Celebrate #NationalPetDay. Please join Peter Donnelly and myself. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about this issue. Please include a short third person bio.


-Queen of our Home. Her forever home.


Unlike the cats,
he was our only dog.
Like them he was
no-one else’s pet
before ours. A gun dog,

unused to commands
like sit, stay, no.
His papers were lost
like his first owner,
or most of his tail,

mysteriously missing.
Lazy, but say his name
or mention a walk
and he was on his feet.
His ears were as sharp

as his claws, he heard
my footsteps before I was home.
The envy of every farmer
in the village, when he barked
you knew something was wrong,

or when he wouldn’t eat the biscuit
he usually wagged his tail at.
Like all our pets he lived a long life;
like the cat and the rabbit
I was away from home when he died.

-Peter Donnelly


We knew she hadn’t long to live
when she couldn’t move from the corner
of the kitchen floor the night before
she died, but it was still a shock
when a neighbour knocked on the door
next day to ask if we had a cat,
a white one? Somehow she’d got outside
to the pavement, not the road,
thank goodness. Rescued
by the RSPCA, a tear in her ear,
we never guessed she’d last sixteen years.
Her painful paws couldn’t carry her
any further, her claws spiralled
like fossils, they’d kept growing
as she grew too old to have them cut.

-Peter Donnelly (previously appeared in the Dreich magazine.)

Seven Species

First there was Missy the mongrel
from the RSPCA,
at least 144 in cat years
when she passed away.

Then stray Kitty,
dark as a witch’s cat
with a kink in her tail
who brought in a rat.

Tiger the Tabbie
was chalk to black Lilly’s cheese,
as different as Biscuit, Grandma’s ginger tom
from Heathcliff, her Siamese.

Once white Willow goes
there’ll be no more cats.
I’d have one myself
if I didn’t live in a flat.

-Peter Donnelly (previously appeared in the Dreich magazine.)


A Cat Day

Long haired big and black
Pilchard lounges on a rug
he thinks we bought for him.

Short haired ginger and small
Jaffa relaxes on shabby chic garden chair
she knows we bought for her.

-Paul Brookes

Cat Called Nothing

JPS calls me Nothing.

Catness carries being at its heart.
I am condemned to be free.
If I tremble at the slightest noise,
If each creak announces me a look

This is because I am already in the state
Of being-looked-at.

Catness haunts being. Hell is other people.
Catness lies coiled at the heart of being
like a worm.

Consciousness is a being,
the nature of which is to be conscious
of the Catness of its being.

-Paul Brookes

A Cat’s Concern

Bella is the abandoned cat rescued
by our dear late friend Big John and his spouse
who cleaning his jacket asked why cat food
treats pocketed when it’s not a cat house?

John tells her in preparing their new home
a little cat comes from the undergrowth.
Neighbours say she was left behind alone
when old owner sold house and loath

to see her starve have been feeding her scraps
but sorry they can’t take her in themselves.
He knows some cat lovers who will perhaps
take her in and care for her as themselves.

John and spouse renewed vows dressed as Beauty
and Beast so Bella does her nurse duty.

-Paul Brookes (from my Self-Isolation Sonnets)

Bios And Links

-Peter J Donnelly

lives in York where he works as a hospital secretary. He has a degree in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales Lampeter. He has been published in various magazines including Dreich where these poems previously appeared. He won second prize in the Ripon Poetry Festival competition. 


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