Poem by Foye Lowe, inspired by this series:
if i should lose a cat
i'd look for it along the lines,
along the lines of time:
for where else might one find
a lost feline?
and if i found a lion
but not the kitten lost
in some dark hiding place,
in some cave floored with moss
i'd move with stealth and grace
and i'd go back to places where
the clocks all deal in lines
and slats defend their bricks
and doors make hidden traps
and all the bushes bloom
in fragrant fractal tricks;
where righteous buses stop
beside a fence of fleurs-de-lis
where tears of chalk
stain walls of brick
and portals lie in royal blue
(or do they glow with powder?)
ah, here's the sod: has there been a cat
careening across this green grass lawn?
escaping the velocity of some urban car
itself careening through pavement striped
with unwild, untigerly lines of time?
only The Shadow knows.
and who will with compass go
past ivied walls ascending hills today?
time runs in second gear
to point the way - it's there, it's there -
and still we don't know Where, oh, where.
Hey, Nonny, Nonny!
John's jacket has a grin.
he'll help the posse bring 'em in!
if only we can find the lair
where lies the cat
and its ball of hair.
but time has notions of its own;
it bars the way where cats are known
to have, if dreams were wings, unbirdly flown
while leaves were laughing in their delight
that no one sane spies on trees
but time alone sees all
and ticks and tocks its merry tune
to which all, though footless, dance.
run, man, run; you'll be all boxed in,
and lose a march on the cat
unless it's caged in some cheap zoo's
menagerie of all who are
irretrievably lost, completely lost;
and your escape will be
to gothic arches crossed on top
and filigreed with the pain
of earning bread, of sweating out the license
to live along the lines of time,
rooted in the manicured
circles of culture and civilization.
run, man, run; drive free
in some gleaming vintage wheels
of red and banana yellow
like hydrogen suns through haze;
and do not stop for quotidian
repairs to some littered device
sheltered by bandaged cones:
the perfect rose blooms lush ahead
if you but stay the course
and honor lines, the lines of time,
and the lonely barricades they make.
you'll drain yourself amidst the blocks
of rectilinear use and shape,
and if you'll grant the netting's soft
and if your lips offset your brow -
a curl for each furrow -
you'll see how neat the end will be,
how sweet to find the cat.
here, pussy, pussy, pussy . . .