Poem for Sunday: Green Sparkle Ball

posterized image of black cat with green ball
Giuseppe with his green sparkle ball.
GIUSEPPE HAS BEEN CHASING his green sparkle ball all over the house since he was about a year old; he will soon be eight years old. There are also others of other colors which Sunshine and Bean are chasing, but still, each cat is in their own way chasing, not the green sparkle ball, but an idea as they turn it into some sort of imaginary prey. In our own way, so do we humans have our own green sparkle balls to chase in flights of fancy, turning that silly toy into many things in our own creative imagination, and sometimes coming up with something entirely new to us, and to the world.

. . . . . . .

On the subject of poetry and cats…no one was talking about poetry and cats? Well now I am—here is a poem I read at my 2009 poetry reading inspired by Giuseppe and all cats at play, and how that relates to my own creative thought and that of all humans.

Cats are pretty intelligent, so I’ve never been able to figure out how they fool themselves into thinking that a little sparkly green ball is an object of prey, especially when they get all carried away and race all over the house, growl at other cats when they come near the catch, and stash it in a safe place when they’re done, even bury it under a throw rug.

I figure it’s a starting point for the imagination, something to follow down the rabbit hole like Alice into a wonderland of discovery.

Green Sparkle Ball

Loping along, he freezes in mid-stride at the sight of it,
silently flattens himself, tail straight out behind,
ears alert, pupils dilated in amber eyes glowing from black fur,
his whole world centered on his prey,
a little wiggle of the hind end and he creeps forward
one soundless step, then another,
now, completely ready, he springs onto his prey,
a small bright green fuzzy ball with sparkly silver threads poking out all around.

Something about this toy sets off the receptors in Giuseppe’s brain
even though it’s been sitting innocently on the carpet
not moving or making sounds or being in any way provocative,
at the sight of it he’s transformed into the efficient killing machine
which is any feline.

Up into the air goes the green sparkle ball,
he swats, chases, corners it,
a big cat at 18 months, Giuseppe is 13 pounds of dense muscle,
but he picks it up delicately in his teeth and bounds up the stairs two or three at a time,
I hear him galloping around, even hear the bedsprings
as he pursues his prey around the second floor.

I’ve known this cat since he was two days old,
he has never been closer to the outdoors than a screened window,
he has never had to hunt for his dinner
except to find his way to the kitchen.
His mother had no chance to catch some unlucky mouse or chipmunk
and bring it home for an educational demonstration.
Why, then, this activity?

Later, he is sprawled on the bed with his brothers
and I find the green sparkle ball floating in the water bowl;
he does this with his toy, drops it in the bowl when he’s done playing
as if it’s stashed in a place where it can’t escape while he naps
and he can take up where he left off when he awakens.

Cats are not easily fooled.
When you get them a toy that looks like a real mouse
and toss it and push it around then retrieve it yourself,
they watch politely
and when you are done, resume their nap.

This object looks nothing like any prey he might ever chase.
So why is he chasing it?
And why does Cookie play pick-up soccer with a ping-pong ball,
and Kelly leap all around about a scrap of paper,
and the elusive panther caught on motion-sensor camera run after a blowing leaf
and the lion chase his tail?
Surely they see the green sparkle ball for what it is,
or are they so focused on their pretense
that for the concentrated time of play
the toy is convincingly real
and their activity vital?

Do I have a green sparkle ball,
something that relieves me from rational thought
and plunges me wholly into a world
entirely formed of my imagination?
Is that something that humans lost
in the development of rational thought,
our oversized brains finding this process unnecessary,
or is it there beneath our every discovery,
guiding our creative efforts?
When we let our mind play,
our thoughts creating a reality out of the raw materials available,
does that deep focus on the green sparkle ball
pull together seemingly unrelated bits we’ve gathered
and put them in an order we’d never otherwise see?
Did Einstein have a green sparkle ball,
that his thoughts pursued
until it led him to his theory?
Starting the first fire, inventing the wheel,
Proving the world is round, finding a vaccination for smallpox,
Composing a symphony, sculpting the iconic figure,
Creating any device that changes the world around it,
Does it start with chasing the green sparkle ball?

poem © 2009 B.E. Kazmarski

Listen and watch a very slow slideshow

I chose only four images for this four-minute poem because of the software I was using oh, so long ago, so be patient with the slow transitions! I hope you enjoy them, and the poem. You can find it on YouTube, or click the video link below.


Read poems inspired by my cats and by observing my backyard wildlife habitat, and listen to those I’ve recorded, and read about my poetry.

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© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
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Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

3 thoughts on “Poem for Sunday: Green Sparkle Ball

  • June 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm
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    How clever Bernadette..I wonder….does Pudgy see little mousie heads when she sits and stares at my naked toes…and then reaches over and bites one???..lol..Must read it again…..

    Reply
  • June 7, 2015 at 2:16 pm
    Permalink

    Pawsome poem. KInda gets you thinking 🙂
    We kitties are not going to tell you what we see in our special toys.
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

    Reply

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