Black cat in a morning
by Norman MacCaig
Black cat, slink longer: flatten through the grass.
The chaffinch scolds you, pebbling you with chinks
Of quartzy sound, where the green lilac banks
White falls of stillness and green shades of peace.
A shape where topaz eyes may climb and find
The fluttering gone, the dust smelling of green,
The green a royal deshabille of the sun
Tossed on a tree and stitched with its own gold.
And chaffinch rattling from another bush
Shakes with his furious ounce a yard of leaves,
Strikes flints together in his soft throat and moves
In out, out in, two white stripes and a blush.
Black cat pours to the ground, is pool, is cat
That walks finicking away, twitching behind
A stretched foot: sits, is carved, upon the ground,
Drubbing soft tomtoms in his silky throat.
He changes all around him to his scale.
Suburban suns are jungle stripes of fire
And all the mornings that there ever were
Make this one mount and mount and overspill.
And in their drenching where time cannot be,
Amiably blinking in ancestral suns
He swallows chaffinches in stretching yawns
And holds the world down under one soft paw.