Letters & Opinion

A poem fit for a cat named after a god

Poet Cyril Dabydeen honours the life of his cat and beloved neighbourhood personality in this poem


Song for Zeus

For Alana

Wherever he is,
let him be, in what nether
world it may seem–
a farther place.

Looking at me with
those eyes, his face,
and manner too, my
tabby Zeus, I know.

Being himself only,
coming or going inside,
then outside and looking out
long on Somerset Street.

Passersby knowing him
with his own vulnerability,
sometimes purring, and
living his own life

I didn’t really know,
his intelligent eyes, you see,
and handsome face–
to behold always,

A lifetime, far away,
in my memory, or consciousness,
his soul, or his spirit
locked in with mine

Gone with a blessing.

Zeus in his element on the steps Photo Natasha Penknovich

Soul Spaces: Poems on Cities, Towns and Villages


Soul Spaces is a special collection of world poetry, said Sandy Hill’s Cyril Dabydeen, who was invited to be one of the eight editors of this new volume just released.

It’s a handsome collection of works by about 70 writers from the US, India, Australia, the UK, South Africa, the Caribbean, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and elsewhere.

The poems in the volume are about those locales that capture “. . . our imagination, and . . . create a shared artistic space, as poets from around the world relate geospatially, psychologically, and culturally.”

The book inspires people to explore certain connections for themselves and to fantasize about places that capture the human spirit. The book is available through Amazon/Kindle edition.

Cyril Dabydeen is Ottawa Poet Laureate Emeritus and fiction writer. He taught Writing at the University of Ottawa for many years.