Madathil Rajendran Nair

Gold Star - 27,588 Points (3rd December 1946 / Bombay, India)

Blackie, Blackie, Where Are You? - Poem by Madathil Rajendran Nair

The Lady of the house, bespectacled
Shades her eyes, calls out
Blackie, Blackie, where are you?
A call as sure as an alarm pre-set

She just finished a party
A grand dinner and the invitees
Have trickled out one by one
Leaving the house all alone

Her calls rouse me from slumber
At the base of the chimney
In its shadow cast by the waxing moon
Time I got up and hurried
To feast on the sumptuous left-over
She has set aside for me
To which no other cats are privy

She is the only one
Who has time for me
Party or no party
Work or holiday
Her calls would resonate
Three times a day
Blackie, Blackie, where are you?

And I from my slumber would move
Meowing my way
Down the sloping wall
To the back of the house
Where she would be waiting impatient
Her hands on her hips
To see me feast through her thick lenses

Why is she so fond of me?
Why is it that she has such softness
For this stray Blackie alone
When there are house-cats
Beautiful like dolls
To be bought from the market-place?

God alone has the answer
Or why worry about such questions
Profound and existential?
It is granted she likes Blackie
Why split my hair or her genes
Seeking an answer
Or why proposition a carry forward
From impervious previous lives?

She is so different
I love her and her bespectacled look
A real madam who the mustached brute
Of the house, overweight
With a mighty paunch
Doesn’t deserve
Even in a hundred lives

He detests cats
Calls me stray
Shoos me away
Out of sight always

And the boy of the house
Again thickly bespectacled
Pouring over books
Day and night
Has no time for cats
Or even his food
What is it that he mugs
Up so late into the night?
Does what he reads tell
More about life
Than a stray cat sees
With its open eyes?

And, lo, the beautiful girl
She always has a phone
Over her ears, lost to the world
Has no eyes even to the things
That lie next to her
Why do they live
So closed to the world
Clammed up in their private shells?

No answer why I alone
Ponder such questions
Into the depths of nights
Looking at the moon
Languishing in the phantom shade
Of an unthinking nosy chimney

When down on the roads
Death is on the prowl
In the form of speeding cars
Wheeled by care-free dare-devils
Which have crushed
My innocent babes and a lot of my ilk

Who does understand
The insecurity of a cat
Stray as it is
On vagrant streets?

Perhaps, the lady down does
And her calls reverberate
Inside me or is it me
Calling out to me
From deep within me
Blackie, Blackie, where are you?
An answerless existential poser

Topic(s) of this poem: existence

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Since a number of years, I have been toying with the idea of writing about the thoughts of a stray-cat. However, due to poetic inertia, the project got delayed this long and only tonight Providence granted me the required will and patience. Thank God, it is here!

Comments about Blackie, Blackie, Where Are You? by Madathil Rajendran Nair

  • Nosheen Irfan (9/24/2016 9:03:00 AM)

    It's a great work. To get into another's skin and see the world through different lenses, you have done it so beautifully. A stray cat's thoughts n feelings are so beautifully portrayed that it leaves the reader totally mesmerized. Your descriptive n narrative skills are at their best.10 (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rajesh Thankappan (4/8/2015 10:34:00 AM)

    This is really a brilliant piece or work that brings into the limelight the compassionate heart of the lady of the house towards the less fortunate. However, the lady stands in stark contrast with other members of the household who either hold the cat in disdain or in apathy. It is the feeling of empathy, even towards a stray cat, that makes the lady tower above many of us who may simply shoo it away without giving it a second thought. A perfect 10 for this wonderful poem. (Report) Reply

  • Mehta Hasmukh Amathalal (4/5/2015 6:03:00 PM)

    God alone has the answer
    Or why worry about such questions.. nice lines

    leave it to
    and feel true
    many things have no answers
    if at all, it may be with few
    (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (4/4/2015 6:28:00 AM)

    This poem looking at life from a stray cat's perspective is so delightful! I can identify myself with the lady of the house who has a strange affinity for a stray cat and the master of the house who shoos away the cat mercilessly calling it stray- with my husband! Through the cat, the reader gets a glimpse into the heart of a nuclear family consisting of four.... the boy poring into his books and the girl ever glued to her mobile... each one clammed up in their private cells! A beautiful poem! (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (4/3/2015 4:13:00 PM)

    Fantastic poem. The world as seen through the eyes of a cat. I'm glad you finally got it written. Congratulations. I have voted it a ten. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 3, 2015

Poem Edited: Friday, April 3, 2015

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