May 13 2009

D. H. Lawrence – Pax

Published by at 9:16 am under Ivan's Story,Poetry

by D. H. Lawrence

All that matters is to be at one with the living God
to be a creature in the house of the God of Life.

Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.

Sleeping on the hearth of the living world
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence
as of the master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.

— from The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, by D. H. Lawrence

/ Photo by Dee.Dee.M /

All that matters is to be at one with the living God
to be a creature in the house of the God of Life.

I had a couple of very good friends in childhood, but in many ways my closest companion was a calico cat named, Kitty Kumbah (a singsong name made up by a four-year-old me). She saw me through my parents’ divorce, through a disorienting move from Oregon to Southern California, and along the bumpy road into adolescence. She sat patiently listening to my talking and tantrums. She slept on my bed each night and, in fact, gave birth to a litter of kittens right on my belly. When I was 16, Kitty Kumbah died in my arms, having carried me safely through my childhood.

feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence

What I remember most was how she taught me meditation, stillness, poise, contentment, and the importance of a well-chosen seat. She taught me pax… peace. That cat was my first spiritual teacher.

Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace

D. H. Lawrence, D. H. Lawrence poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry D. H. Lawrence

England (1885 – 1930) Timeline
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by D. H. Lawrence

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “D. H. Lawrence – Pax”

  1. Jessicaon 13 May 2009 at 11:07 am

    Thank you Ivan for sharing your Kitty Kumbah story. Though my story is different, I feel the same way about my Mamacat who we found with a litter of kittens. She love us and saw us through the birth of our child and then loved our child. After many years of sleeping on our laps, Mamacat finally got old and sick and, eventually, died in my arms.

    I am grateful that you have found DH Lawrence’s poem to remind me her beautiful cat-contented spirit.

    with blessings

  2. Jim Atwellon 13 May 2009 at 11:12 am

    In the house of life I think peace moved to another neighborhood.
    There was too much chaos and noise in this one.
    You know where she lives though, it’s not a secret.
    You have her on the speed dial of your heart.
    I think she is on the speaker phone of nature
    And she is calling your name.
    What’s that? I think this call is for you.

    Much Love
    Jim Atwell

  3. maryann moonon 13 May 2009 at 11:15 am

    What a story of you and your calico cat! I loved reading
    about it! What a very special friend she was to have
    left a litter of kittens with you, right on your belly! I hope
    you still own a calico cat today! Oh, animals do
    often make the sweetest of friends, tolerant and patient
    and caring, not conniving or calculating, as humans so
    often are.


  4. Anahitaon 13 May 2009 at 12:51 pm

    This is truly beautiful & I totally identify with it having had a very dear & much loved cat named Sooty for 18 long yrs right through childhood, my parents divorce & so many other tough times that life brings.
    What I learnt most from him was selfless patience, he was always giving with an understanding that can only be termed as human. My brother often refered to him as Yoda the Jedi for his meditative poise. Yes we have so very much to learn from all living beings as lessons from On High.

  5. Gerryon 13 May 2009 at 4:10 pm

    The poem by D. H. Lawrence was meditative and inspiring. Your words brought it to life for me and gave it depth. So grateful for the cats that I have learned from over the years.

  6. Letitiaon 14 May 2009 at 6:06 am

    Lovely D. H. Lawrence poem Ivan. I also loved the story about your cat -Kitty Kumbah. I agree with you, cats are humble Zen masters of quiet observation and meditative calm. My childhood family was very dysfunctional in so many tragic ways, but ALWAYS our cats, (13 of them) were there to comfort and guide me through the darkest days. I learned to calm myself, to breath mirroring their soft breathing, to let go in the moment, to trust the touch of love once again, and dare I say ~ I even learned to “purr” in harmony within myself….

    Thank you for yet another opportunity to explore the grace of poetry, and the grace of little Letitia.

    Warm love to you Ivan,


  7. aparnaon 15 May 2009 at 4:32 am

    you rode on that bumpy road and still found stillness! You are blessed (as much as a blessing!!)
    I’ve only looked at the bumps and potholes along the road. But I guess, my fumbling steps, too, shall bring me home someday.
    Bless you Ivan!!

  8. Kathie M Thomason 07 Sep 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Just been told about your site and this poem. I published some photos of my cat naming the series ‘what does contentment look like?’

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