Slipping the Panther

Green eyes in the dark

I never could hear your low rasp of breath behind me,
nor feel its chill upon my neck, but I sense
your stalking approach this morning,
panther in the darkness.

You wish to catch me with my head low,
as if I’m pondering my path, where I am and
where I’m bound. You’d love deciding that for me,
dragging me back to your desolate hole in midnight gloom.

That’s why I nod – to write my light, exposing your shadow,
to gather myself and spring from your grasp again.
I can sense you now, these scars you engraved in me
ringing your approach, as an old man’s bones foretell the storm.

I must be on my guard, though, because your shadow,
the one receding to its miserable and destructive source,
your shadow looks exactly like mine, and we were one once,
panther in the darkness.

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21 thoughts on “Slipping the Panther

    • It is, indeed, Audrey. I could feel it coming on and I took action before it could pull me back into the darkness. You’ve just read part of that process. I’m glad my poem connected with you. Thank you.

  1. Yes, a thousand times yes, but of course when the emotional feline is upon you, hugging you with its negative forearms, then you must write the dark verses, and let your anger & resolve, pluck & verve propel you back into the light. It is halcyon to write while perched in a wild flower strewn glen, but sometimes the darkness stirs up an honesty not accustomed to the light.

  2. The nod–a perfect gesture to symbolize the awareness of the presence and resistance of succumbing to depression. A simple, easy gesture, but the prowling panther is powerful and sometimes the head is just too heavy for the smallest tilt. Really like the poem.

  3. The dark moments appear and it’s so hard to pull ourselves out and not go down that spiral. I hope you feel better. Beautiful write, Joe.

  4. This is beautiful Joe, specially the third verse ~ We must always be on guard for those shadows pulling us back and down to midnight gloom ~ 🙂

  5. Keep writing that ‘light,’ Joe to send the panther back into the shadows where it belongs. Have spent a little time staring into the abyss. Had always seen the glass as half full, until it wasn’t anymore. Took some time to find my perspective again. Writing definitely helps. Hope you are okay, dear friend. Well penned piece, wonderful analogies in this.

  6. How aptly penned!! this omnipresent, always lurking, one that is always ready to pounce one within!!! “That’s why I nod – to write my light, exposing your shadow,” ….foreboding words: “I can sense you now, these scars you engraved in me/ ringing your approach, as an old man’s bones foretell the storm.” & final identification: “your shadow looks exactly like mine, and we were one once,/ panther in the darkness.” strong imagery makes this a memorable reading!!

  7. I like this. We all have a dark one hovering over us ready to pounce. Good to get to know it, it decreases its power. I really liked the way you express this.

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