Rosemary Nissen-Wade: Aussie poet and teacher of metaphysics – a personal view
My bestie nicknamed me SnakyPoet on her blog, and I liked it. (It began as
'the poet of the serpentine Northern Rivers' and became more and more abbreviated.)

Monday, August 08, 2011

Writer's Journal (exercise): My mum was a cat

My mum was a cat. A tame, domestic cat. She liked her comforts. She was a timid one, a  scaredy-cat who liked to stay close to home and to her people who made her feel safe. There, she was happy to be cooed at and petted. My dad liked to stroke her, and we kids were not allowed to interfere with her comfort. She came forth occasionally and ventured out on to the street, so long as someone safe was with her to protect her. She liked to lick the cream off life, and she hated loud noises. She didn’t like swimming or hiking, or getting into the dirt, and she hated mice and was always intent on destroying them. She was very private about personal matters, even secretive. And she was oh so fastidious about her person. You never saw my Mum ungroomed. She had an aloof air with people she didn’t know, and if she didn’t like you she would simply freeze you out by ignoring you. She had great dignity, my Mum, and she was quite vain. She knew she was very decorative to look at.

Writer's Journal (exercise): What if we came all this way and missed it?

Well personally I couldn’t give a damn. See I didn’t come for that, I came for the ride, and now that we’re here I like what I see. It’s a gorgeous planet!  You mob reckon it’s dying on ya? Well maybe, but it’s not so far gone yet. Time to stay for a bit of a visit, and enjoy what’s still on offer. The rest of our mob, they’re a bit pissed off because the stuff they wanted to study has been corrupted. Well, not my fault if the time coordinates were off by a few centuries; I didn’t pilot the ship. I’m happy enough to arrive at a time of aeroplanes and toilet paper and the internet. It’s quaint! And not nearly so primitive as those earlier centuries would have been. I like this air too, and the oceans. My adaptor kit made the conversions very easily and now I can function here just like one of you. Too bad about the rest of ’em, mooning about, complaining that they’ve missed it. What’s so great about a virgin birth anyway? Two a penny where I come from. It all depends on your point of view. Apparently the planet needed saving or something. Looks to me like you’ve done all right for the most part.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Dreaming of Cats

I dreamed of losing my black cat, Levi. We were out in a car; he was on my lap, not in a carry-cage, and when we opened the door he jumped and ran. I lost sight of him at once but followed through back lanes the way he went.

I came to a yard behind a wire fence. It was full of cats. Some of them looked sick.  I tried to open the gate. It was wired up, but started to move slowly. Some of the cats surged forward, and I thought I mustn’t let them get out, so I shoved the gate back into place.

An old man came out into the yard. He was fat and wore a robe or an old-fashioned shepherd’s smock. His thin white hair was long and loose, standing out from his head. He let me in warily. I thought I’d found Levi in a back room, but it wasn’t him. Thank goodness! The cat I found had an open wound on its shoulder.

I looked through many rooms. Finally I saw him! ‘Are you sure?’ asked someone who was searching with me. ‘Of course,’ I said. ‘Only Levi has those eyes.’ From those gold eyes flashing green, Levi gave me a knowing, loving look.

He jumped up and ran again, disappeared again, not in fear but with an air of certainty. This time I knew he would head for home. I was concerned because home was a long way from where we were, but I felt sure he would make it. I pictured myself opening the door to him one day, finding him on the step, tired and a bit battered, but happy.

I dreamed of my tortoiseshell cat, Freya. We were curled up together against a wall in an alleyway, very comfortable, half asleep. I wakened to a rainbow lorikeet fluttering right up close to me, almost in my arms. It wouldn’t stop. Freya woke too and looked mildly curious, but I thought her natural instincts would rouse at any minute. I picked up the lorikeet. It let me, and snuggled in. I took it around the corner and released it on to the ground, sending it urgent telepathic messages that cats don’t make good friends for birds, and to stay away from Freya.

I went back to Freya, and realised that the mass of soft grey fur was only partly her. There was also a strange grey dog cuddled up to her. I marvelled that they were so trusting of each other. Evidently we had been sleeping together, all three, and I hadn’t noticed.

The dog was a friendly fellow, medium sized and short nosed, with a curly tail and bushy fur. It was plain that he had decided to adopt us, and that Freya had adopted him right back. I was glad, and reached down to scratch behind his ears.