Poems by Ken Cathers

 

pretty things

 

don’t know if

it’s finished yet

 

this pretty thing

I’m working on

 

has ignored me for days

disappeared

 

is out prowling

the village

 

may return with

a live bird

in its jaws

 

a small dismembered

rodent. . . one can

only hope.

 

is it too much to ask

for a few stolen lines

            a stray image

 

pray it doesn’t

scavenge too close

to the heart of the night

 

grow blind

with darkness

 

bring nothing back

but hunger

 

 

and Jonah

 

 

and Jonah

knew the whale

was sent

            for a reason

 

for him, who

couldn’t swim

couldn’t drown

 

kicked against

everything. and

 

the whale was

the world

swallowed him whole

 

took him to the one

place he had

to be   always

 

spat him out

unchanged

           

but hollow inside

blind this time

 

broken, remembers

nothing   almost.

 

waits to be

filled with voices

become other

 

wants none of it. . .

wants to be unchosen

sent back

 

awaits the unravelling

of days

 

watches the sky

for thunder

 

the ocean

for the slightest

ripple

            of whales

 

 

 

what it is

 

it is a blemish

that won’t heal

a sore that weeps

            clear liquid,

 

it is a pest,

irritant, will not

be ignored

 

something to pick at

pinch between fingers

like a flake of skin

            that will not tear away.

 

it is beyond

the realm of ointments

medicated cream

 

your doctor avoids answers

suggests prayer.

           

it matches all

the descriptions.

            leaks blood.

 

has become the focus

of every waking thought

            becomes larger

 

becomes something

you can

            no longer doubt

 

has acquired a name

characteristics. . . .

 

you curse

the gradual process

            of stages

 

resist the idea

that it is all important

all consuming

 

keep busy

wear long sleeves

high collars, avoid

 

the harsh light

that reveals

without mercy..

 

 

Ken Cathers has been published in numerous periodicals, anthologies as well as seven books of poetry, most recently Letters From the Old Country with Ekstasis Press. He lives on Vancouver Island with his family in a small colony of trees.

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