Wednesday, 22 January 2014

My Nan's Cats

The poetic form of the sestet was introduced at a recent Creative Writing class. I wrote the following poem which evolved from a class exercise. The subject relates to the cats that lived in my grandparents house during my childhood.

My Nan's Cats

My Nan’s three house cats behaved in the light,
Spending the day as if each was alone
But sometimes it seemed that deep in the night
Confrontations occurred. The cause? Unknown,
But the clumps of fur we found on the mat
Suggested another failed coup-de-cat.

“Baby”, delusional – thought he was tough –
An adopted stray in ginger and white –
Attempts to take over: met with rebuff;
His fur we found, after he lost a fight.
A chocolate-box puss, adored by my Nan,
Liked eating baked beans straight out of a can.

“Peppy” was ginger and chased silver balls
From sweet papers that my Grandad had rolled.
Not too affectionate, avoided brawls,
He’d approach slowly if he was cajoled.
From his leonine face we’d lift the gloom
By shining reflected light round the room.

“Sparky” was top cat, no doubt about that
And the most sociable, fur dense and grey,
He’d greet you then go, this heat-seeking cat,
Lie by the fire ‘til he charred – daft that way.
You’d start to smell burning as you would expect.
The fur insulated. No ill effect.

Other cats lived there in earlier times:
Peppy’s mum, “Little”, a kind matriarch,
“Come-On” was grumpy, appeared at mealtimes ,
Sparky’s mum, “Sylvia”, gentle and dark,
“Creep” – crumpled and watchful – lurked beneath chairs.
Peppy and Sparky, the last of their heirs.