March 7th, 2009

Ben Nevis "Great Paw" of Katzendorf

Leo-like,
an Aslan,
and human-like,
a master of
Clark Gable's
smile:
all women
were
his Garbo

The smile first
seen--
the smile only--
at dusk above
the low branch
of a tree,
floating

A Cheshire cat
of feral ways--
in rabbits and
small beasts
he made his
feasts

For many years
he ruled and sired
miles about,
by torn eye and ear
he fought for his--
until we found him
almost dead

A ritual bath
and visit to the vet,
a name for Scotland's
highest peak our gift,
and regally
he raised again
his head

He reigned benign
for eighteen years,
with ermine ruff
and gleaming paws,
and kept the peace
with the mildest
yawn of those
fierce jaws

But now is gone.

Great Paws resides
in his chieftan's tomb
of runic stone
and earth,
alone

Except that
parts of us,
our totems
for his afterlife,
are scattered
there--

If he should stir--
standing ready
by his paw