To a Cat Named Patches

Sagacious little cat

Quicker than a gnat

You found your home

Without a map

And chose the comfort

Of a human lap

Oh quizzical little cat

Is this deep sleep

Or a long nap

 

Ted Goodell

September 2018

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Using the stairway railing

For guidance and support

The fragility of aging movement

Fondly searching for the equilibrium

Her husband’s arm provides

Upwards they slowly climb

Confronting the effort in their learned security

Together entwined

Their discipline inspiring

The boldness of their task

They climb the cliff of stairs

To finally reach the pinnacle

Upon a concrete mountaintop of air.

 

Ted Goodell

August 2018

Sportsmanship

At the crux of human behavior

We pride ourselves on sportsmanship

Is the hunter the exception

Is the sport of hunting the exception

I know of no other sport

Other than hunting

Where the outcome of the sport

Is predetermined

Where sportsmanship has been

Reduced to a slogan

 

I know of no sport

Other than hunting

Where the use of equipment

Is in the possession of only one player

 

I know of no other sport

Where the joy in participation

Is only granted to one player

 

If hunting is a sport

Why does the hunter

Win all the time

 

Ted Goodell

August 2018

The Pot Holder

There is an anthropological story

Lost in the archives

Of mankind’s libraries and museums,

A little known fact,

That along with the invention

Of fire and the wheel

The great surge of human progress

Was the invention of the pot holder,

A powerful force

In the slow ascendance

Toward our towering heritage

Toward human modernity.

The pot holder stands

Alongside human inventiveness

For life dominance,

As much as fire and wheel

But barely mentioned,

Deliberately silenced,

Lest its singular force

Cast doubt on human ingenuity.

For after fire,

And long before the wheel,

The pot holder can no longer be concealed,

For the paleological evidence

Is now quite clear,

Without the pot holder

In whatever form it might appear,

The modern human

Would not be here.

 

Ted Goodell

August 2018

 

Chicken Wings

Tables festooned

With platters of chicken wings

Waiting to be dipped in hot sauce

But first there must be cauldrons of chickens

Squawking and flapping

Clucking and scratching

Fused into a living stew of suffocation

Awaiting the relief of extinction

Their white and brown feathers

Harvested for stuffing into sofa cushions

Their birth rates

Forced mechanically

Until the market for their meat

Explodes into tubs of hot sauce

 

Ted Goodell

July 2018

The Mirror

A mirror depends

On silver and glass

Handheld or fastened to a wall

Enduring relics of a golden age

Obedient reflection of a posing face

Emitting its likeness back

To look on head and hair

Positioned handsomely for the

Eloquence of a self-appraising stare

Behold the delight

Of a subtly satisfying smile

Abridged by looking past the doors and walls

An alphabet of memories

Remembering scattered moments

Of seeing other faces other walls

Protecting mirror images

Before they shatter in a senseless fall.

 

Ted Goodell

July 2018

A Cat Named Tucky

What ghosts

My Cat pursues

I can not know

He finds them

Lurking in a dream

That only he has seen

It gives him access

To a world

I hardly know

But draws him

To a world

As precious as a pearl

It guides him

With a power compassed

By the shadows and the stars

And in his purring dream

He challenges old phantoms

Only he has seen

 

Ted Goodell

June 2018