little tree

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell of catnip sweetly

i will rub my face on your cool bark
and eat your poison leaves and throw you up
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid

look at the cats
that poop all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out
and allowed to shine,

the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your big limbs
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every branch shall have its ring

then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and eddie and isabel and i will take paws
and looking up we’ll dance and sing

“little tree, little tree.”


somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond my front door


somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
my front door, your eyes are the color of wet-food:
in your most frail petting are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot swat because they are too near

your slightest turn of knob easily will unclose the door
though i have closed myself as paws,
you open always claw by claw myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first taste of cosmic nip

or if your wish be to close the door, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this domestic animal imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens doors;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all litter)
nobody,not even the toy mouse,has such small paws

meow said she


may i knead said he
(i’ll squeal said she
just once said he)
it’s fun said she

(may i arch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let’s go said he
not too far said she
what’s too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stick my butt in your face said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you’re purring said he
(but you’re killing said she

but it’s life said he
meow said she)

thy paw makes early flowers


Thy paw makes early flowers
of all things.
thy fur mostly the hours love:
a smoothness which
(though love be a day)
do not fear,we will go a-playing.

To be thy ears is a sweet thing
and small.
Death,thee i call rich beyond wishing
if this thou scratch,
else missing.
(though love be a day
and life be nothing,it shall not stop hissing).

[in just]


in just-
spring          when the world is mouse-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whiskers          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
when the world is purr-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whiskers
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
balloonman          whiskers