A Voice in The Wilderness

(For Harry)

Metastasising senses
forever unfathomable
darkening eyes, off to visit
another place in the long grass.

As you ferret for your quarry,
so many lives you follow
to play with once again,
returning each night to your bed.

We helped you on your way
to renew your acquaintance
with old hunting grounds
sans malice or judgement.

Behind my eyes, a flash, a jolt,
involuntary convulsing silent cry,
recurring hurt, as you let go
you neither sense my guilt, nor hear …

Vox clamantis in deserto

© 2018 John Anstie
All rights reserved

[Harry ‘Tigger’ Potter was a handsome lithe 17+ year old tabby tom cat. Until very recently he was, to all intents still fit and active. It was only in his last few days that we realised something wasn’t right and even within his last 24 hours, after examination by and some bad news from the vet when he wandered round every corner of the surgery, probably looking for a way out, that he went down hill very rapidly. Within 12 hours of finding him the following morning and very unsteady on his feet, did the metastases from his liver course in his blood to his brain, causing us to respond in the only way it was possible to be kind to him. For many years, he was king of the jungle around here, but was always happy to sit on my wife’s lap and purr loudly every evening; he was, nonetheless, a good natured, thoroughgoing cat’s cat.

By way of a further footnote, ‘Vox clamantis in deserto’, the translation of which means ‘A voice crying out in the wilderness’ – is the motto of Dartmouth College, one of the elite Ivy-League colleges in the USA, which also happens to have been the alma mater of the poet, Robert Frost]

About PoetJanstie

“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult” ~ Hippocrates. As a young man, John was sporting and fit. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines and ethos as that famous Scottish public school, Gordonstoun, where our own headmaster had been as a senior master. This gave shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life. His fitness was enhanced not only by playing rugby, but also by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, selling ice cream! His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a fifty-two year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and barbershop quartets. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (stage name of the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 41 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man. What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how a few humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle. His sort of strap-line reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iChi iVolunteer ”
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2 Responses to A Voice in The Wilderness

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    So difficult and yet we wouldn’t miss their companionship for anything and we come back again and again for more. Sorry you lost your little sweetie, John.

    Liked by 1 person

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