Tag Archives: storms

I Loved the Black Cat

I’m not one who likes to complain about the rain, but when my raincoats don’t dry over night (yes, raincoats) and it’s cold and dark, I can’t help but wish for fairer skies. And sometimes when people let us down our beloved animals sustain us. Note the quote I included and I hope you enjoy the poem.

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”               Louisa May Alcott 

I Loved the Black Cat                                                                      Deborah Slicer

Who stayed in the woodshed with me

During sudden summer thunderstorms late at night.


I miss the man who stayed in our house

Afraid, but I think I did not love him


So much as I loved that cat.

Darkness came undone at seams of lightning.

Black cat sat. Still.


You know how wind leaps on top a bull pine’s back, rides it nearly to the



Well, cat just flared his leather nose a little,

Paws Buddha-tucked.

Watched on.


When thunder cracked its thirty knuckles, helved its three free fists, when

rain spat sideways at us—


Cat snuffed—Pfuss—

So what?


Some storms were so sudden and spectacularly

Terrible, I’d run half-dressed to the woodshed from our house,


Where I’d find my black cat

staring down my terrible,

When the man inside the house could not.


Waiting to be Rescued

It’s hurricane season, something taken very seriously in the south and elsewhere. This poem and the quote offered don’t resolve the many problems that arise when your world is changed irrevocably, but words can be a comfort when your thoughts and feelings are linked to another fellow being. Be safe and brave out there. May you receive the help you need.

“Nature repairs her ravages – but not all. The uptorn trees are not rooted again; the parted hills are left scarred: if there is a new growth, the trees are not the same as the old, and the hills underneath their green vesture bear the marks of the past rending. To the eyes that have dwelt on the past, there is no thorough repair.”       George Eliot


Waiting to be Rescued                                                                     Maxine Kumin


There are two kinds of looting,

the police chief explained.

When they break into convenience stores

for milk, juice, sanitary products,

we look the other way.


When they hijack liquor, guns,

ammunition, we have to go in

and get them even though

we’ve got no place to put them.


Hoard what you’ve got,

huddle in the shade by day,

pull anything that’s loose

over you at night, and wait

to be plucked by helicopter,


saved by pleasure craft,

coast guard skiff,

air mattress, kiddie pool,

upside down cardboard box

that once held grapefruit juice


or toilet paper, and remember

what Neruda said: poetry

should be useful and usable

like metal and cereal.

Five days without shelter,

take whatever’s useful.