I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

29 September 2016

My Little Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me 
– Robert Louis Stevenson

My black cat shadows me 
wherever I am,
or begs I accompany her
to favourite spots,
even outdoors.

Our enclosed back garden 
feels like freedom –
as much freedom 
as she, fearful, chooses.

Is it a cage 
when you choose it,
freedom if you don't?

Written simultaneously for Quadrille# 17, Shadow at dVerse 
and Midweek Motif: Two Souls: Caged and Free at Poets United


  1. I think they think that it's their territory; a place they will defend. Some might go further afield and boss other cats in their own homes, if that happens to Selene then it's time to go running out with a broom to show the intruder she can't be bullied!

    1. There is one who has tried it a couple of times, and I have indeed chased him away. He hasn't been back for a long time now; hopefully has given up.

  2. Hmmm . . . what if you freely chose and have the freedom to choose? Back in the 1960s it seemed that feminists were against housewives and stay-at-home moms, but really we were against the expectation/cage. And the problem of Black feminists with white ones was that the latter didn't get that the choice to stay home would be a great freedom. You marvelous cat though! I think together you are the two souls, and there is gravity and joy. The enclosure may be the heart.

  3. she has found her own space of freedom, seems she's quite discriminating & knows what's good for her, a wise being :)

  4. We have a cat that will not go outside of the house (which makes her easy to take care of). I think she more or less freely chooses her cage. Although it seems constrictive it allows her to focus on more interesting things like naps and food and breathing.

  5. Oh! I LOVE that last stanza, especially, Rosemary. An important question. Sometimes the caged bird sings anyway...and sometimes an animal will stay in a cage with an open door.

  6. What a valid question... do you know what you are missing... reminds me of Maya Angelou and "caged bird" a bit... which I can also see in De's comment.

  7. I wrote around the same question..love the way you made it personal ..about your cat and garden.

  8. It takes a cat to explain these erudite options..me and Alice are scratching our heads but feel quite pleased we have our own little shadow system up and running.. Choice must be the key to feeling free I suppose.. When we do maybe there's no longer a feeling that we need to flee..hmm..

  9. We live in a semi-wild area near a river where there are coyotes, skunks, racoons, snakes and once in a while, bears. I shiver when I see cats out and about, knowing how vulnerable they are. Your cat is wise, I think, choosing the freedom that is hers. Yes, freedom to choose is freedom even if others don't think it is.

  10. Sometimes a cage when you dont choose it, freedom when you do....smiles. Have been in both situations.I think Selene is very happy with her situation.

  11. Rosemary, this is really profound. Sometimes we do choose to be 'caged' a bit, but consider that we have freedom. I can understand that. Sometimes it is more comfortable to have freedom in a limited way.

  12. Perhaps, it is best to leave the cage door open so one can come and go as they please.

  13. There are some who yearn to be free, and others who can have it for the taking, but choose not to. This is a puzzle, that I'm sure your cat has already solved.

  14. I liked your thought on your garden.
    Then it hit me, there are may gardens

  15. I too adore that last stanza ❤️ freedom is something of a birth right, and yes it's we who choose it. Beautifully executed.

    Lots of love,

  16. We feel free in our comfort zone though the feeling may be illusory

  17. Maybe she feels free as long as she is in your company. Loneliness can feel cagey too.

  18. Freedom is not only of feelings but more in the physical freedom to move about even though not totally free. It is not 100% but good enough!


  19. The only way one can comment on this is to know both sides of the wall.
    The enclosed back yard or the jungle running free outside. Experience both then make a choice...compromise or not....at least you know what you are not missing out on.....that is probably the most important aspect of experience and knowing is the real freedom:)