Breathe like a cat

If you breathe in the way of a cat
slowly and careful when preying on birds,
or purring: caressed into comfort by hands
or sleeping in warmth from the hearth;
if you hiss with each intake of air when
confronted by tom-cats in March
instead of mindlessly breathing the air,
burning what’s given to share;
how can you claim that you know
anything about life or about kittens?

Girl with a kitten by Lucian Freud

Poetry for Poetry Pantry, trying to catch up, and write 30 poems in April.

April 22, 2018

24 responses to “Breathe like a cat

  1. Yikes! Some people can be cruel to animals oblivious of their needs and wants. Powerful write, Bjorn!

  2. Yikes! Some people can be cruel to animals oblivious of their needs and wants. Powerful write, Bjorn.

  3. A great poem that goes into the nature of cats whether hissing or purring. Only a cat ownet/lover could write this. But I find the pic a tad disturbing. The woman looks like she is choking the cat and is a trifle insane. Shivers.

  4. Yowza! Now this is just stunning – the images, the essences, and then, the ending? Absolutely perfect (oh, I am tempted … ah, why not? purrfect) ending. Damn fine question at the closure, which just punches this piece to a whole new level!

  5. I was just reading about Lucian yesterday. His work is wonderful.

    I like the rhythm in the last few lines.

  6. This poem articulates one of the great conundrums of living: what it is to ‘know’ something. A thoughtful and thought provoking piece.

  7. Don’t think the lady in the picture likes cats. But you, you know a lot about kittens.
    Good luck with your 30 poems.

  8. i think this is a great response to the picture.
    i think most people like (or secretly like) cats. how do we account for the number of cat videos on the internet? 🙂

  9. So many humans are like this, controlling not sharing. If I wasn’t a human I would probably be very wary of this foul animal.

  10. Enjoyed this so much,as others have said, there is no “mindfulness” with this person handling the cat/kitten. Wouldst we have her in the kitten’s position (oops, not very nice) 🙂

  11. I wasn’t expecting the poem to end the way it does, but it certainly makes one question one’s affinity with cats.

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