This poem was inspired by Kelly, and a certain drizzly summer morning in 2009.
Pawprints and Raindrops
I am not awake but aware
of the sound of raindrops
whispering in the leaves and tapping on the roof
in the early morning, still dark
and little Kelly, sensing my awareness
hurries over and steps on my back;
I feel her tiny cold paws dimpling the surface of my skin
as I drift off in the murmur of her purr and the rain
I think of raindrops on water,
I am the water, my skin the surface
and I can look up and in the increasing daylight
see the circular ripples of contentment
mingling on my own surface.
poem © 2010 B. E. Kazmarski
You can listen to the poem too—see the link below.
~ ~~~ ~
I’m remembering Kelly today on the anniversary of the her transition to another existence, August 11, 2012 at the age of 19. There is no better dedication to her than a poem inspired by her and so typical of her actions, and of memories of one of her gentle wake-up tactics. But it also describes a visual image I’ve always had of her, those cool little paws dancing on a surface as Kelly was always moving, and the relationship between Kelly and me, quiet, affectionate, and the mingling of two spirits at one of the gentle times of day.
I was thinking deeply of her in her last week, knowing something was developing, and I shared this poem just a week before her passing to share her with others and help to send her good energy. That last time we awoke together we spent an hour awake and daydreaming, listening to music, and to the gentle rain outside the open windows. This morning the Sunday morning classical program was featuring the same theme “Ancient Airs and Dances”, and I heard some of the same pieces; no rain though.
We completely appreciated everyone’s thoughts, prayers, energy and condolences last year and since then as I’ve fondly remembered her all this year. Any loss is difficult, and Kelly’s passing came almost unexpectedly. She was also the last of the “old guard”, those dedicated felines who stayed up with me through lots of late nights in the 90s as I prepared for working at home, lying all over my desk and sleeping around my feet while I was at my easel. She takes a portion of the memories from that happy time of my life so there’ve been a lot of other memories to attend to lately, happy memories, and lots of cats.
~ ~~~ ~
About the poem…
I wrote this poem in 2009 but finalized it in 2010 just in time for my annual poetry reading at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in February 2010. “Pawprints and Raindrops” went on to be published in a variety of sites on the internet, and it also won both a Certificate of Excellence and Muse Medallion for poetry from the Cat Writer’s Association in 2010. In spring 2012 I began recording some of my poems, especially those with highly visual content so that I could also create a slideshow of images to accompany the text.
I’ve recorded it with a slideshow of images and uploaded it to YouTube, but you can click the embedded video below and watch it right here.
Enjoy other poems about my cats.
Listen to other recorded poems about my cats.
Visit my YouTube site for all my recorded poems (so far).
About my poetry and poetry readings
In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. ACFL&MH invited me to perform a poetry reading and to display the artwork that inspired those poems.
After each show I’ve built a web page with the poetry and art I featured. Please visit, read my poetry and view my artwork. In each of the readings except the first there is at least one poem about or inspired by one of my cats.
My prior readings have been:
“Paths I Have Walked” in 2007, featuring “Dusk in the Woods”;
“Winter Twilight” in 2008, featuring “Summer Morning on the Creek”;
“Change of Season” in 2009, featuring “Autumn in the Valley”;
“Coming Spring” in 2010, featuring “Spring Comes to a Bend in the Creek”
In 2011 I published a small book of my poetry from these four readings entitled Paths I Have Walked. Right now it’s still available in print—read more about it on my Portraits of Animals Marketplace blog or order it from my website. You can also find it in the poetry section of my website if you’d like to visit there and read more of my poetry.
I am currently preparing Paths I Have Walked for various e-readers. I will eventually produce an audio version as well, and somehow a version with the slideshows.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.