I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')


These poems are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here.

5 October 2012

Game


I am panther, sleek blue-black, shinier than a blackbird’s wing, more jet than a jungle night without a moon.  I am deep in the jungle today, in a thicket of green hung with vines, so the light itself is green, as if I am underwater.  I know about underwater: sometimes I romp and splash in hidden jungle pools; their light is also green.

Blue lipstick froths on her lips, pours from the tube all zingy like champagne.  She loves applying it in front of her mirror, feeling the tang, the wetness, seeing the strange colour paint all her face in its difference — her eyes purple, her cheeks mauve, her hair faint green in the light — all in relation to the glow from her thickly-blued lips.

I am looking for my dinner, and a mate.  Dinner is more urgent just now.  I leap through my thicket, listening for possibilities.  My ears twitch and swivel to all directions.  I am alive to the sounds of my home forest; I know it for miles by sound and smell — can detect both the beautifully familiar and the tiniest alteration.

She wonders if the unusual texture is to do with the dye, and why this lipstick is so unlike others from more conventional sources.  This colour is ALL blue, not just red with a blueish tinge.  She loves to encrust her mouth with it, layers of frothy blue on frothy blue until it looks matted, indelible.

There is an old bullock tethered right at the edge of the jungle, east of here; I catch the scent on the wind.  At once I know everything about this beast.  It belongs to a poor farmer who is trying to find extra grazing land there on the dangerous edge of the jungle.  It is fat enough to make a meal, but weak and slow, which is all the better for me.

She runs her fingers through her hair to spike it, and puts on huge loop earrings of an alloy that looks like heavy metal.  She drapes a fishnet stocking over her hand, stares a moment, then tosses it back on the bed.  Tonight she will leave her legs bare.  High on her thigh, just below the hem of her black satin skirt, is tattooed a tiny mouth — a laughing mouth, lips parted, showing teeth.

The edge of the jungle —  the border where two worlds meet —  is dangerous to those of either world.  The danger is in the encounter with the other side.  For me, there is risk in getting this easy meal.  It may bring men into my green thicket after me, with guns.  For the farmer and his beast, I am the danger.  I might kill the beast.  Also, I might kill the man.  I sneak nearer.  I am panther, hungry panther, choosing my game.


Published in Secret Leopard. Paris, Alyscamps Press, 2005. (See sidebar.)
Submitted for dVerse Meeting the Bar: Postmodern (prose)


22 comments:

  1. nice...great comparison too between the woman and the panther...both as deadly as the other when they go on the hunt...of course men do the same....the helpless old bull though by the edge of the forest never had a chance though...smiles.

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  2. I feel strong just reading this! :)

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  3. I want to meet this woman. This panther. The danger is so attractive. I really enjoyed this poem. The colors, the metaphor, excellent write.

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  4. I love the power and prowl within this poem and the way they surface, become the undergrowth and surface again.
    Fantastic work Rosemary.

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  5. Thank you, Delaina. Glad you enjoyed.

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  6. Well, you got my attention at 'I am panther' and kept it will all the great descriptors and sounds. The atmosphere as heavy as pregnant jungle air. I like the sharp/abrupt shift to the woman, connected but separate. The POV of the panther is intriguing and I liked the juxtaposition of borders (the jungle, her lips). I agree with FestivalKing, it put me in the mood to stalk (which considering my vegetarian dinner is silly :)). But I might have some blue lipstick . . .

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  7. Rosemary, you have really captured the spirit of the panther here. A fine write.

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  8. Yes, the edge of the jungle is dangerous! Well done, all the way through.

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  9. I love the detailed description of the panther...sleek, shinny coat... love the details of the woman too ..each hunters in their way. Feel sorry for the old bull but, nature does what nature does and, I hope at least one of them got lucky :) LOL
    Great read, thanks

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  10. I really enjoyed this, those two worlds intertwining, you hooked me and kept me there... a terrific write.

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  11. really cool...i wonder where you would go with this and really like the comparison..the different parts that flow together in the closure

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  12. How perfectly this poem addresses the prompt, Rosemary. You are ahead fo your time!

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  13. A beautiful piece, Rosemary-- I'm with Kim-- huntress v. huntress...xxxj

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  14. Nice...and makes one wonder about it( her )various prey..

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  15. Marvelous approach to the prompt! The back and forth works really well.

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  16. There is that element of uncanny and mysterious relation ship of a woman to that of a panther. It created a likeness of a challenge when faced by a man. It's in so much details let loose by your brilliant descriptions. Both woman and man ought to be on guard! Nicely Rosemary!

    Hank

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  17. Sorry to be so late, just life's burdens. This was very visual I could see this a film clip with the two narratives interweaved

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