The larks no longer fear the lawn
soundly sleeps the shrew.
Sparrows splash in sunlit pools,
while wrens feed in full view.
The catnip grows unhindered now;
the grit lies undisturbed.
The mice no longer fear his paws –
he’s killed his final bird,
for rustled grass, the rush of feet,
signals not a feast,
and weeks have passed since last he snared
the scent of bird or beast.
Though master, once, of every creature,
quartered in his fief,
he ends his days the servant
of an unrelenting chief.
To thirst, the silent predator,
he’s ceaselessly on call,
hunkered by a dripping tap
that holds him now in thrall.
He watches as the droplets form,
snares them for his master,
then taps the faucet with a paw,
urges it, drip faster.
The master’s satisfaction wanes;
it soon enough will fade
just as he grew weary
of the mice with which he played.
And when the morsels fail to
sate the master’s appetite,
he’ll come to me and silently
beseech I end the fight.
A better ballerina
I bet I’ll never meet
than my cat astride a fence post,
so sure upon his feet.
All focus is ahead of him,
his eyes on living meat,
his head aquiver, measuring
the inches and the feet
that a plié and a sauté clear
so teeth and meat can meet:
not even Rudolf Nureyev
could hope to match that feat.
I’d rather we made points than scored them,
prime minister. If we could stick to the facts…
Do you deny that we’re funding a ministry
managed entirely by cats?
Is that why Hyde Park has been re-sown with catnip,
dogs have been curfewed at night,
and doors nationwide have been swapped out for flaps
a fifth of the previous height?
Does it explain the free-flowing cream
in fountains in each major city,
not to mention the tonnes of white gravel
on every street corner with shit in?
It’s answers we want, not a squint and a purr –
your reticence is a disgrace.
And while on that subject, if you don’t mind,
stop rubbing your nose on my face.