POEM: Karma Cat -28,000 Poems

This poem toys with the notion of karma and reincarnation as a vehicle for moral evolution and sum sort of cosmic justice. This poem employs as a metaphor the relationship between a karmic cat living thousands of lives encountering uncounted mice. This poem also embeds a layer of obscure numerology that connects the reference in the poem’s title of “-28,000 Poems” and the quantitative aspects contained within the poem. This is not essential to “getting” this poem; and I will outline that particular layer of the poem below.  May we evolve morally in each and every weigh where necessity is not the mother.

Karma Cat -28,000 Poems

Karma cat burned
Threw 9 lives regularly
Then agin
Sum how
Times 9,000 more
Parently equal
To ate he one thousand
In a sum what
Vicious cycle
Of ate mice
And for every won
Of earthen necessity
Eight mice played
And times hate mice
As if peering just
For fun
In that land of unnecessary
A life more than fueled
Morphing into cruel plays
And as mirror luck
Would halve it
Karma cat flailed
Two evolve
More than is
And what would be
In the wiled blue yonder
The final chaser
Billowing mice
Shrouding clear skies
Forgiven 7 times 7,000
Unforgiven too times 2,000
And, at least
28,000 poems

First, the optional numerology of this poem is a play between the aspects of our world that are quantitative, numerically measurable, and those aspects, the qualitative, that transcends such relatively convenient and handy measurability.  Specifically, the “-28,000 poems” refers to the “at least” 28,000 lives “missing” (one life equals at least one poem) due to karma cat’s unnecessary and cruel “playing” and killing of mice for sport throughout karma cat’s 81,000 lives (9 lives times 9,000 = 81,000). Ultimately, karma cat is forgiven 7 times 7,000 times (49,000 times — and lives) and unforgiven two times 2,000 times (4,000 times — and lives). This nominally means that for karma cat’s 81,000 lives, 49,000 mouse lives taken were counted and accounted as forgiven and 4,000 mouse lives taken were counted and accounted as unforgiven. The 53,000 mouse lives taken (49,000 + 4,000) that are accounted for leaves the remainder or offset of karma cat’s 91,000 lives lived at 28,000 lives (91,000 – 53,000 = 28,000) missing, or unaccounted for.

At first look, this refers to the missed opportunity of moral evolution in 28,000 of karma cat’s lives, making the balance, or lack thereof, in the excess of karma cat’s lives compared to accounted for lost mouse lives (assuming sum kind of equivalency). Of course, a cat kills way more than one mouse per lifetime, so the presumed “at least” 28,000 lives lost is overwhelmingly an underestimate, when considering only, or in addition, the countless mouse lives lost in total.  This is meant to represent the absurdity of attempting to quantify such losses of lives and life, and how ultimately this is uncounted and uncountable. The “one life equals one poem” is an intentional crude and absurd parity of trying to mathematically account for such losses. Also, I hope that every life has a poem written about it. I am trying to do my part in this regard. Though I must confess, doing my part often only results in short term pleasures and unseen long-term benefits.

To those familiar with my poems, not surprisingly, there are more layers built into this poem on this theme.  For instance, the “too” in “Unforgiven too times 2,000” is a pun with “two.” I choose the “too” as a counter to the notion that karma cat is forgiven way more than he is unforgiven (7 times 7,000 forgiven = 49,000 versus unforgiven 2 times 2,000 = 4,000), The “too” shifts the meaning to 2,000 times more unforgiveness than forgiveness.  This could more naturally include the uncounted mice killed in the more straightforward equation, as well as simply meaning that such cruelty is unforgivable, a loss that can never fully be redeemed. Of course, what came first, “Forgiven 7 times 7,000” is a reference to Jesus’ answer to his disciple Peter’s question, “How many times should we forgive someone who sins against us?” Jesus’ answer was “not seven times, but seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). This was not meant to be a literal number, but a number so large that it cannot be applied to the type of accounting that Peter was positing. This is simply another mind-blowing transcendent answer that Jesus provided his often somewhat dullard disciples. My multiplication by 1000-fold is a clumsy tip of the hat to this sublime answer, and it fits the structure of the poem.

A pop culture equivalent of the absurdity of measuring life and poetry comes from the movie, “Dead Poet’s Society,” where the English professor instructs the students to tear out of their textbooks the Pritchard scale which intends in a simple, two-dimensional way measure the value of a poem, reciting several memorable quips, including “we’re not laying pipe.” See movie clip here. Movie genius — watch it!

Enough on the “optional” numerology. This poem centers more on the unfathomable, ongoing losses of “unnecessary” cruelty. The subject of necessary and unnecessary are reflected upon in many poems of mine. I won’t belabor it more here.

Regarding karma and reincarnation I have a general skepticism about a tightly engineered justice that can be squared off in sum wholly accurate weigh — though perhaps holy accurate. Whatever weigh, I am a life-longing member of mourning anon.

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