from rippled sinew
black as midnight
bores a stare
of molten gold

I’m seared through
burned to my soul

I watch helpless
this panther’s pace
held captive
in this zoo

cold eyes rivet
snarled contempt
unfathomed pools
of quiet rage

this panther paces
turns and paces
back he paces

graceful stride
of brute resolve
presses on
to test the limit

frustration turns
anger retraces

this steely prison
of faux environ
does not fool
this mighty beast

the panther pace
his nature proud
his spirit strong

his piercing gaze
fixed well beyond
his suffered fate
of cruel confine

he tracks freedom
he stalks life

how he continues
instinct certain
this is not home

relentless sorrow
wild longing
drive hard
the futile stride

here he will pace
and he will pace
and he will die

rob kistner © 7/3/96


edited photorendering entitled “Dangerous Beauty” by: rob kistner © 2007



~ by Image&VerseToo on November 28, 2007.

24 Responses to “Panther”

  1. Powerful poetry of “this steely prison,” Rob.

    Reading this piece makes me think of us humans, and of myself. We’re like the panther in many ways. Some people are confined in a cage of their own making ~ they live, and keep on pacing to freedom, and die. Is death their only way to freedom?

    Partly, in my poem Rising: Welcoming the Light, I expressed my personal response to this question in the line: “Fishes swim in the pond, confined yet feeling free.”

    Because ’tis only us who can free ourselves from the imagined confining cells we create in our minds.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

  2. Very well crafted – what is this zoo thing all about?

  3. Jeques –

    Thank you.. I’m pleased this piece resonated with you. 😉

  4. STG –

    It’s about humankind, out of balance with nature — ‘believing’ we have dominion… and the horrible atrocities that arrogance begets.

    It’s about alienation, it’s about being captive in this mortal coil, it’s about feeling/being powerless, it’s about the loss of choice, it’s about losing our human rights, it’s about cruelty to animals, cruelty to anything or anyone, it’s about the spirit of freedom — ultimately, it’s about whatever it speaks to you… if, in fact, it speaks to you.

  5. Our minds were working on similar lines…….zoos are such terrible places. A nice write.

  6. Jo –

    I believe zoos may be the zenith of humankind’s arrogance and folly.

  7. he tracks freedom
    he stalks life

    we are such disgustingly controlling creatures… are we not????

  8. Paisley –

    I believe it is our rationalized overcompensation for the fact that, of all living things on this planet — we are the only ones that have proven incapable of living in harmony and ‘natural balance’ with mother earth… with Gaia.

  9. A powerful piece that speaks to my heart, and breaks my heart.


  10. your words pace along with the imprisoned panther – I could FEEL its frustration in the very pacing of this piece

  11. Pauline –

    I am pleased… 😉 …you picked up on the essence of this piece, as it was intended to give the feeling of frustrated pacing — of the captive beast!

  12. Christy –

    I am pleased it touched you…

    Animals in zoo captivity is a heartbreaking situation. 😦

  13. So sad that we have to see them go through these things in imprisonment.

    very nice poem.

  14. Rambler –

    Thank you…

    Yes, I find zoos horrific.

    If we’re going to imprison innocent animals for perverse spectacle — we might as well design human prisons with access for regular viewing of the inmates by the general public. At least the living beings incarcerated there have been so by their own actions.

  15. Wow! Some animal. These are so beautiful! But I have to say I am glad you didn’t meet this one in the woods as you did the bear some time back!

  16. Tumblewords –

    No black panthers in the Oregon wilderness… there are mountain lions (cougars) and coyotes though. I hear them at night sometimes and have found their tracks by the mountain spring on my property, even watched them running — but haven’t come face to face.

  17. Beautiful! I love this line, “unfathomed pools of quiet rage”
    Really wonderful!

  18. Your words capture (notice my choice of word here) capture so well this spring ready to coil and leap, this energy trapped in body, cage, in the irons of our making…

  19. Throwing those 2-line stanzas in is inspired! They made me slow down and take notice (although, it wasn’t difficult since the whole poem is immensely readable!). And the sounds in here are so evocative! Well-crafted!

  20. I hate to see that ritulaised pacing of a confined animal. You’ve captured it very well in this poem, along with the beauty of the animal.

  21. Holly Mac –

    Thank you… I’m pleased that line resonated for you! 😉

  22. Lea –

    Thank you… I’m glad the tension touched you! 😉

  23. Linda J –

    You are mos gracious!

    It’s good to hear my little couplets grabbed you! 😉

  24. Juliet –

    It is deeply disturbing to me witnessing a wild animal in the agitated throws of raw distress — so damned sad!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: