Archive for the ‘Alex’ Category

Verse Daily: Cat Nap by Asa Boxer

Friday, September 29th, 2006

Enjoying rest, the feral house-cat wears her twilight coat, curls up,
and disappears among the waves of a rumpled blanket. So softly does she sleep,
it seems birds could fold safely into her paws, mice slip out of her pockets.
But in her brain, the owl flicks awake the dim lanterns of its eyes.

The mice stash their tiny beds safely under the boards of the hardwood floors.
The birds have worried in the eaves, tucking in their quiet nests, weaving whirlwinds
of twigs, pine needles, and string from the forest’s busy kitchen, where the fall
is cooking up a dreadful storm; mixing in every wild spice the forest can afford.

The woodpecker has peppered the trees and peppered the air with its knocking.
By ant-back, bee-sock, and squirrel-cheek, the forest is getting carried away.
The forest is shedding and shifting while the cat twitches an ear, listening
as the porcupine munches the main beam of the house down to the sweet core.

When the main beam snaps and the house leans with a groan of steel and wood,
when its hidden shelters crack and betray the mice at their gnawing, the eyelids
of the cat will split, her eyes break open, her claws slip out. She’ll leap at the bird,
toy with the mouse, and hunt till the buzz of the forest is caught.


It was the prosy quality of this poem that initially drew me to it. I think it allows for the lyrical quality of its stanzas. This is indicative in lines such as, “The forest is shedding and shifting while the cat twitches an ear, listening …” Also, the slant rhymes (see: whirlwinds / afford; wood / bird) afford the poem a whimsical property appropriate to its subject matter.
What I enjoyed most about this poem is all the animal imagery throughout. It sounds cheesy but birds “weaving whirlwinds,” “porcupine[s] munching,” and the concept of “forest’s busy kitchen” made me grin (in a good way).