Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Garden Rat






The Garden Rat




Under an arc of liquid ice,
streaking the window behind,
clashing on the canna leaves,
runs a black stripe of being
fast and blurry as
a faint memory passing and lost
in the midst of children’s calling clamor.
It’s the mysterious
Garden Rat.

Every day I don’t see it
move, it’s just passed me,
disappearing behind the trunks
of the crape myrtle, secret
but
disturbing.

I hunch myself defensively
when I reach to pull a weed.
It’s undefined, yes,
but it’s huge.
(For a rat)
I’m sure it has teeth
bigger than these spider eggs
I’m brushing off my glove,
and sharper than
old quarrels.

All summer I worried
and tried to avoid
The Garden Rat,
dark and diseased,
and hiding in the soft shed petals
of the black-eyed susan and
the weeds I was now
afraid to pull.

Then fall came, and the leaves fell.
The cannas crumbled to the ground.
I went one day to rake the remains,
and from behind the mummy of stalks
flashed the mysterious
black and rapid
Neighbor’s Cat;

The Garden Rat.
Pandora’s Cat.



November 2010

Posted for Jingle's Thursday Poet's Rally, Week #32

Image from npr.org  Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

25 comments:

  1. intersting verse..i am imagining a pretty beastly looking rat...

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  2. Under an arc of liquid ice,
    Streaking the window behind,
    Clashing on the canna leaves,
    Runs a black stripe of being
    Fast and blurry as
    A faint memory passing and lost
    In the midst of children’s calling clamor.
    It’s the mysterious
    Garden Rat.

    your words make a perfect match to the image above.
    stunning writing.
    enjoy your poetry very much.

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  3. Welcome to Poets Rally,
    please find time scanning the participant list,
    visit and comment for a minimum 18 poets from my list, let me know after you are done.

    Cheers.
    have a lovely weekend.

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  4. Nicely written and I like the twist at the end.
    The cat must have been called 'Hope' of course.

    http://jessicasjapes.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/i-want-chocolate/

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  5. I'm trying, Jingle, I'm trying. I've read so many poems they're turning into giant word salad in my brain. I think I'm getting close, though.

    Thanks for your comments.

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  6. @jessica
    Thanks--you got the point exactly. Just read your chocolate poem--really tasty in all ways.

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  7. Really awesome! I like the way you leave a lot of space for your readers to interpret what happens. Its such a tough thing to do, and you pull it off fantastically!

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  8. @bward42 Thanks--always trying for, not always hitting the less=more approach. Liked your 'not a generic' poem very much because it wasn't.
    @brianm O it was, it was...rats in the mental house always are, yes? thanks for coming by;enjoy your work.

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  9. an ode to a garden rat.. how different a take! and clever twist at the end! :D

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  10. Clever. Engaging. Well written. Nice twist and made me smile. Cats sometimes act out our intentions.

    This garden rat somehow sounds more like a big city rat. But then, I'm not familiar with garden writes.

    Delighted to find your site. Happy Rally days. Poem on ...

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  11. That would be garden "rats" of course - not garden "writes." Though there's an idea!

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  12. I like the surprise at the end. You had me worried about what was in the garden. Nice job.

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  13. @Jamie: I actually thought garden writes made perfect sense. I do it a lot, anyway. Not sure if the species 'garden rat' really exists outside my over-active imagination; there are field rats who might get opportunistic, though--*looks over shoulder*-- Really enjoyed your excellent under lock & key piece.

    @Leo & lizbth: Thanks very much for taking time to comment. I appreciate it.

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  14. Grrr, I think I forgot to go back down and do the scramble word.

    What I had said was, "sharper than old quarrels"...I like that.

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  15. Ah, the fun things happening to us when our minds get carried away in fear, even from garden rats! Love the piece, I feel like I am in the garden already!

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  16. Nice Nice Nice....I was pulled in even by the title. After reading I was excited (hope) the cat got that darn garden rat so you wouldnt have to hunch defensively

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  17. The picture is well presented with your words.... :)

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  18. @Fireblossom;yes--those scramble codes are annoying, but not as annoying as spam bots. Also I hate it that you can't edit comments and fix stupid typos.
    Thanks for your comment--the little stuff that just comes as a gift is what makes things work sometimes.

    Thanks to all who've taken the time to visit and share their thoughts.

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  19. "Teeth... sharper than old quarrels" Brilliant line! Pandora's cat. Pandora's box...
    I like this one a lot.
    Shawn
    Happy Rally! My entry: http://shawnbird.com/2010/11/06/old-love/
    .
    PS Hedgewitch/Fireblossom- in Wordpress with "Manage my comments" you can edit what you've written in comments (and what other people write, as well)

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  20. great poem of the seasons. loved the turn at the end with the neighbor's cat. put a smile on my face. great imagery throughout!

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  21. Your writing is simply amazing....

    JP

    http://tasithoughts.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/soaring/

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  22. extremely interesting, love the word play!

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  23. Thanks for taking the time to comment all. I appreciate it and will check out your sites.

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  24. welcome linking in a poem to our potluck today, Thanks in advance!

    http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/2010/11/poetry-potluck-buildings-landmarks-and.html

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  25. The poem and the rhyme are very interesting such that there are many rats and cats available in the gardens.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg