Thursday, October 9, 2014


or, How the Raven Met Cattriona
with apologies to E.A.P.

Once upon a dismal Friday as I gazed out on the skyway
dripping fitful raindrops highly irking to my fur,
as I nodded, moistly napping, suddenly there came a crapping
from a feathered menace flapping, hovering in the dusky blur.
'Tis some noisome pigeon,' said I, 'perched upon the entrance door.
Only this and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I could spy it, murdering my peaceful quiet,
it was useless to deny that bird that leered down from the door;
as I watched it puff and flutter, black as ink and slick as butter,
softly I began to mutter, 'this is nothing but a gutter starling fed on rotten store,
just a starling garbage-fattened, hanging on the entrance door.
This it is and nothing more.'

But suddenly there came a squawking, as if the monstrous thing were talking,
a devilish and infernal cawking,  a stalking once I'd seen before
from a creature long-forgotten, with a tongue my Master taught on
many a sleepless midnight fraught to speak out misbegotten lore.
Twas the thrice damned noxious Raven with his prate of 'Nevermore"
that woke me, angered to my core.

He did not come to grant me wishes with a beak o'erfull with fishes,
or cook me liver so delicious that I swooned upon the floor--
No! he set my tail a-lashing, and my pointed teeth a-gnashing
with his ever-constant trashing of the entrance door--
obliviously besplattering, while for treats he did implore,
treats Mine Alone for evermore.

Never, swore I, would he triumph, play the monarch or the pontiff
ruling me with caw and quantive statements from the entrance door.
So low I crouched upon the railing, and as he his tail was trailing,
did I pounce upon his failing body as I spilled its gore;
squawking yet he tumbled sailing, down before the open door.
This I saw and nothing more.

As he lay there feebly twitching, I scratched my ear, for it was itching---
and the Raven he went pitching wildly 'cross the chamber floor.
Like the Rabbit ran from Alice, to the pallid bust of Pallas
limped the vandal of our palace that I knocked down with a claw.
As finally then a silence placid fell upon that bird most foul, 
quoth I the Kitty, 'Nevermiaouw!"

~October 2014

posted belatedly for    real toads
Kerry's Challenge: If only they could talk

Thanks to Fireblossom for leading the way with her poem describing the funeral oration of Dog Antony,  the premise of which I have shamelessly transplanted here in hedgewitchian soil.  
Kerry, in her rendition of Dylan Thomas's dog's final wishes, takes this concept beyond pastiche and into pure poetry, but here I have played for laughs.

Edgar Allan Poe is said to have had a cat named Cattriona, and I chose this pairing for my poem in part to mark the anniversary of Poe's death at age 39 on October 7, 1849. The inspiration for it however, comes directly from Kerry O'Connor's prompt, and any Raven involved is purely a product of Poe's imagination. No actual ravens were harmed in the production of this piece.

Top image: Cat Catching a Bird, 1939, by Pablo Picasso.
Footer: Image courtesy of google image search
copyright unknown, no infringement intended.


  1. smiles...oh my...i am sitting at my desk laughing while the students wonder about my mental state....

  2. I'm smiling even before I begin to read.. that was after the gasp at the magnitude of your project. Star to finish, this must have been some doing...
    Having read through it, I can only applaud your style! Wow! This is pitch perfect and faultlessly structured (end rhyme, internal rhyme, meter..) and one of the best parodies I've read in a long time... the satire does not detract from your great admiration for Poe, so timeously remembered.

    Thanks for this. It made my day.

    1. Oops. Start to finish... but Star works too.


    2. Thanks, Kerry--this was a lot of fun, though I have to admit, the meter/internal rhyme is deviously tricky, and I think I fell down a few times, but glad it felt okay to your discerning eye. Your own poem was a wonderful creation--far surpassing this little bit of fluff.

  3. Fantastic! This WAS the one I was thinking of--but with a very different not nearly as historically accurate twist, or so clever-- Very very fun -- very clever, lots and lots of fun. ( I also loved Kerry's.) k.

  4. Indeed this was hilariously funny.. not only with the classical references to Poe, those wonderful rhymes (that actually are quite feline) but the spirit of the cat.. This is exactly how a cat would reason...
    I never knew cat could do such treason :-)

    1. Thanks, Bjorn--I haven't had a cat for years, because of family allergies, but I grew up with them, and glad you can recognize their thought process here. Treats, and screw that annoying bird. ;_)

  5. This is awesome, and hilarious! The line about swooning over liver just made me lose it, cracking up. As Kerry pointed out, you may be joking around here, but this was no easy thing to put together! I love it!

  6. I just roared so loud that I awoke my poor Piano Man. I lost it "as I nodded, moistly napping, suddenly there came a crapping."


    1. Glad you got a laugh, dear Magaly. Hope all is well with you.

  7. When I saw Kerry's prompt last night I suspected you'd do EAP, and so went and read the Raven specifically in anticipation. Yep :) This is simply marvelous. I hope to get caught up on reading, but as of yet my ink is dry - the fits and starts are quickly deleted. Thanks for the grins. ~

    1. Ha! Brotherhood of the Black Cat, eh? So sorry to hear you are in that slough of despond where the words will not come. It passes, but--it's just trying waiting for it, very similar to the tedium of insomnia, I think--when systems we rely on fail us, and we are left twiddling our thumbs in the dark. Hope you can get at least a little candlelight soon, and thanks for reading, M.

  8. Sheesh, you've wound this up so many whichways, pure wiccan woderwoodenfraude (don't look that up, 'cause it ain't). Who is that rhymin' Simon in our ear but, perhaps, the cat that Poe envied, relishing Nevermore as much for the flavor as the savor of comeuppance. Leave it to a kitty to shred a rhyme scheme to get to the raven's throat. Devious familiars, those dark signifiers of Spookville. Amen and hooray and bring it on.

    1. Yes, not sure how Poe could write any more mysteriously(or purple-y) than he did, but perhaps if he were a cat, he could have found a way--kitties usually do get what they want. Glad you enjoyed the whiff of all hallows gallows humor, B, and thanks as always, for coming by with your bad self.

  9. This is so clever and funny. It got a huge grin from me this morning.

  10. Genius. Absolutely. The fun obscures the difficult. Wow.

  11. I read this. Then, I had to read it aloud just to feel the syllables trilling over my tongue. This was absolutely, thoughtfully, deliciously delightful! Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Sharon. Glad you liked, and appreciate the visit.

  12. A perfect tribute to Poe… and I agree with Kerry - as I was re-reading it, I was in awe of how much effort went into this - or most likely it just slipped off your talented pen. Really enjoyed it.

    1. Well, it wasn't the most difficult poem I ever wrote, but I wouldn't say it just slipped off the pen. ;_) I wish, Margaret! Thanks for the compliment, and for the kind words.

  13. Took some time to catch the motif- great composition intensive effort with fantastic results-


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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