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C. J. Stevens

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The Cats in the Colosseum
by C. J. Stevens

Monday, October 25, 2004
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           >> View all 45

I saw nine of them sleeping in the sun.
They were like dead gladiators from several nations:
One was a fierce African, he wore
a helmet of battered fur; two were
Asians, they had mysterious Eastern masks
strapped firmly to their faces with tiger stripes;
three were stout Persians, they were bundled in robes
of white, off-white, and gray; two were obviously
barbarians, dingy but very strong;
one was delicate and slight, but his proud scars
were long and overlapping like twine.


One by one they rose from the crumbling pedestals
as a half-bowl splash of sunlight leaked
from the Colosseum and drenched the hills of Rome.
Late afternoon. Time for these gladiators
to rat where lions roared centuries back.
I watched them go. The wind rose from the throats
of a hundred entrances and became one cry.
Like rude Romans, the tourists spinkled popcorn and pretzels
on the stained stones. The cats went deeper
into the arena, under the wheels of invisible chariots.
I stared at my imaginary emperor,
and I cheered as he pointed his thumb at the ground.
Then my blood rose along the Tiber of my veins,
and the nine brave cats disappeared into a lion's pit.
It was nearly dark when I left the Colosseum.


 



 

John Wade Publishing

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Reviewed by Janet Caldwell 1/9/2011
What can I say? You ARE the man, poet extraordinaire. x
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 12/4/2004
LOVE IT

richly illustrated, the reader wants to read more...and is slightly disappointed when it ends...i was! a visual masterpiece! well done!

(((HUGS))) and love, karla.
Reviewed by Gaye Dale (Reader) 10/27/2004
A visually entrancing poem!
I particularly liked this line: 'The wind rose from the throats
of a hundred entrances and became one cry.'
Excellent imagery.

Reviewed by ya mama (Reader) 10/26/2004
cool. i love the metaphore
Reviewed by Edwin Larson 10/25/2004
I identified with this poem..I am in Rome at least once per year, to visit family, and am always amazed at the huge population of feral cats living among the ruins...You presented a great take through a unique perspective...Enjoyed
Reviewed by Sue Hess 10/25/2004
this is an exceptionally well written poem
Reviewed by Dawn Richerson 10/25/2004
fabulous write. i was back in the Colosseum, and i haven't been there for nearly 30 years. could see the tourists spilling popcorn and the circus outside... "a half-bowl splash of sunlight leaked
from the Colosseum and drenched the hills of Rome." this image is just spectacular. now, i think i'll go rent "Gladiator" again. :)
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