This wonderfully evocative poem was written by Australian poet, author and Autumn Chickens favourite, Frank Prem. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  



every year
at about this time
one of them would go
out of a silent accord
to the cupboard under the stairs
where the old sports gear
boxes of toys
and sundries resided

a few objects moved
a little space made
until the box was found
among the festive decorations

out it would come
to be dusted clean
and placed with care
and due respect
on the small table
in the lounge

with a little ceremonial flourish
both of them
gathered close as both
participant and spectator
the lid
came off

a neatly folded
small package of fur
was carefully removed
and straightened

a button found
and activated
to trigger self-inflation

it made a small
when it was done
and the sound of air moving
then ceased

all that was left to do
in a ritual
developed between them
over many seasons
was to rub
and to soft the ears
between their fingers

a sound became audible
then louder
and unmistakable


      soft words of endearment
      and encouragement

      the seasonal cat
      opened her eyes
      and meowed

      oh the joy

      happy hours
      of petting
      of rubbing up against people

      then finally
      a change
      a look in the feline eyes
      that was somehow


again together
they opened the door outside
and led the way
to the laden trees

fat baubles of promise
and glow
juice and joy
suspended voluptuously
in their twos and threes

so nearly ripe enough
for the taking

so clearly
already being taken
for there
plumped as though
in nests of their own entitlement
were a satin bower bird
and a king parrot

      the cat hardly glanced at the  birds
      she knew

      with a leap
      she was astride the main trunk
      of the first
      ornamented tree

      with another
      she was near to the top

      a squawking
      a flutter
      a small chaos

      the birds were gone

they looked at each other
face lit with inner joy

such a satisfying moment
every year

the saving
of the cherries
by the seasonal cat

in a week
perhaps two
the cherries would be harvested
and the cat
once again at rest
in her box
beneath the stair



You can find out more about Frank's work by visiting his website or clicking on the book covers below.