Day 14.1: NaPoWriMo 2021

Day 14.1: NaPoWriMo 2021

A Cat Like That – A Still Life with a Canary and a Hungry Cat
(in the style of an Atwood poem)

Here is a parrot
feasting on red currants.
It severs
blood-red deep gems
from each squat
fragile stem.

Here are plums.
Ripe damsons
with their deep clefts
Resting, open
in wicker weave.

Here is a vase, tall
elongated blue,
holding rose
blossoms, soft
as velvet lips, lazily
held aloft by
leaves green, veins
stroked by light.

Here are vines that
spill from that vase.
They balance
the air.
An afterthought,
to fill what is

And here is a cat
white as new snow.
Almond eyes
the shade
of rose leaves,
and it paw confesses
to the demise
of a small yellow bird.

Here is a cat
that knows
it’s a cat.

This image first came to my attention at Visual Verse Anthology on Instagram. The poem’s inspired (as in the style) of “Genre Painting” by Margaret Atwood. Image is public domain, a firescreen 1825 block print on paper. The Cooper-Hewitt Collection at the Smithsonian Design Museum, “Still Life with a Canary, Or a Hungry Cat”

13 responses to “Day 14.1: NaPoWriMo 2021”

      • Diane Seuss a couple of years back ( more now, I guess) did a whole book of poems based on still life paintings. I think she had an underlying theme in mind as she did them, but it’s not a bad idea for you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s certainly worth keeping in mind. Might be too late for this chapbook challenge though. Don’t think I’ll be submitting this year. No point; he just doesn’t like my stuff. 😂 I always have more fun with your prompts anyway.


  1. I had to read this twice because the first time I read it, I was so distracted by the fact that the bird I had noticed in the picture was definitely not a canary (and was relieved you called it a parrot). So I got to the end of your poem (“demise of a small yellow bird”) and finally a bell rang and I looked at the picture again. Then I was able to enjoy your poem for what it is – a brilliant rendering. If you don’t mind me playing the role of my Mum… I think currant (as in the fruit) is spelled with an “a” not an “e”.


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