Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Sunday, December 7, 2008

Today's Poem: Time Cats, by Mary Adams

My friend Mary Adams is such a good poet that words fail me. But they never seem to fail her. This poem opens a box not only of kittens but of life, mortality, solace. Reading a poem is not like letting yourself drift off into dreamland. It guides you into life's time, and that can be---well, all sorts of wonderful, disturbing, weird, and amazing evocations of mystery. For this poem, I might suggest a cup of Cardamon Cinnamon Herb tea. Or Lemon Wintergreen.


TIME CATS
-- after Mr. Lloyd Alexander, 1924-2007


To console you for growing old, I got you a gift
to take you out of time. Not poems, which are always
ending after they start. And not knitting,
which if worn you might wear out. The best
gifts are light, but not too light, and flow
everywhere, like the ache of debt. This year
your gift should signify the infinite.
So I got you kittens, tricked by your own fingers
from the wild. Because they compound eternally,
but warmer. Because a single box contains
all kittens till it’s opened. Because a kitten
mewing makes a butterfly make a tornado.
Because a knotting of kittens extends in a plane
forever. Because a dying kitten is
impossibly light, and a lost kitten’s cry
is bottomless. And since each kitten wells
with the cat of danger, we know every cat
wears kittens like an urge. None is ever
really lost. Then cats point both ways always.
Now you are grown, here are all your kittens,
new again, like money you found in the laundry.
Heft them gently. Feel in their small hearts
your trembling. Calm them in the morning
of your fears. When you are sad, speak
them like cadences, kitten of cross-fire,
kitten of backflip, kitten of glory, kitten of
clutching, kitten of pestering and plummet, spindly
kitten, hungry kitten, kitten of solace.

3 comments:

Teresa Blackmon said...

Kay, thanks for sharing this poem AND this poet. I will re-read it over and over and wish I had that kind of talent. Thanks for this blog; I look forward to checking it every day. Teresa

Anonymous said...

"Time Cats" is both sweet and spicy. And astonishing.

WeldonKees said...

In my late-night quest for cat-related comfort, I found this poem. Amazing in so many ways. I know Mary Adams' first book, Epistles from the Planet Photosynthesis, but haven't seen new work anywhere in a long time. Maybe I haven't looked hard enough!
This is just wonderful: moving, skillful, witty. Lloyd Alexander would be proud.