Thursday 8 December 2022

Three Poems by Margaret Coombs


The Panther


He sat in my furnished

one-bedroom apartment

each night, right leg

draped over the wooden arm

of a seventies-era chair

talking, while I suffered

in sexual heat. Sometimes

I felt him move on foot

through the dark city and I left

to seek him in the streets,

taking on the form of a black

feral cat, though that made me

too fierce for him, too

vicious and brutish.

It startled him.


Even so, sometimes

we merged, corpuscles

and molecules bending

to allow it, a fact I had

no faith in the next

morning. Sometimes


he waited beneath my bedroom

window, which was barred

against him like a western

jail cell. Dust blew

through metal slats. I sat

naked on my bed

helplessly surveying my image

in the mirror. My body,

my breasts were meant

for him, only for him, and he

was an illusion. And so

the weeks passed.



The Visitor


A spirit flew to me

took me prisoner

tied me to a wooden

chair   left me

at a metal table

painted green  


a panther entered

and became a man

he tied many knots

in ropes that stood straight

up by themselves he filled

the air with them



this might prevent

my escape

this might protect



am I still there?

if not   how did

I slip away?

was that the plan?

if so

I am ready


Trance Song


You are a jaguar

ready to show me

the earth’s sorrows


You are a jaguar

ready to show me

the earth’s strength


You are a jaguar

ready to take me

to any world I wish


Run at my side

I will run with you

Fly in the sky

I will follow you


Hide in the long grass

I will find you

Jump over the mountain

I will leap with you


Jaguar leaps and Jaguar runs 

Jaguar shows me beauty

Jaguar trots and Jaguar swims

Jaguar protects me


Where is the path

Where is the path

That takes me to your door


Where is the path

Where is the path

That takes me to your door


I’ll find the door

And make my way to you


I’ll open the door

And make my way to you

Margaret Coombs is a poet and retired academic librarian from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the city of her birth, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. Her first chapbook, The Joy of Their Holiness, was published in 2020 under the name Peggy Turnbull. She now uses her birth name as her pen name to honor the poet she was as a young woman. Recent poems have appeared in Wisconsin Poets Calendar, Amethyst Review, and Medusa’s Kitchen. She is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association.



1 comment:

  1. Joanne Mraz Friedman9 December 2022 at 09:34

    The vivid images in your poems make them so memorable. Congratulations my poet friend!


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