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  • Hugh Loxdale

The Riddle of the Silken Cat

The silken Cat,

Appearing like the Sphinx ‒

Silent and inscrutable ‒

Sits, watches...and thinks...

But exactly what...

Is hard to know...


It observes us

In every aspect

Throughout the day...


In moods of joy...

Or black despair...

In love, nakedness,

In tears, asleep,

Work, play, aggression, fear.


Perhaps the thoughts

That flow

Below its ruffled brow

Are magnanimous,

Reflecting affection...

Or maybe acceptance

At our behaviour...


It’s impossible to say.


Or maybe even

Deep thoughts

About the meaning

Of it all...


And our role

As benefactors and guardians...

We large, imperfect creatures

Out on this earth (apparently)

To house, feed, entertain

And cosset

In every way

Throughout their lives,

Short relative to ours...


Or most probably

(Or so we would like to believe)...

Their thoughts revolve

Around mere mice

Scurrying in the darkness...

An abstraction

Made flesh by sound and smell...


It is an unsolved riddle

The ancient Egyptians knew well...

Although similarly,

Could not solve...

Such is the silken cat

With its strange, impelling powers

And which may hold secrets...

But will never tell.





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