Equanimity—an ode to cat shit
One long rope the colour of clay,
resilient as putty; the tail end almost liquid
with a reek to revolt the dead. Dung
doesn’t do it justice—nothing less than pure shit,
the disaster following an evacuation. There, festering
on the floor, a true test of equanimity. Even
between tripled tissue the texture’s there
a soft pudge of disgust on a quick flight
a dump dumped and flushed. You wonder
maybe it was a gift, the chance
for enlightenment, like the splash of that turd;
but you’ve missed it, glad it’s gone
down the drain. Equanimity, you think
if enlightenment’s too lofty you’ll settle for less
—equanimity; washing your hands of it
only to throw them up when you glimpse
a golden pool and find a puddle of piddle. Equanimity
you think, setting about the sopping up. Pissed off
perhaps, but you have to laugh.
"Did not one of the great masters attain enlightenment upon hearing the splash of his own turd into the water?" P. 233 in Matthiessen, Peter 1978: The Snow Leopard. London, Harvill. 312 pp. ISBN 0-00-272025-6.
Photo 1: Matiu/Somes Island, Wellington harbour. From Eastbourne.
Photo and words © 2006 Pete McGregor