The feral cats, undeterred by the cold, engaged one another in play fights. Then one of them came close as I sat in the chair on the back porch, sniffed my foot, and then backed away quickly. I wonder if it was some strange smell that made him look so startled, or if he had simply surprised himself with his sudden bravery? He is almost fully grown, and he suddenly reminds me of when I first saw the gray cat, years ago. He was smaller then than this kitten, probably his, is now.
I've only seen the gray cat once this month. I wonder where he is keeping himself? I wonder if he's warm enough, and fed, and dry?
The Golden Palace
Anonymous (first century BC)
translated from the Chinese by Arthur Waley
We go to the Golden Palace: We set out the jade cups. We summon the honored guests To enter at the Golden Gate. They enter the Golden Gate And go tot he Golden Hall. In the eastern kitchen the meat is sliced and ready— Roast beef and boiled pork and mutton. The Master of the Feast hand round the wine. The harp-players sound their clear chords. The cups are pushed aside and we face each other at chess: The rival pawns are marshaled rank against rank. The fire glows and the smoke puffs and curls; From the incense-burner rises a delicate fragrance. The clear wine has made our cheeks red; Round the table joy and peace prevail. May those who shared in this day's delight Through countless autumns enjoy like felicity.