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Writer's Block: Poetry Break - Not a rock, I'm just Ruth
All Me, no apologies
just_ruth
just_ruth
Writer's Block: Poetry Break
Write a poem or share one that you like.




The King O' The Cats
(adapted from the old tale)
by Ruth Dempsey (1982)

It was a dark and stormy night,
Sworn the blackest e'er been
Folks huddled round the Great Hall's fire
And muttered dark of pagan Samhain
When a knight staggered in from the rain,
Crying "God save me from what I've seen!"

"On Idris's Howe were seven black cats,
Led by one of snowy white,
Carrying a coffin on their backs!
It was a terrible sight!
But worse yet was the chant they sent
A ringing in the night "

"Tell Tom Toldrum that Tim Toldrum's dead
Tell Tom Toldrum the crown waits for his head
Tell Tom Toldrum that Tim Toldrum's dead."

"You lie!" said the King's own lady fair,
"I say you saw no such thing!"
"I tell you madam, I did, this I swear,
By the gold you wear as a ring!"
The black cat in the lady's lap stared and stared
As the knight repeated everything:

"The eyes of the black cats were red as fire,
But the white cat's eyes were green,
And she carried in her paws a crown
Small and dainty as I've ever seen,
And as they walked up the Howe
Their demon's chant came clear and clean."

"Tell Tom Toldrum that Tim Toldrum's dead
Tell Tom Toldrum the crown waits for his head
Tell Tom Toldrum that Tim Toldrum's dead."

Tear's sprang from the lady's green, green eyes
Even as the black cat's eyes burned red,
"Oh, treachery! Treachery!" rang her cries
"Alas my brother is dead!"


"And now I am King O' the Cat's!" the beast in her lap said.
With a crack and a flash, the pair were gone
A running into the night,
One the cat of sable black
One of snowy white,
All in the hall blessed themselves three times
After the dreadful sight.

The King was shaken to his core
At what he had let in his life,
And tho' he reigned for long and long,
He never would take a wife.
Tis said when he died there was a black cat at his left side
And a white cat on his right.
And the tale was told again and again of that dark and stormy night.


"Tell Tom Toldrum that Tim Toldrum's dead
Tell Tom Toldrum the crown waits for his head
Tell Tom Toldrum that Tim Toldrum's dead."

END

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Comments
2cbetter2 From: 2cbetter2 Date: January 10th, 2012 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know I remember my teacher reading this to my class when I was a kid and although I looked it up since it's been years since I've seen this poem/story! Wow! :-)
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: January 10th, 2012 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
The original story was much more mundane (old folks and a traveller who gives the news) and the way I heard it told, a lot scarier. :)

I had some silly idea of sending it to Dragon magazine.
lil_1337 From: lil_1337 Date: January 11th, 2012 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
That was wonderful. I really like the epic feel it has.
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: January 14th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I was trying more for fairy tale feel, but I had almost forgotten about it and found it in time for this. :)
rymenhild From: rymenhild Date: January 11th, 2012 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
That's great fun! Has it got a tune?
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: January 14th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
No, I can't say that it does. I never had a talent for music.
rymenhild From: rymenhild Date: January 14th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
You should get Marirose to write one for you. :)
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: January 14th, 2012 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I may do that if she has the time - last semester of her master's and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

You should find an excuse to come back to Rochester. Sticky Lips Barbeque (the place Jack wanted us to take you but we had thai instead) has opened a branch near to the apartment and with much better parking and it now features nine dishes it calls "vegetarian barbeque" (smoked tofu and other things) and has a recipe for beef brisket, that may not be kosher but has our rabbincal chaplain's blessing - he likes it, lol.
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