bats & leopards

impossible to tame
messages too high to read
and growls that must mean more than hunger

impossible to know exactly where they are
but sense they hang within me upside down waiting
for the lightscarce hour to wheel and bend for veins
colour-blind they radar blood

or move scrupulous
playing with the mottles evening makes a habit of
slipping through stipples of belief and trust

a voice says know your place
keep your distance and self-respect
they want you only as handy knoll and sunless roost
not illustrator with words that stretch stealth and talent
to black leather stalactites luftwaffe on the make
and fat-pawed hitmen working alone

save your glossary to woo the moon
and ask for relief in brothel and first aid room

when you leave they won’t mind
they’ll find another to make theirs
and go on without the puffed-up metaphor
of where you dangle and think you see
cold attic pale eye

26 thoughts on “bats & leopards

  1. Wonderful to read your work again Uncle John. I can hear my heart beat and sense a apprehension fill the air through the imagery of your words – Miss Mary

  2. “…playing with the mottles evening makes a habit of…”

    Oh, how I love this line. Deep thought is your domain. The images you conjure are thick like oil. Masterful as ever, John.

  3. Ode to that primitive core which is not unique to us but common to all:

    they want you only as handy knoll and sunless roost
    not illustrator with words that stretch stealth and talent…

    … save your glossary to woo the moon
    and ask for relief in brothel and first aid room

    It is not your identity they crave but the rawness of the cycle of life and death like the creator and destroyer in Indian mythology:

    when you leave they won’t mind
    they’ll find another to make theirs
    and go on without the puffed-up metaphor
    of where you dangle and think you see
    cold attic pale eye

    Powerful poem, brother John.

  4. the first thought that came to mind are the words, the heart is a lonely hunter, but alas, we come into this world alone and depart that way too….as long as we have friends, I think thats enough to see us through….and cake, lots of cake 🙂 most excellent John ❤

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