fileg (fileg) wrote,
fileg
fileg

George Macbeth

I will probably share some of what is considered Macbeth's serious work with you soon, but the truth is - this is my favorite. He wrote about cats often, and this poem - in particular verse seven - gets right to my heart. When Spoo died, I found myself repeating it out loud at odd moments.



George Macbeth
fourteen ways of touching Peter

I
You can push
your thumb
in the
ridge
between his
shoulder-blades
to please him.

II
Starting
at its root
you can let
his whole
tail
flow
through your hand.

III
Forming
a fist
you can let
him rub
his bone
skull against it, hard.

IV
When he makes
bread,
you can lift
him
by his under-
sides on your
knuckles.

V
In hot
weather
you can itch
the fur
under
his chin. He
likes that.

VI
At night
you can hoist
him
out of his bean-stalk,
sleepily
clutching
paper bags.

VII
Pressing
his head against
your cheek,
you can carry
him
in the dark,
safely.

VIII
In late Autumn
you can find
seeds
adhering
to his fur.
There are
plenty.

IX
You can prise
his jaws
open,
helping
any medicine
he won't
abide, go down.

X
You can touch
his
feet, only
if
he is relaxed.
He
doesn't like it.

XI
You can comb
spare thin
fur
from his coat,
so he won't
get
fur-ball

XII
You can shake
his rigid
chicken-leg leg,
scouring his
hind-quarters
with his Vim
tongue.

XIII
Dumping
hot fish
on his plate, you can
fend
him off,
pushing
and purring

XIV
You can have
him shrimp
along you,
breathing,
whenever
you want
to compose poems.
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