Syncopated Sonnets: 2
We used to have a pair of white rescue cats, poor lovely retards that they were. It was as if they hadn’t been coloured in properly. One couldn’t hear accurately, the other couldn’t see too well. Both lacked gumption enough to tackle such outdoor challenges as grass unless accompanied by a minder – although, credit where it’s due, they’d attack the occasional dry leaf if it didn’t move too much.
They were, by default, house cats and we therefore had to allow them a cat tray, an arrangement which called their diet into question. Wet food was not to be thought of: far too pongy, and – as it happened – not to their delicate little tastes. So that left cat crunchies. Chris would pour small avalanches onto their saucers with all the willingness of someone avoiding the reek of wet food.
She would sing as she poured. You might know the style. It’s essentially the singing of someone engaged in weightier tasks than the mere hitting of notes – or indeed of incorporating accurate words. As such the singing had a particular charm. Devoid of any civilised restrictions, it had a pre-lapserian innocence, a quality that might have been heard in Eden before the pedants of our age got round to organising sounds into melodies, harmonies and other sophisticated contrivances.
She suspects I mock. Not at all. How could any wise person mock the savour of Eden? No, I celebrate – somewhat as the cats celebrated their crunchies, delighting in a familiar yet quirky treat.
Distributing Cat Crunchies
Hear her sing as she feeds the feline pair,
With the blithest disregard for any
Niceties of pitch – and mixing many
Words up like they’re none of her affair.
Hear her sing as the song floats on the air
With such an innocence of tone that many
Cat or human critics would say that any
Reservations are misguided or unfair.
Unfair?.. True... for it’s the freedom to
Her singing makes the folk and felines purr.
Who need care about a missing note or two
When the issue’s one of liberty? Her
Singing sets the spirit free, a thing that’s true
For any who might hear it, flesh or fur.
(The poem, by the way, is another Syncopated Sonnet. The rules of the game were explained in a previous post – here – and, briefly, the idea is this. The poem must look the sort of Petrarchan Sonnet that Petrarch himself might recognise [proper rhyme scheme, that sort of thing] but it should sound, well, thoroughly different.)
As for the cats they lasted into their early teens, by which time not even cat crunchies could salvage their digestive systems, and it became necessary for a friendly injection at the vets. Ah, I remember looking each one in the eye and murmuring reassurance as it drifted off. Better to go in warmth and friendship, I felt. Then I’d ring the heartbroken Chris and give her the news.
On the other hand, it freed us to go on holiday again. (You can’t leave cat-tray retards with neighbours; well, we couldn’t.) Hence the next post – which will be another one about touring South West USA. (Gosh, there really was a world outside cat-tray land...)
May I invite you to make certain purchases? (I may? Why, thank you...)
(a) The Salamander Stone (by my most excellent and trusty pal, Mrs Me - indeed the heroine of this poem) from one of these outlets:
Direct from the publisher, Burst Books: click here
Amazon UK: click here
(b) The Two Worlds of Wellesley Tudor Pole (by Mrs Me’s most excellent and trusty pal, Me):
Amazon UK: click here
Amazon.com (US): click here
(You’ll be getting both of them? Well, that is an admirable choice, if I may say so...)