Poetry ála Kat
Splattered upon a bone-colored blotter,
Splotches and splashes of mottled gray
Once slick as asphalt after a rain,
Now flaking, peeling, faded and jaded,
As sere as sand in a glass of the hour,
Particles that dimmed like Sunday’s dreams
On a Monday morning commute.
It’s hard to get excited over
A still-life ant’s-eye view
Of undefined shapes and colorless hues,
A two-dimensional existence
That longs for color and flight
And dreams of candy apple reds
And cool South Pacific blues
That lap rhythmically across
Sun-baked grains of gold …
This paper-bound motionless
Old, cracked and moldy
Portrait of charcoal and gray
That used to imagine exuberant days
Of leafy green peaks sprouting off a
Canvas of rich pastes and shiny glazes,
A dripping wet wonderland of color,
Jumping off the page,
Alive like the wind ‘neath an eagle’s wings,
A bird’s eye view
Of a living landscape of dreams come true…
Am I the painter of the still life gray
That I dwell, not live, within…
Or am I the draft, perhaps,
Of a Master Painter not ready to begin
To pencil in
With depth and shape
A colorful scape
A living canvas, no longer gray
Nor flat nor dull,
But vibrant as a Moroccan sunset,
Or morning coffee at a Parisian café,
A bold adventure, the painting of me –
A breath of fresh air, a tropical breeze …
I imagine the colors of my someday summers,
From the comfort of my groove,
Wistful wisps I cannot reach,
And thoughts too brief to remember
As I slip once more to slumber
where urgent, non-important matters
fill my dreary palette.
There is little time left to butterfly net
The elusive inspirations
That come hither and yon like a fickle flame
Passing me by, in retrospect,
The time is nigh to intercept.
Creaky cracks of nickel and slate
Are far from pretty in their present state
of dissolution and decay
But stay the execution for there is
A revolution to be made
As gesso spills across the page
And lays a new foundation
For a multi-hued creation
Of cobalt beginnings and crimson shapes
Coasting on crests of sea-foam greens.
The paintbrush glides across the scape
Drenched in orange I can almost taste,
An eleventh hour renaissance awaits…
(Or am I still dreaming?)
Gray Still Life
How do you repair the bleeding of a heart,
A ruptured soul,
A fractured mind –
When the onset began before the molars came in,
And took root and spread like dandelions,
And you went about your days
And you counted sheep by night
While dreams were tucked in lovely boxes
Neatly tied in ribbons bright, waiting
For tomorrow’s quickening touch,
That something was broken.
And below the facade of someday soon
Lie a lot of yesterdays gone,
Cracked and crumbling,
What went wrong.
But not for long.
A million things to do were done
Which left no time for dwelling upon
Diaphanous possibilities on ice, at least,
Until… Reality screams
“You are what you are!”
And the pain of that
will not be assuaged
Nor waived, nor rain-checked, nor wished
On this day
When school bells ring no more
And lunchtime whistles cease to blow
You may remember cats in hats,
now sleeping underfoot and dressed from head to toe
in Charlotte’s web…
“Someday” bided its time,
Hiding craftily while years passed hastily
As you rode the waves of calendar days
And followed the queue that followed the queue,
You never saw it coming!
Dial tones made way for ring tones
Then pages were scrolled, not flipped,
It’s all good, you said, until the Paper died
And the ink evaporated, and then
Your bread & butter melted in your mouth…
Not in your hands.
Another day dawns (or is it night?)
I’m not sure anymore.
The shadows on my wall look the same.
I closed my blinds one year
To facilitate the screen and
(Not be seen).
I had dreams when fountains ran blue on my hands,
And held them still when tadpoles swam in the creek.
I put them off and put them on hold,
And saved them for a rainy day
And wished upon a painted star, that time would wait…
That time would wait...
That time would…
I clutched my wealth
In the crisp white bag
Tight in my hand
And I ran, and I ran
(Home, to boast).
Laces of licorice,
Luscious and long,
And sweet bon-bons.
Lemon twists, a penny for three –
Dozens of delectable morsels
“I want some!”,
My sister cried,
So I threw her a piece
And I tried to hide;
But she could glimpse my treasure
From around the corner –
Bought with a quarter!
And so it was, in retrospect,
A richer life, although not perfect.
After bills there was money for fun,
Like bowling and dining
And dancing, and then some.
With necessities purchased, it seemed to me
There was plenty more green to be footloose & free.
Mom and Dad ordered pizza when we were in bed,
And they watched TV on the brand new set.
Our old grey Dodge ran for many years ..
‘til it died of old age, or cancer of the gears.
Whatever happened to the “Good ‘ol Days”
When gas and electric were nominal fees ..
When stamps were purchased in bulk, dirt cheap,
And you never imagined they would climb so steep?
The village folk turned red in the face
And they shook their fists about the State
And like an army of ants they marched to the place
That was the source of their disgrace.
But that was then, and this is now,
Or so the saying goes ..
And I wondered if and when
It would happen again,
But who knows
When the vicious cycle will end?
Is the rise and fall of the marketplace
The fulcrum for our fall from grace?
Do we mock ourselves,
Fight for the side
Of the shoe that we happen to be wearing this time?
Trade with me,
And you’ll see what I see –
The plight of the mere majority.
“I want some of yours!”, I cried,
So they threw me a piece
And tried to hide;
But I could glimpse their treasure
From around the corner.
The Plight of the Mere Majority
© Kat ... circa 1979
In the prison of my body
held captive by my mind
in the torturous silence
of my reclusive life ..
In the absence of touch
of the romantic kind
I am an island
bare of trees,
I am a stone
on a deserted beach ..
I am the rain
seen from inside
by fireside lovers lost in time.
Someone for everyone,
I’ve heard it said.
Good things come to those who wait.
Have patience.. pull up a chair..
Have faith and yours will be there!
Stop looking and then you’ll find
the matching bookend
the word that rhymes,
the key to the lock
the shoe that fits,
the sound of music,
the number one hit.
I am tired.
I’ve lost the shine of youthful skin,
as well as the splendor I dressed it in.
I lack the sparkle of eager eyes
that viewed a sea of hopeful nights.
Along with the dreams
I buried the smiles,
and fastened the shutters
and gone inside.
Earth recedes from my fading view
(am I real?)
while visions that never did come true
are tossed aside, unused,
in favor if the concrete truth.
In the prison of my blood and bones,
I fight no one.
I stand alone.
That fate decrees I do my time
in single file,
I must abide.
I touch no one
and no one touches me.
It surely must be
the stiffest penalty..
for what crime, I cannot be certain,
but the bars of fate
have drawn like a curtain
across my sight
on every side
a total enclosure
from the light of life.
I am alone,
not circled by a lover’s arms,
I am alone,
not mirrored in a lover’s eyes,
I am alone,
not lulled by a sweetheart’s song,
as I have been all along,
Feb. 18, 1987
The Pedastaled Princess
June 20, 1983
Who art thou, fair princess —
A flower rare —
Or a bad weed?
For she is the envy of the Ladies
with their vicious gossip fare,
and of the Lords’ attention
she begets their lustful stares.
What power hath the maiden
to affect the people so?
Is it charm .. or wit .. or beauty?
Or does she cast a spell?
Can she spin straw into gold,
does she wear a slipper of glass?
Is she fairer than the fairest —
the brightest in her class?
Where art thou, fair princess —
On a throne above the crowds?
I see no gilded dancers,
and pray tell, where are the clowns?
What of the gala feasting,
the servants waving plumes —
Princess, where is the merriment
all far and wide assume
is yours for being.. who you are —
Which is what, shall I presume?
There she is —
Not lovely —
Streaked with tears —
Wet hair clings to her cheeks.
Alone in an ivory tower
where no one comes to speak.
Not wise, for words are wasted
where they echo off the wall —
Not special when in solitude,
not anything at all.
Once upon a time,
there was a knight who came to call,
A man of strength and valor
for whom her heart enthralled.
Upon his steed he carried her
across the Kingdom land,
and gave to her the sun and stars
and gently held her hand.
From the gaze of his eyes
that kissed her soul,
there emitted such a love,
that the princess truly felt
she’d been blessed by gods above.
Then one day, the princess woke,
and found her pillow bare —
she looked in all directions
but he was neither here nor there.
Sadly, she returned
to her lonely prison tower
and she waited for an answer
to explain his absent hours.
He came at last, her precious knight,
But the Princess barely knew him —
He wore a heavy armor, and,
refusing to remove it,
told the princess he would leave her now
because she so confused him.
“I cannot accept your reason”
spoke the princess to her knight —
“I’ll find the truth behind it,
I’ll search with all my might”.
She thought about his actions
and she pondered on his words.
She would have purged him from her heart
Had she believed what she had heard.
Eyes don’t lie and feelings matter,
and she was sure that he still had her
in his system —
though he denied it —
the princess was determined to find it.
The days went by,
the nights were long,
he did return — with his armor on.
I guess that he was lonely too,
for finally, the shell was removed.
Never had the lovers been
as close as they now were.
Their hearts, their souls,
their bodies were one,
and their desperate love was pure —
Until the sunlight hit his brow
and the knight rose to his feet.
“I apologize for being here,
we really mustn’t meet.”
"Pray tell, why must you leave me so?”
the princess cried.
“Because you are the pedestaled princess,
and I, a lowly knight.”
And he told her of his jaded past,
thinking she’d run in fright.
But the princess stood her ground
for she knew that he was wrong —
No matter what his reasons were,
she knew where she belonged.
Her lover was a stubborn one
and he rode off once again —
and although she could not touch him,
his mind still let her in.
Too good for you — too good for them —
so wonderful and great —
Yes, isn’t life a royal treat
in this tower where I wait!
I hope you’re very happy
out there in the world that is yours —
for I am very empty, she whispered,
as she closed the iron doors.
branded on glossy pulp,
a veritable facsimile
of countless aged happenings,
to treasure and to hold
for as long as the image
is likewise in the mind.
These, our priceless receipts
from events, perhaps imagined,
for nothing remains
save the altered personality —
our memento of time.
My latest, greatest photograph
takes form now on the screen,
where to my soul’s eye
it ever shall be seen.
Not at this point developed,
I must bide my time to know
if it’s beauty is as true to life
as the artist feels it’s so.
© by Kat
sometime in the ’80's