Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fierceness (Poem)

Fierceness

is Tom Cat marking
his bounds with a hiss,

spreading his conqueror's
goods in a streak, his silent

treatment a would-be lover's
menace. On the prowl,

he shoulders the night
for favors, high-pitching

his few simple requests for
the scruff of a neck, kneading

paws, a soft purr to conserve
his heat for the inevitable

rendezvous when claws loose
to make him settle down.

He won't raise the moon
to shine. He's got no need

to look beyond the surface
of attention with his own slit

pupils, his loyalty to each
and not one unquestioned,

the prey always a matter
of private dispute.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas
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I wrote this poem for Abbey of the Arts Poetry Party #49, "Invitation to Poetry: Fierceness and Courage". 

Anyone may share his or her inspiration at Abbey of the Arts by contributing a poem about fierceness. Be sure to provide in the comments section here the text of your poem and, if you wish, a link to your blog or the site where your poem appears.

On Friday, January 28, a name from among those participating will be drawn at random. The winner will receive a free registration for Christine Valters Paintner's Lenten Online Retreat: Journey with the Desert Mothers & Fathers, scheduled March 9 - April 23.

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I also offer this poem for this week's "One Shot Wednesday" event at One Stop Poetry. Be sure to visit the site late Tuesday afternoon and every Wednesday for links to the many contributors' poems.

19 comments:

Laura said...

I'm seeing a very fierce ally cat. One that has seen a lot of winters. Great imagery, Maureen. I see a lot of someone I know in this poem too. I love how you do that.

cathy kozak said...

Love it.

nance marie said...

his silent treatment... like that

spot on tom

dustus said...

Just a hunch... I don't think "Tom Cat" sits at home bent in a drowsy curl on weekends. Excellent wordplay and use of subtlety to support your overall theme.

Glynn said...

This fine poem is more than just about a cat, isn't it. It is about a cat, of course, but it's also about us and cats. Nice one, Maureen.

signed...bkm said...

Oh, to have the courage and cunning of a cat...and his individualism as well...thank you...bkm

Neva Flores said...

such wonderful imagery, loved this!

Brian Miller said...

my cat moves across the floor with the sunbeam coming through the window...think i rather might like that life...

hedgewitch said...

A lively and layered look at Tom Cat and his world, and exactly what fierceness is and where it fits.

Abbey of the Arts said...

I love it Maureen, thank you!

booguloo said...

Very nice. Cats are love.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Your delightful poem makes me think of my cat who also kneads, my bed clothes in particular, although in a rather elegant manner!

CJ

M.L. Gallagher said...

"he shoulders the night
for favors,"

Love it!

Love this poem.

It made me smile!

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

At first, the Stray Cats' song "Stray Cat Strut" popped into my head (as songs often do), but your words chased that away as being too 'cartoonish' of a theme song for this read.

A fierce piece indeed, Maureen!

Dasuntoucha said...

Enjoyable read indeed.

jen revved said...

you are growing by leaps and bounds, Maureen-- this has such a sure cadence and great depth of image, piquant and satisfying diction! I love:

a soft purr to conserve
his heat for the inevitable

rendezvous when claws loose
to make him settle down.

He won't raise the moon
to shine. He's got no need

to look beyond the surface
of attention with his own slit

pupils, his loyalty to each
and not one unquestioned...

masterful line breaks here too..xxxj

Steve Isaak said...

Perfect, masterful. Love the end-stanza.

tolbert said...

beautiful imagery...so real i had to make sure my dog was asleep before i signed in for the comment.
wonderful depiction and i love the line 'he shoulders the night for favors...'

did he learn that from men or did we learn from him? of course...he is the teacher!

well done maureen!

tolbert said...

Good work Maureen! So realistic I had to make sure my dog was sleeping before I read it a second time.

Love the line "He shoulders the night for favors..."

Takes me back a few years (and I didn't have a cat!)

Beautifully descriptive work...