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Poem: I’ve got a cat too

Books & Poetry

In the first of three occasional poems to finish the year, this week’s Poet’s Corner sees celebrated potter Milton Moon recount how he came to share his home with a cat named Blossom.

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I’ve got a cat too

The vet phoned me,
which he didn’t in person, actually,
but the nurse did
on his instruction.

A woman had come into the practice, the nurse said;
not a regular but an off-the-street,
advising that she was taking the dog but not the cat
and wanted us to put it, the cat to sleep.
The vet said for me to ring you.

The vet ‒ let’s call him Julian ‒ a little gruff,
has no “bedside manner”
but he’s dedicated and knows me well
having treated my tribe of dogs for forty years.
I said no then immediately felt guilty and rang them back.
Boy or girl? I asked. She’s ginger and white,
and called Blossom, he said.
(He knew of course I once had a blue heeler-cross
called Blossom, and he had a lady-dog
called the same.)
Guile? I don’t think so. I took the cat Blossom
and have had her ever since.

I started things right by telling Blossom
she now lived with me and so ‒
get used to it. She did, immediately.
We’ve moved around… three different homes since then,
smelt the furniture each time and said,
we’ve shifted again.

Years now we’ve been together
and she’s never stopped purring.

The woman didn’t know her cat very well,
and no, she can’t have her back.


Milton Moon. Photo: Denys Finney

Milton Moon, born in a year of the Fire Tiger, celebrated his 91st birthday in October. A leading Australian potter, he studied painting and drawing at the Central Technical College in Brisbane with private tuition there from artist Margaret Cilento. At this time Moon also learnt the traditions of pottery and wheel-throwing from Mervyn Feeney. Moon has been the senior pottery instructor with Brisbane’s Department of Technical Education, art tutor at the Architecture Department of the University of Queensland, and senior lecturer, Head of Ceramics at the South Australian School of Art. As a Myer Foundation Geijutsu Fellow, he made one of his many visits to Japan, living and working there and studying Japanese Zen Buhhdism. He has since also studied Jōdo Shinshū. Following his return to Australia, Moon left lecturing to establish a workshop, home and gallery in a restored 1850s stone mill at Summertown in the Adelaide Hills, but has since moved to Norwood.

Other awards include a Churchill Fellowship, Australian Government Creative Fellowship, Order of Australia (AM), Member of Honour of the International Academy of Ceramics, and Life Membership of the South Australian Crafts Council. He has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally, and is represented in major Australian collections worldwide.

More of Moon’s considered poetry, can be found at the Shin Buddhism website Muryoko, various other websites, on InDaily here, here and here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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