A Knot of Ought Nots

A bright blue canoe atop of Mount Crumble,
canoes can be tippy; down it might tumble
—ought not to be there!

The cat in galoshes and plaid underwear
eating fish tacos in Dad’s swivel chair
—ought not to be there.

The Belle of the ball in a suit of knight’s amour
stomping the feet of her dashing Prince Charmer
—ought not to be there.

Down the chimney a-grin comes Easter bunny,
an Easter-eve stunt the bunny thinks funny
—ought not to be there.

Bright blue canoes, crazy cats, silly bunnies …
make rainy-days fun, at least for my monies
—ought-nots ought to be there!



Butch the Mercurial Cat

The cat, a tabby gray,
his coat a watered silk,
long whiskers, yellow eyed.
Oh! how that cat loves milk.

A boy gives Butch his milk
inside a castoff pipe,
the pipe a whisker small
for Butch the milk to swipe.

Yet, thirsty tabby slides
into the narrow way,
a curling wisp of smoke,
a curlicue of gray.

Like brother Cheshire Cat,
Butch has his bag of tricks,
a feline magic act
that he does just for kicks.

The boy lies on the ground;
into the pipe he spies.
Butch has turned around:
a pair of yellow eyes!

A float of tabby tail,
then into thinnest air,
without the slightest sound
__Butch isn’t there!



Leland James is the author of six poetry collections, four children’s books in verse, and a book on creative writing and poetry craft. He has published over 300 poems worldwide, including The Lyric, Rattle, London Magazine, The London Reader, The South Carolina Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, The American Poetry Review, Acumen, Carillon Magazine, The Dawntreader, The Haiku Quarterly, Taj Mahal Review, The Society of Classical Poets, The American Cowboy, and The Ekphrastic Review, and many others. Leland was the winner of The Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize, the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, the Writer’s Forum Short Poem contest, the Portland Pen Poetry Contest, and was a winner of a Atlanta Review International Publication Prize. Leland’s newest collection, Rollercoaster Moons, is published by Little Red Tree Publishing, both in the US and UK. www.lelandjamespoet.com & https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/leland-james

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3 Responses

  1. Paul Freeman

    I particularly liked A Knot of Ought Knots – very Lewis Carroll.

    Thanks for the reads, Leland.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    These sorts of poems, Leland, should be illegal. I nearly cracked my head and spilled my guts. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a good laugh should be worth ten thousand. The underlying knots you untangled are worth a million.

  3. Sally Cook

    Leland, I loved all the unlikelys in this poem, but especially the Easter bunny and catly adventures. Will definitely visit your website ! I too love and understand cats.


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