dVerse Poets: Open Link Night

Come join us at dVerse to read wonderful poems by wonderful poets today at 3:00 pm EST. http://dversepoets.com/2017/01/12/openlinknight-187/

watching the trees sway

standing on my back porch
I am confronted by the potting shed
at the back of the lawn.
Nobody’s Cat,
a crippled tuxedo boy
had crawled under it Thursday evening
unknown to me,to die.
his crippled arm had been swelling
and the weather had been getting more
cruel in its cold.
I took him a plate of food,
(I had been feeding him for a year)
and he gobbled it up.
Next morning and evening,
I took him breakfast and dinner,
through a quickly deepening snow.
Sunday, he did not respond to my urget
kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty –
none of the four times I had been.
nor on Monday nor on Tuesday.
the weather had dropped to -5F for several nights running.
now I stand on my back porch
being confronted with the potting shade.
my eyes travel past it to the woods beyond
down a slight slope.
I watch the trees swaying in the wind –
it is warm today, Pneumonia Weather
as the old timers call it.
I watch the trees swaying –
delicate whites, dark umber,
bland beige, light brown.
I watch them swaying
back and forth,
back and forth.
I know in the next big wind,
some of them will go down –
some to live sideways
and some to die.

34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ladynyo
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 14:06:17

    This is so sad. Nobody’s Kitty was claimed…by your love. poor little tuxedo. I have a couple of them….they are sweet natured boys and girls. Your poem so well expresses your anxiety for him, and then….a resolve. Life (and love) goes on. I am so sorry, Toni, and especially in light of your current stress. Nobody’s Cat know the only love in his love through you. They remember beyond the grave. So do we.


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 12, 2017 @ 15:08:58

      Yes, they do remember, forever.


      • ladynyo
        Jan 12, 2017 @ 15:15:58

        That is why I brought home a smashed up Stripy at the end of October. I could never get him in my car after a year and a half…but I have him now forever. There is a certain relief in knowing that he is here, in my front yard…under a young pear tree. Perhaps we do these things for ourselves….but I think we do it to honor those who have died.


  2. cindy knoke
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 15:09:17

    Poignant and moving~


  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 15:14:53

    So moving, and though a stray that never moved in it still had a huge place in your heart… I think you might be in need of a cat soon… I wonder if it was the cold or just being ready to leave that was the end….


  4. Ginny Brannan
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 15:49:22

    Aww, this touched close to my heart. I have 3 feral cats that I feed and shelter in our back yard.So far they have survived the past 4 winters. Of late, a black and white tuxedo has taken to coming by. He actually looks healthy like he is “somebody’s cat”, but I don’t mind if he shares some of their food. Not starving on my watch! Apparently yours either. A sad but lovely tale. Kudos to you for your kindness.


  5. whippetwisdom
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 15:54:57

    Nobody’s Cat was Somebody’s Friend and I can feel how much you love him in your beautiful poem Toni. He has gone to a good place now where he can run free. Sending you hugs and love across the miles xxx


  6. erbiage
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 15:56:36

    Live sideways… Wow. Amazing how tenacious, and yet so fragile, such a thing is life


  7. frankhubeny
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 16:35:17

    It is an interesting name, “Nobody’s Cat”, but I guess that is how I would describe such a cat. Although I don’t see any where I live, I do see them while walking through tourist areas I have visited.


  8. OT
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 16:43:57

    a great philosophical undertone to the final lines when read through the trees (I couldn’t help but read it as people)

    some of them will go down –
    some to live sideways

    that reshaping of sideways living and adjustment


  9. paulscribbles
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 17:13:20



  10. MarinaSofia
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 17:43:56

    Nobody’s Cat certainly was Your Friend – those last few lines really grabbed my heart and made my eyes water a little…


  11. sanaarizvi
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 18:14:38

    This is so very moving! Such wistfulness in “I watch the trees swaying – delicate whites, dark umber, bland beige, light brown.” Sigh..


  12. Grace
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 18:42:15

    Very mvoing share Toni and love your reflections in the end ~ A great metaphor of how life is, up, down or sideways or maybe just bowing out ~ Hope you are well ~


  13. Arcadia Maria
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 20:11:17

    A very moving piece.


  14. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 20:48:18

    So very touching, Toni. I especially found the tree metaphor so meaning and love that you began there, with the title, and then wound down the poem with them. Wish I could give you a hug and thank you for caring for God’s little ones.


  15. purplepeninportland
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 22:46:40

    This tugged at my heart. All my pets have always been rescues. Nobody’s Cat knew someone cared.


  16. Pleasant Street
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 23:24:22

    Felt I was in the middle of all those trees swaying, unsure what the morning would bring


  17. maria
    Jan 13, 2017 @ 00:41:41

    Wow, Toni! Your words are heartfelt. And these lines,

    I know in the next big wind,
    some of them will go down –
    some to live sideways
    and some to die.

    ..just heartbreaking.


  18. ayala zarfjian (@ayalazarfjian)
    Jan 13, 2017 @ 08:14:59

    A moving poem.


  19. Linda Kruschke
    Jan 13, 2017 @ 16:08:18

    I love the descriptiveness of this. I felt as though I was standing there with you, pondering the shed and the cat and the trees bound to fall at some point. Very nice.


  20. Oloriel
    Jan 13, 2017 @ 18:37:15

    Oh, what a heart-touching poem. Thank you so much for sharing it, all I can say will just ruin it, this needs to be absorbed!


  21. Glenn Buttkus
    Jan 13, 2017 @ 19:43:48

    What a boffo turn-out for comments–and this poem deserves the accolades; like life beyond poetry, this piece is bitter/sweet, sad & hopeful, allegorical, sensual prose–missing only a haiku on the end. You have converted me, you know. I just automatically include a haiku/senryu on the end of most of my poems now. You eft me smiling with moist eyes.


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 13, 2017 @ 20:06:06

      Glenn, , I actually wrote a haiku for it while staring down at the plate of frozen food:

      snow falls without mercy – food freezes while silence leaks from under the shed

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO


  22. Hank Pelaez (@kaykuala)
    Jan 13, 2017 @ 21:24:43


    I know in the next big wind,
    some of them will go down –

    The next big wind can be powerful it seems! Fate will hang on the balance for most of them!



  23. C.C.
    Jan 13, 2017 @ 23:37:44

    You have such a gift for story-telling….your words evoke such deep thoughts and emotions. I cannot get the image of a tree living sideways, and the implications of that as a metaphor for us, out of my mind.


  24. Sabio Lantz
    Jan 14, 2017 @ 09:00:56

    Superb — so much there. Tuxedo’s stoic death and your care (my poem was about death too). And yet the ending was much broader, realistic and poetic.


  25. lillian
    Jan 15, 2017 @ 15:36:43

    Nobody’s Cat became your cat, because you cared. And now we watch the trees sway, one side and then the next…in the wind….our emotions swaying one way and then the next…emotions buffted by the winds around us, sometimes gale force, sometimes wisps….and some treese shall mean more and some shall topple, and some shall die and those that live shall be affected and remember. Thinking of you….


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