Kim Chi was sleeping a lot. It’s normal for cats, we know. She still rolled and stretched herself and purred at a tummy rub. Her body felt hot – not so strange for a cat that has been curled up and the outside temperature is close to 40 degrees. But this type of hot, which I cannot ideally name, didn’t feel quite right. To describe it, it is not like a surface heat but a heat radiating from inside, under the fur, skin and meat.
And then she stopped eating. Again, this happens sometimes when it’s too hot – just a loss of appetite. But these signs combined led us to a trip to the vet – again – she was there only three weeks ago for a fighting wound.
Her temperature was high so they ran some blood tests which indicated that she has measles. Our neighbour had recently told us that many cats in the village had died from measles so this news was a little worrying. Then on top of that the tests also showed she has leukaemia…. This will most likely mean a shortened life and complications with any illnesses she may have.
This news is devastating but I also tried to be rational and consider that she was delivered to us in a bucket, on the way to the temple where she most likely would have led a terrible life. We have given her love and a home she may not have received otherwise. I hope her weak little body can fight through this illness. We cherish every day with the love of our cats. As arrogant, yet more loveable than most humans.
You are one crazy cat Delivered to us in a tub Squeaking and all that Climbing out for a rub Covered in dirt you were Until we scrubbed you clean Nothing seemed to deter You from going off unseen You became the princess Even though a boy Fearless curious interest Everything a toy Grown into your own tales Sometimes battered and bleeding You’re one that never fails Giving me the love I’m needing Every day a blessing For the nine lives you abuse Eight and we are stressing This is the last one you can use
30th May 2023 – She struggled and strived, using up her nine lives. You leave the biggest hole in my heart.
I love to watch the mountains in any season but in the breaks of rain, it’s fantastic to watch the clouds drop down into the valleys to give more depth and definition to the peaks on the horizon. It’s lovely to watch the rain out of the window.
The mountains advance from their cover Mad swirling whispers rise and grey Filled to dripping with lumps of water The jungle climbing up trees to sway The streams are full, crabs are caught In plastic buckets and crowded net Paddies complete for more life to rise First came the sun and now the wet
We’re ten rounds in to the Australia Rules Football season and as my team, Sydney Swans, is doing better this year than the last couple, I look forward to the weekends when I can catch up with the game. I can’t afford to watch the games live anymore and have to wait the following day to watch the (free) replay, meanwhile doing whatever I can to avoid seeing the result anywhere, which is not always easy.
One player in the team is Nick Blakey and he cuts an unusual figure, tall, skinny and shoulders that seem to fall away from his neck down to his elbows. His odd gait when he is running has earned him the, hopefully lighthearted, nickname of the Lizard. Once hearing this, it is impossible not to see a Jesus lizard scampering across water when he goes tearing off down field.
So, anyway, the word Lizard has been on my mind and I will probably listen to the Jesus Lizard when I get home tonight. And, yesterday, the blue headed beauty in the main picture above blocked my exit from the car park, and luckily didn’t run away until I’d gotten out and taken a photo.
The little lizard below often greets me on the stone pillar of our gate when I get home. He’s got some cute symmetrical markings. His many, many brothers and sisters leave piles of black turds around the floor and counter edges throughout our house. And sometimes our cats deliver us some mid sized lizards that manage to escape their jaws and scitter off under the fridge or washing machine, only to appear later, high up on the screen doors frustrated that they can’t get out.
Nothing beats that time Amy, barefoot, trod on a huge dead gecko that, presumably, Tigger had left as a present in the dining room. I say presumably Tigger as this lizard was as big as Kim Chi and Cappuccino is too dumb to catch anything that size. Amy hates geckos with a passion but I think they’re beautiful – not that I want to touch it. Her scream range out across the valley and I’m surprised the police didn’t come.
Forcing myself to notice the pictures and decorations on the walls in different places. Strangely, this was a tough one and it made me realise that I don’t go to many different places, especially during these difficult pandemic times. Of course, it may be that I did go to many places but didn’t notice the pictures on the wall!
Poems on this day
Field of Observation
Warm damp air clings to us In the middle of our own field Like quantum theory – look away A million fireflies are revealed Lightning flashes on the horizon Boding well the breeze to come Buzz on about your business There’s space here for everyone
The grey is not just in the sky It’s in my head, my half-closed eyes The passions of yesterday are gone The words said cannot be undone This sick mind exaggerating All my deadly contemplating A coward stuck in sheep’s clothing Just wants an end to my self-loathing To run away, just run and run To put an end to what’s become We slowly watched things going sour Took the pain and gave it power We mixed it up, caused confusion Stuck inside this brief illusion I still love you, I will always love you How can I ever love myself?
Rocks and Oils
Artificial lines and boundaries Sought to divide and rule Keep the savages occupied Then pour on extra fuel Some arbitrary borders Laid down after wars Pay us to keep the peace We’ll be back to settle scores Killed a man a thousand years ago For this, you’ll one day pay And grab this dirty rock of yours Put down a flag and say ‘Get out and stay out’ You’re not welcome here Our fathers always taught us You are not what you appear
This Is A Test
Some days I ask myself Just what am I doing here? On good days things make sense But others are not so clear Sensitive to your words Your scathing drunken attack I can’t always shrug it off Unless you take them back Regularly we cycle Through this vicious routine So here we go again What does it all mean? I just wanted to take it easy Sit back and relax But then I see you drinking Preparing your attacks Let’s sit down and fix it Make things for the best Many more years ahead of us This is just a test
If I keep writing down these negative thoughts Am I throwing them out or reinforcing them? Am I making things worse than they already are Or should I be symbolically divorcing them?
You make my time fly by Slow and low but disappear Mind expanding night sky It’s never now, it’s never here Clear focus, unsure intent Every detail thought about Bigger pictures represent My confusions, all my doubt Mind held in meditation Two strands, all at once It’s my weekend recreation Gonna slow down, quick response A balanced see-saw Numbed half out, half in Real tears are real no more But you can’t see me laughing Face flat, a blank space Though I’m just feeling pleasure Go along in good grace Make a monkish measure
I got a point five Writing got thinner Point five on this page Surely is a winner
*The .7 was bleeding through the page. The .5 is good for this paper I’m writing on at the moment.
Angels in the Backyard
Down here at the ground floor Snacking on an oily garlic bread Watching skinny mid-riffs floating by Not understanding what they said Filled with food and a feast for eyes Wipe the dripping from my chin Unmasked for everyone to see Central to absolutely everything Make a mental not to self Let no opportunity go to waste Sat amongst the spices of life That I may neither touch nor taste Washed down with refreshing water There was never any doubt Lunch is meant for rooms like this Fill on up and move on out
I’m proud of you – confessing my allegiance That’s strange and unreasonable Times past, irrelevant and small
As one gets older – one needs reassurances Not always entirely reasonable In order to go at all
*Re-arrangement of text from Ursula LeGuin’s ‘The Dispossessed’
Be on guard, the road widens And many of the detours are seductive Talent is it’s own set of expectations Try to be a no one, so instructed Of multiple exposure melodramas Learn to care and not to care This where you are not who you are Shaped or broken, remain aware Learn from those who fail This is your body, they want you to know This is the whirlpool, a friend Your torn blue ankle tells you so Unconscious exercise becomes a way to escape A long waking dream of pure play On the line, you must call it fair A thousand times and every day
*pilfered and inspired by David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’
Every time I found my place I decided it was time to leave Comfort never seemed to interest me I needed something new to believe But I always remember my friends And the happiness they bought I left to spread it further And find new ideas to report
I wish I could talk to you more But I forget the words to say Beyond inane pleasantry Engage pleasant insanity Sometimes forgetting what words are for We grumble and grunt away You know me, I know you At least we both think we do We tried to share together Get to the nitty gritty Broken formal etiquette Just easier to forget Now we just discuss the weather That seems like such a pity Communicate turn by turn Connections we must relearn
In Two Minds
I am in control Of the thoughts In my black hole On a roll Or out of sorts Searching for my soul
It’s in my mind Dual thinking Both are blind I cannot find Slowly sinking A life resigned
Your truth is sitting on that hill Mine elsewhere, a bitter pill But let’s consider, understand And work together, hand in hand
I wanted to go to Japan But in the end I couldn’t go So I bought a little dog instead And named that good girl Tokyo
*True story of Gui, the owner of my regular coffee shop House
Our tendency to compromise Our choreographed shedding of inhibitions Our sheer ordinariness With some notable exceptions Our eccentricities are conformist We are neither ‘sir’ nor ‘card’ Everything in moderation We neither work nor play hard Far from wild and reckless We rely on rare risk takers We are cautious and unadventurous Not really movers and shakers Oh, our English dis-ease That others misunderstand as such As long as they don’t bother us Thank you very much!
*Almost all this text is manipulated from pg 551 of ‘Watching the English’ by Kate Fox – so, being English I must talk about the weather…
35 and Relief
Sweat trickled down my chest My eyes were sweating too The storm clouds soon disappeared The skies now a whitish blue I never thought it could happen To feel my sweating teeth Thank god, the temperature dropped To 35 and relief
Giles in the World
In economic globalisation We seldom wonder where Our vegetables are grown Nor do we even care Trade among our nations Faceless labour makes Can you name your farmer?* And what their effort takes
*This inspirational line is also from ‘Watching the English’ which I had just finished reading and then started on Ursula Le Guin’s Dispossessed, whose introduction page led to this….
A self-exiled society Had taken one step away Yet he had taken two
The certainty of isolation He lived his life day by day Without his common crew
A sacrifice for greater good To show them a better way Stood upright and true
Asserted his true condition Wherever his hat may lay Somehow he always knew
He stood by himself With little left for him to say And nothing left to do
Once I was young and stupid But my head was full of dreams Now I’m older and know too much Everything is exactly what it seems Gone are the days of wonder Staring into the night sky Now I’m older and wiser My time has passed me by If I could take my wisdom Back into my past Live my life all over again Live everyday as if my last
A poem these days is a question Statements less obvious as I age I learned that I know little But I always return to the page Am I questioning you For an answer in reply? Or just repeating life’s queries As we all do before we die? I really have no expectation Just floating my thoughts in the air There’s always more to learn On the path to becoming aware How far I am in my journey? I guess I’ll never know This could be my last poem It may be my time to go
Chosen and Peculiar
It may seem a little odd When I say ‘I am the one’ A singular lightning rod Pointed at the sun I know my reason Though it may not be clear It may not be my season Yet my day is coming near When the sun flares With energy to fuel ya’ I’m beyond those cares Chosen and peculiar