Kitty named Renga

by A. Paige White

At the treeline
Lightening bugs flashing
A bat darts by
Write a haiku
petting the stray cat
with my laptop
back door mat reads
“Oh, no! Not you again…”
A tended garden


Author's Note:

Pag's had put a challenge/contest up in the tadpole forum
in March (I missed it, as usual)
that intrigued me. it feels good to dig
out the haiku observation glasses

Kitty named Renga (in honor of my husband's butt print on my laptop monitor) that deserves a Shadoe poem since she sat it on the chair for him to sit on it...

Chipmunky buttsprints

Posted on 06/03/2012
Copyright © 2021 A. Paige White

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 06/06/12 at 04:01 PM

Nice work Paige. I'm a great fan of everything to do with my favourite "familiar," including Renga. The middle stanza's especially cool.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 08/25/12 at 06:20 PM

Gotta read any poem about kitties. The beauty of the haiku, and your first is a great example, is that it invites a peaceful watching and listening. Thanks.

Posted by V. Blake on 11/07/12 at 01:16 AM

Are you familiar with concept of syntactical ambiguity? It's one of my absolute favorite concepts in literature, and there's an example of it in here that I very much enjoyed. Intentional or not, I feel compelled to point it out:
"petting the stray cat / with my laptop"
Using a laptop to pet a cat? Why not use your hands like a normal person?

Anyway, to the point: I have a soft spot in my heart for lightning bugs, though I always called them fireflies growing up. The point, I think, of haiku is to observe nature, and when you opened with them, I was thrilled. With a tight grasp on the extent of my own bias, you get major points for that because I'm immediately struck with a thousand different memories and nostalgias (That's totally a word, shut up spellcheck) and before I even finish the first haiku, I had been moved. Weird how long it's been since I've thought about fireflies.

I am unsure how I feel about the third haiku on the whole. The third line took me by surprise because my mind was traveling down one road with the first two lines, and the third came out of nowhere for me. My mind is trying to reconcile the images of the tended garden (and the reasons for which one might exist) with the (obviously-meant-as-a-joke) xenophobic doormat. I was actually going to suggest changing the line to "welcome mat" because it would be funnier, but then I realized it changed the way I viewed the scene. Back yards (and this goes back to the firefly thing for me) were always private things in my youth. Everyone saw the front yard at a glance and many--even strangers--would find themselves on it from time to time. The back yard, fenced or not, was reserved for friends and the invited. Not sure you get the same poem if you change that line. Funny how so much can change with something so ostensibly superficial as a single word.

Anyway, back to the last line. It's still in my head, and I have a vivid image of what you are describing (One twisted by my own predispositions and memories, certainly) but I am left wondering what you meant. Rather: Why choose THAT image to close this? Maybe it's nothing more than an observation--all you saw. Maybe I'm reading too far into it. I don't even dislike it as a closer, I just can't explain it.

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