mum is a leopard (english poetry)

If anyone has been reading me for over a year, you might have detected that the structure of this poem draws much from my older English compositions, such as Emerald Cage and Low Poetics. I wanted to design something that returned to that a bit, and simultaneously, I wanted to write as if I was a child looking at a blossom. I’m not certain I achieved either of those, but there was an intention.

The Lispector’s Egg reference pertains to Clarice Lispector‘s The Egg and the Chicken, a small story that is truly indescribable, much to the likes of all of Lispector’s works. I started reading Lispector when I was very young, and when my mother is sad, she always reminds me of Clarice, a sort of saturnine ethereal being locked to mortality, a misplacement, an injustice of some mystical kind. I believe there is an easily accessible translation of the short-story somewhere online, and I urge you with utmost potency to find it and give it a read.

There is also this beautiful piano-electronic album I’ve been bewitched by, Moon Ate the Dark, which is surprisingly serene yet inspiring and cumbrous. If you like mellow instrumentals, especially for reading or writing, give it a chance.

As usual, a thousand thanks,

Published by João-Maria

A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

37 thoughts on “mum is a leopard (english poetry)

      1. I’m so glad you liked it. I, at times, am hesitant to share other Art that I like in the fear that my tastes might be overly precise or plain bad, truly.
        But if you liked it, I’m not alone.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad, Craig. Your continued support is much valued to me, and to have you comment signals that I’ve done something worth the while. You also wrote about your mom, your poem is equally beautiful, I hope I inspired you in some way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the impact of moms upon their children is life long and can never be overestimated. Today is the anniversary of my mother-in-law’s passing. She was like a second mom to me, and her home felt like my home, all the more so because my wife and I met as teenagers and my own parents split up when I was eleven.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it did, every man needs a mother. Sometimes we only have memories, those children of the wind, but they can be enough.
      I hope you liked Moon Ate the Dark and surely look at Clarice. Introducing others to Art that inspires me is one of my favourite things in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “there she is / with a cigarette like a torch and a book of / bare fire”
    “small capsules of godhood in the faithlessness of their own divinity”
    Wow. Brilliant poetry

    Liked by 1 person

  2. absolutely magnificent poem…it’s magnetizing. I think that this is one of those poems that people will always come back to because its very powerful and draws on archetypes like the mother, and the leopard and it plays with passion of pain, anguish, strength to overcome and fear of loss. So it plays on different drawstrings of the psyche each time its read. wow…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is my poem that, to date, has the most inner arches and interverse clauses. I actually drew from a lot of my own thoughts as a child, when I did most of everything around my mother, so it does come from a veritable place and sentiment.

      I’m so glad that you liked it, Suzy. your exulting words make me alight, and my gratitude is endless.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed this poem and its conversational quality against the depth of its themes. Thank you for sharing Moon Ate the Dark! I’m listening to Explosions in a Four Chambered Heart at the moment. You have beautiful taste. It simultaneously reminds me of Ludovico Einaudi’s work and my favourite piece by Nils Frahm – Says.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to overcharge my posts, since I post so parsimoniously. It’s a play of balance I’m yet to master. Thank you so much for reading, Staci, I’m beyond glad that you’ve found something to love in all of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You are talented João-Maria, I skimmed titles and picked one that asked me to and here I am. It’s very, very good. (Two ‘verys’, a rare thing.) I enjoyed it and the structure of it; I find poetry like sculpture, you build it, it has a specific shape and feel, you can look at it from many sides, many angles and depending upon where and how you view it you are likely to see a completely different shape and meaning to everyone else. That’s why I love poetry so much, it’s so flexible in that way, it’s so free.

    Nice to meet you.

    – Esme upon the Cloud waving at him with a bunch of verbs in hand


    1. Ah, Esme, that means so much.
      I must confess: mum is a leopard is, perhaps, no longer an accurate representation of my style or how it has developed, but I find that the pith of things never quite changes. I’m not a natural creator, in fact, I arrived at it rather late. I started writing poems in Portuguese rather early, but my English composium is as recent as 2018, and two years of age is little — a baby symbolical catalogue, a verd way to digest things. On top of not being native, I’m twenty-four, and my emotional maturity has its vermiculations.
      Regardless of said limits, I’ve grown quite a bit. I tug, here and there, between my intellectual ambitions and my emotional ones, and no one ever wins, so I inhabit this liminality which gives me some emboss, I find.
      I’ve been following you for a while and I’m happy I finally commented, but I’m a genuine admirer, and I don’t want you to feel compelled to follow me back, if you do not so wish. But I’m incredibly thankful that you’d find my work very, very good; it means the world, clouds and all. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh no, no I don’t follow anyone just because they follow me or because they’ve left a lively comment, it’s something I’ve always been absolute about because it really isn’t fair to have people think you’re interested in their words when you aren’t at all, it’s verging on cruel, then again some get annoyed if they follow you and you don’t follow back regardless, and that often sorts the true followers from the chaff; if they follow then unfollow entirely because they expected to swell their numbers and were disappointed I’m glad to see them gone. I will admit freely to being slower of brain as I age and therefore I often miss looking up the blogs of new followers, it’s usually because they’ve commented I take notice and follow them, all sneaky-like back to their blog to have a gander at their wares. And that is exactly what happened with you – now interestingly enough I already had your blog open when Mr Pink left a comment for me saying he thought I should look you us as he thinks you’re from ‘the same planet’ as me. Hahahahahahaha. There aren’t many who would fit into that category, and I can see from this piece alone what he means.

    Old pieces never get to lie with me as I go back and notice how much better they could be, say, a year or two later and then I work on them again, which is time-consuming and potentially a never-ending project, but then I am compiling my book so need to look back over them often. Here’s the wonder – no matter how critical we feel about our older words, someone who knows naught of them can come across them and take great delight in them, and so who you were then is just as fresh and enjoyable to the reader as who you are now.

    I’m so pleased my comment meant that much and must say that considering you have only been actively writing poetry in English for two years you’re capability far exceeds that of many folks I read who have been writing in the English tongue since birth! I am quite sincere in this *beams out a large smile*, and also most flattered that you have been following me for a while and enjoy my own work too. x

    – Esme Cloud putting the word ‘vermiculations’ on a sandwich and eating it slowly to make the most of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t even notice Mr. Pink had recommended me to you. How interesting! That is very sweet of him.

      I can’t do rewrites of old compositions at all, and at times, I can’t even read my older things, despite them being only a couple years old. I’m in such a volatile and transformative stage of my life that every month seems thrice removed from the last. I can’t view myself in things, even current things. Sometimes I outgrow a poem right in the middle of writing it. I can’t envision any of my poems in a book of any sort, gladly, and I thus don’t mind their inadequacies as much, but a vast swath of older poems no longer exists. About 90% of (CALIATH) is gone as of 2020, and about two-hundred poems were vaporised, for good measure. It’s sad, in a sense, but in another, it’s an emptiness that monuments growth, and growth, no matter the orientation, is always as indelible as it is necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s youth! Youth! Hahahahaha. It is I believe, for I destroyed reams of poetry when I was your age without a thought for it and like you would never have been happy enough with any piece to have the surety of a book. You have time, even if it feels like that’s exactly what you haven’t got. It will all fall into place. *makes a note to save some of his poems on the sneak*

        Mr Pink, sweet. Hmm, yes, well, once in a blue moon on Pluto he can be *falls about*.

        – Esme Cloud aged 420 as of last September

        Liked by 1 person

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