Writing, cats and radiators


So here’s a question for my fellow-writers, fellow-poets: when is a poem done?

Sometimes I polish and revise and rework, and the final writing, good to my eyes at last, finds no readers. Sometimes I write, and judge my writing slight, of little significance or interest, and others like it.

This morning’s efforts seem to me slight, probably insubstantial enough to crumble under the pressure of polishing.

x x x

Unless the orange cat

First thing in the morning,
you write
unless the orange cat
is lying on top of you
warmth to warmth
in January’s chill pre-dawn.
He does not move
while you play solitaire
and read emails on the iPad
you pet him awake
and he slow-blinks good morning
and leaves.

x x x


Cold bedroom in
early winter’s chill days when
outside temperatures still stay
above zero.

When mercury drops and
wind chills sub-zero out,
they steam and clank and overheat
to a fever pitch, like
protests in this
winter of our democracy.

Except I know that
outside my frost-rimed windows
spring will return.


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