The Venue Fine Art and Gifts hosts many wonderful community events in Bloomington, Indiana, including one they call Ekphrasis, where they invite poets to choose a painting in their art gallery, write a poem inspired by that painting, and then recite the poem in front of an audience in the gallery.
Thankfully I was invited to participate in Ekphrasis, and I chose this painting by Don Geyra, entitled “Tootsie and Monarch”, and called my poem “The Cat and the Butterfly”. I feel that the cat in Don’s painting is perched, and ready to pounce on the butterfly. I have observed cats playing with and torturing butterflies, mice, birds, and even a snake. So I let my imagination run wild and wrote this poem.
People seemed entertained by my reading of the poem at Ekphrasis, so I asked my niece Zoë Reed to film me performing it.
Thanks to Zoë for filming and editing, thanks to David, Michelle, and Gabriel at The Venue for inviting me to Ekphrasis, and thanks to Don Geyra for such a beautiful and evocative painting.
The Cat and the Butterfly
By Timothy Reed
Ah! How fairly you flit, you fluttery buttery little plaything,
You take my Meow Mix breath away, and make my Siamese heart sing.
Nevertheless, how long can I endure this bated breath before
I systematically and playfully cause you to breathe no more.
I’m perched, ready to pounce, but I’ll wait a second, perhaps,
Before I bat a razor sharp claw into your delicate thorax.
Gently, just a little flesh wound, to instigate your imminent collapse,
Stealing your flight capability, while briefly saving your delightful fluttering agility.
Now another bleeding blow from my paw, this time to your abdomen,
To further abdicate your billowing beauty to my feline domain.
I bat you and whack you, toss you and thwack you,
Strike you and sock you, swat you and slam you!
You’re so entertaining in your final flapping throes of agony.
This is better than catnip in its all-out ecstasy!
Ah, now I’ll lounge by you as a break from the whirring,
To savor the craziness, a little bored by your lack of stirring.
Finally, a barbaric bite to your proboscis,
As exciting as getting Best Actor at the Oscars!
I place your mangled corpse on her white carpet, to display my vanity.
I appear aloof, but inward I’m laughing at my master’s profanity.