Tread Softly

detail of installation, ceramic, earth, coal
detail of installation, ceramic, earth



This new year I wish to tread softly on my path

And learn the grounded power and acute attention of a wild cat.

I have the desire to disturb as few blades of grass as a lithe snake

Purposefully carving her organic road;

Enjoying micro-movements of muscles

All working together in Grace.

Speaking of Grace- the trusting, innocent eyes of my dog are those I strive to see my world with.

I want to care for my clan with the fathoms deep depth of an African elephant.

My voice wants to carve sweet somethings through heavy airs.

My skin begs to exude a perfume as yet unknown

Instead of the intermittent metallic notes of judgement and impatience.

My heart imagines itself lying there, quite open and pink;

Oozing nectar ready as food for those who have none.

I want to tread softly through this magnificent forest;

My attention missing nothing…


Not the horror nor the Grace.

I will use my wild cat eyes and ears to try my best to take it all.
-Cathy Aten 2014


9 Responses to “Tread Softly”

  1. kristin lora on January 2nd, 2014

    Beautiful! Thank you.

  2. gerry harty on January 2nd, 2014

    Happy New Year Cathy…reading this raised me up…you are truly brilliant!!!

  3. Seth Mark Friedman on January 3rd, 2014

    thank you, gorgeousness for your spicy words and vision.

  4. David Pease on January 3rd, 2014

    Beautiful – just like you are. Happy New Year Cathy

  5. Pamela on January 3rd, 2014

    Such an incredible poem, Cathy. I read it yesterday but needed to come back to it again this morning. Beautiful with deep elements that feel so much of the natural world. I love it.
    Thank you, wild cat!
    Love, laughter and peace to you in the new year.

  6. connie buck on January 3rd, 2014

    Brilliant. May I find a way to feel the earth, feel her breathing, feel her textures and know my place amongst it all. You have inspired me, dear Cathy Aten.

  7. Adele on January 3rd, 2014

    You shine as a beacon of the purest truth and beauty
    Reminding us all of who we truly are and what we can give to each other
    Deepest gratitude beautiful friend and god bless us all

  8. Donna Bone on January 3rd, 2014

    Wild cats, snakes, dogs and elephants are all living in the moment–what great allies you have chosen for this year! Thank you, Cathy, for reminding me of the grace that comes with this aliveness.


  9. Jann on January 3rd, 2014

    So amazing, I felt my heart open as I read this. I feel it gives the reader of the poem the power to change their path. Love you.

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