The ghost of a marmalade cat
Crosses my path from time to time,
Materialising from nowhere
And vanishing into nothing,
Gracefully and nonchalantly
Parading each of his nine lives
As yet unlived before the car
Caught him, helpless, in its headlights.

He is but a pale memory
Of a prince of cats, barred with light
And bursting with life beneath a
Calm and gentle disposition.
In living room and children’s beds,
His favourite spots are vacant.
Fastidious still, he now frequents
The fireside corners of my mind.

Muffin was killed on 28th November 1988.
Poem finished on 10.1.89


When finally the boatman comes
To ferry me across the Styx,
Don’t stay to wave me out of sight
But turn again to living things.
Turn back towards the healing sun
And in some patch of cherished earth
Scatter a wilderness of phlox,
Of lilac, foxgloves, hollyhocks,
That from my shore, with straining eyes,
I see their spires of blossoms rise
And catch upon a straying wind
The fragrance of their scent and yours.
November 1989