A Poem and A Celebration

Have you been keeping up on the Chilean mining situation? After what must have felt like an eternity in the dark, so far underground, the miners are being rescued. Slowly and carefully, one by one.
To read of their ordeal is sobering.
But did you know that while they have been trapped they have been kept really busy? They all had jobs to do. Things like testing the air, clearing rubble, keeping in communication with the surface, preparing food. Writing poetry. Yes, one of the miners was writing poetry. I find this amazing that even in the deepest and most dangerous of places the appreciation of the spoken / written word is kept. How wonderful.

Here is a poem by one of Chile’s most famous poets Pablo Neruda. Maybe Chile is a country of poets. Somehow I can’t see many other places giving someone the job of poet.

Cat’s Dream¬†by Pablo Neruda

How neatly a cat sleeps,
Sleeps with its paws and its posture,
Sleeps with its wicked claws,
And with its unfeeling blood,
Sleeps with ALL the rings a series
Of burnt circles which have formed
The odd geology of its sand-colored tail. 

I should like to sleep like a cat,
With all the fur of time,
With a tongue rough as flint,
With the dry scent of fire and
After speaking to no one,
Stretch myself over the world,
Over roofs and landscapes,
With a passionate desire
To hunt the rats in my dreams.

I have seen how the cat asleep
Would undulate, how the night flowed
Through it like dark water and at times,
It was going to fall or possibly
Plunge into the bare deserted snowdrifts.

Sometimes it grew so much in sleep
Like a tiger’s great-grandfather,
And would leap in the darkness over
Rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.

Sleep, sleep cat of the night with
Episcopal ceremony and your stone-carved moustache.
Take care of all our dreams
Control the obscurity
Of our slumbering prowess
With your relentless HEART
And the great ruff of your tail.