A Tall Tale of Tails

by Richard Kuslan (June 2020)

Two Cats, Franz Marc, 1913


Manx tails have no cat
They’re furry and they’re fat
Unduly sated
And undulated
They loiter and laze
For hours and days
Awaiting a dinner-plate rat

In wainscot tombs, their prey
They pray, again to play
Shiv’ring, they shik-shake
Quiv’ring, they kwik-quake
But worry for naught:
They’ll never be caught!
For these Manx tails have no cat.



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Richard Kuslan is an admirer of Donne, Sheridan, Byron, LeFanu, Trollope, Orwell, Sacheverell Sitwell, Christopher Logue and Jean Sprackland, among (many) others in the English language. He marvels at meaning’s fecundity when language is constrained by form and delights in the melodies that take to the air when the beautiful is read aloud.

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