The Unseen Cat
between my legs, I tripped
and went sprawling on the path,
cursing and losing my brawl with the unseen.
As I picked myself up, seeing nothing, blaming some cat,
a coconut smashed down from a 10-meter palm
onto the path where I’d have been. No harm
because I tripped. The Fates were kind--
The death of Aeschylus came to mind.
Pre-dawn, an unseen caterwaul both loud and lewd
woke, brought me out in irritated duty
into the early sky’s eye-blazing beauty
that changed all anger into gratitude.
The rat frequenting the garage
Having long proved impossible to catch,
I was resigned to feel some things would inevitably
Be eaten, chewed, destroyed.
The next morning I found the cat had left
The rat, chewed, destroyed, by the front door.
But I have no cat.
The unseen cat has called me to a gas leak; it has shown
Rain out to sea, given me time
Ten minutes, to get back home, close windows down;
But I have never had a cat. I am allergic to their hair.
This cat is never seen. It is and is not there.
If it exists in some Schrödinger state
It still is not a cat.
I have a personal space, a bubble,
Perhaps a meter extra space around me.
Within this I feel, from this perceive, the world.
The cat, though, when it comes, without any trouble
extends that space ten meters further out
in all directions, feeling all within,
Therefore the whole house,
Perceiving out from this bubble, further into the world’s
both time and space
Than anything I can do alone.
It is a cat, unseen.
I have no cat. And yet. What are the odds
This cat is some god, muse, some gift of gods?
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Robin Helweg-Larsen
would be pleased to hear