Observe How Gentle Thoughts

by Cathy Larson Sky

For Niamh, splendid tiger cat (1997–2012)

Observe how gentle thoughts and ways are grieved
when watchers’ eyes, seduced, will turn their gaze
from subjects plain, the daily bread of days,
to pixeled screens where terror is conceived
in portraits of the angry and bereaved.
When talking heads proclaim: statistics say
our world is bifurcated, gone astray…

Come, reason. Let’s decide what we believe;
believe and know, are taught by creatures kind—
by cat’s soft velvet paws, by dog’s wet kiss;
few souls deny the comfort found in this
or question God when with compassion blessed.
Since loving animals assist the blind
I’ll trust their guidance and ignore the rest.

Irish fiddler Cathy Larson Sky has written music reviews, previews and features for Raleigh’s Spectator and Independent weeklies as well as the North Carolina Folklore Journal, New Hibernia Review and other publications. She was an Our Lives columnist for the Raleigh News and Observer from 2003-2005. Since moving to Western North Carolina in 2007, her artist profiles and poetry have appeared in WNC Woman and Womego online magazine.

About Observe How Gentle Thoughts—At first I struggled with the sonnet form. The discipline of phrasing in iambic pentameter surprised me by drawing from, and giving voice to, a quiet and tender place in my heart.