Category Archives: poems

Cat Gone Two Weeks

This poem was originally published in the 2016 Mendocino Poets in the Schools Anthology, alongside dozens of poems by my students. Recently, I was teaching rhyme to a class of fourth graders when one student raised her hand and said, “Why don’t we read your cat poem?” I was delighted. To be famous to your students is like Naomi Shihab Nye’s river being famous to the fish.

Cat Gone Two Weeks

by Jasper Henderson

Cat be nimble           Cat be quick
Cat sleep on window     And then get sick
Cat be happy            Cat be sad
Cat bites ankle         Cat is mad
Cat be bored            Cat be aware
Cat hear noise          Cat get scared
Cat be fat              Cat be in love
Master’s home           Time for a rub
Cat be hungry           Cat meows
Food bowl refilled      Cat chows
Cat in the hat          Cat in a box
Cat in a fight          Sounds like a fox
Cat is tired            Cat takes a nap
Cat wins a job          The better mouse trap
Cat on a fence          Cat in a hole
Cat in hiding place     Where did cat go?
Cat has gone out        Cat is due back
Where could cat be?     Alas and alack!
Cat has gone missing    Cat just flat gone
Cat left no clue        Cat left no song
Cat was so mean         Cat did us wrong
Cat gone two weeks      Cat gone too long
Cat came back!          Just yesterday
Cat sauntered in        We said hoo-ray!
Cat is the best         Cat is my friend
Cat needs a rest        So this is the end

Translation of “Lift” by Sergei Tretyakov

Here’s a translation of an obscure Russian poem that I completed five years ago.  Although the translation takes a few liberties, I hope these help capture something of the playfulness of the original. I found this poem in the great anthology Poetry of the Silver Age (Поэзия Серебряного века) published in Moscow by EKSMO in 2002.


by Sergei Tretyakov
You in darkness read, like a cat,
Small print on snowdrifts.
Vertical is our common path,
The singsong lift.
Just us two in this mobile pantry.
We’ll flirt!
Don’t flinch, with a gaze that’s stingy,
From the wreath of myrtle.
After all, you know, at love play the birds!
Oh! God grant me health!
I quite forgot that your floor’s the third,
And mine — the twelfth.
(tr. Jasper Henderson, 2011)


Сергей Третьяков

Вы в темноте чимаете, как кошка,
Мельчайший шрифт.
Отвесна наша общая дорожка,
Нас двое здесь в чуланчике подвижном.
Сыграем флирт!
Не бойтесь взглядом обиженным
Венка из мирт.
Ведь, знаете, в любовь играют дети!
Ах боже мой!
Совсем забыл, что Ваш этаж — третий,
А мой — восьмой.

Mr. Buff

This is the end of the line. All that’s left is Mr. Buff. And he’s in the middle of a mud bath.