The Panther in My Living Room

In a woodland forest of my mind

There are oak trees with

Bark warped into faces,

They whisper on the wind

Of remembrance—stories

Once lost but now found,

They tell me these stories,

I listen.

And write their rustling rumbles

In a journal

Of leather bound parchment.


The oaks blend in

With the forest surrounding

Of grey green

The air always holding a hazy drizzle

Of mossy wetted earth

A panther is known to

Roam their forest

I mustn’t talk to her

They say—She has yet to become what

She was created to be—what I was to make of her;

A beautiful creation trapped in

The lucid bars of thought

Where I reside most

Of my unearthed days,

Lost in an eternal

Agitation until

Pencil meets paper once again.

I hear her sharpen

Her claws on the backs

Of the oaks.

Searching for her

Story to be written,

To find purpose in this

Forest of grey green drizzle.

Her eyes flashing green

Like the rustling leaves rooted

In the firm mudded ground

While I hide within the oak’s hollows

Like a wise owl

With a journal

Of leather bound parchment,

Writing stories for this

Creature of my creation.


This forest to me

Is home—forged out of necessity

Of an endangered imagination.

The forces of evil lurking in

The real world threatening to lumber

My oaks that hold the stories

That I’ve long forgotten.

I hide them

In the forest.

A home where the real world

Is a forgotten thought

That does not disturb me

While I write the story of

The panther that lies in wait

In the woodland forest of my mind,

Ready to become everything

She was meant to be.


Hayley Durham