Water Cats

Prides of kittens prowl the calli
of Venezia, curled together
on stone steps, more cloned
than incestuous. Grizzled
cats uniformly wear their island
fur, and fight intruders of other
pelt. Ginger invaders repelled
by greys, for cats in Venice
have ruled territories since
the days of Huns and Visigoths.
Proud felines defied Ostrogoths
and Langobards. On the lake isles
they were free to dwell in a dream
built on illusion. No walls guard
these water cats who mew
the dialect of their stones, as traders
paid their weight in fish, and Tintoretto,
Tiepolo and Canaletto cast their nets
to catch the world and draw it in.

Janet Kenny

If you have any comments on this poem, Janet Kenny would be pleased to hear them.