if that's the point... I like the way you turn cloth-light to floss but am not so sure about why it is a "powdery shroud." And then if you slash at something powdery, you don't get floss, so there's another reason II wonder if that's quite right.

Robbi said...

Thanks Marly. In stanza 2, that is indeed the point, though I was thinking of changing the light to air. Perhaps not... too ordinary?
You're right about the powder though. I had a specific image in mind, but you're the second person who doesn't see it, and you're right that it is inconsistent with the floss, so out it goes. Now to figure out what to replace it with.

marlyat2 said...

It will come! Did you read it to Shadow?

Robbi said...

I replaced it with "bright." No. I haven't read it to her yet. I think she'll like it, if I can get her to sit still and listen.

Robin said...

Very nice. I loved that last line in particular. It is so natural, understated and catlike to turn her attention to something new. I also like the bookshelf stanza--books shocked into place. Marly's comments were great and underscored some of the few moments of confusion I had in the poem.

Still, a wonderful cat poem! Much nicer than most of the cat poetry I used to get for the website. Which is why I shut it down. I couldn't find enough quality work to keep the website going--at least not at the level of quality I wanted.

I look forward to your revision

Robin said...

I also love that line "her fir feels cold, raises no spark of scent." It really, really catches the moment. I wonder sometimes if cats DO see themselves in the mirror. My cats smell nothing, and appear completely disinterested in looking at themselves in mirrors, windows, etc.

I love those first two stanzas as a whole. Again, very nice work!

Robbi said...

Shadow does look at herself or at least stare intently at windows. She is a great starer, and seems to be thinking deep thoughts, unlike Whistler, who looks as though he is only pondering the next meal, even now that he has lost some weight.
I am glad you like the poem Robin. I was thinking about your page. What a shame I only got around to writing it after you shut that down!
I made a couple of changes--got rid of "powdery" where Marly commented--I turned it to a "bright shroud." In the second stanza, it's "conjured out of air" instead of "bluish light." Otherwise, I haven't made any changes.
I read it to the cat; she walked on my lap and gave me a kiss on the hand. I guess she liked it.
Jeremy commented that it sounded very catlike to him. He was wondering at first who or what the speaker was, and didn't figure it out until the paw and the final stanza.