This blog's poems are from my published poetry book Star Steeds and Other Dreams: The Collected Poems (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2009) and are © Dr Karl P.N. Shuker, 2009. Except for author-credited review purposes, it is strictly forbidden to reproduce any of these poems elsewhere, either in part or in entirety, by any means, without my written permission.

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Friday, 13 October 2017



I have always been fascinated by the flamboyant beauty of a peacock's train, each feather proffering a veritable eye gazing down upon an adoring, venerating audience – an audience that equally would worship and has indeed worshipped in awe the aloof but ever-seductive entity of mystery and midnight that peruses the world through the golden eyes of a cat.
So when I encountered online this spectacular photo-manipulated composite of the pavonine and the feline reproduced here, what else could I do but compose a paean of praise in poetry to its esoteric extravagance?


The peacock cat purrs softly amid the fire of the firmament,
Its burnished plumes glowing and gleaming in blazing beauty
As its glorious train sweeps downward to trace across the face of the world.

Each eye, every ocellus, gazing forth from the splendour of its emerald feathers,
Peers with timeless stillness and silence upon the lands beneath,
All-knowing, all-seeing, all-dreaming, all-being.

The lands receive its hues, its light, its shades, and its shadows –
Multicoloured, varicoloured, parti-coloured, many-coloured.
A kaleidoscope of ever-shifting, ever-shaping patterns embellishing our world.

Life surges, satiated, inebriated, by polychromatic potions and elixirs
Cascading in torrents of tinctures from the prismatic palette of its exquisite soul,
As its train lies settled awhile, an ever-watchful extension of its feline being.

And then the peacock cat moves on, withdrawing its divine train of turquoise and topaz,
Of sapphire and sardonyx, carmine and cochineal, agate and amber,
Ultramarine, aquamarine, cobalt and emerald, drawn out and away from our world.

And what is left? No colour, no light, no subtle hues or vivid vibrancy.
Look around at all that is gone, all that is lifeless, listless, and lost,
Our grandiose achievements strewn in Ozymandian folly, unseen and unseeing.

The vast void of eternity encompasses us in its sable spider-webs of dreadful darkness,
Nothing but nothing remains, where, formerly, yet all too briefly, there was colour, and life.
The peacock cat is gone, and now, and forever, so too has what had once been our world.


  1. Somehow I'm picturing your Sweet, Dear Mom! You've shared such lovely photos on your sites, and in reading this wistful poem, I'm reminded of those pictures of her in her gorgeous sweaters (I think y'all call them 'jumpers'). She seems like a rara avis herself, truly selfless and devoted....she shines now in another life (that is my feeling, anyway). Dona in Waco

    1. Thank you for your very kind words concerning my mother, Dona - they mean so much to me!


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