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Thursday, 19 July 2012


File:Obscured jaguar.jpg

Jaguar (Panthera onca): photo by Gary M. Stoltz, 6 December 2001 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

El jaguar tocaba las hojas
con su ausencia fosforescente

The jaguar brushed the leaves
with a luminous absence

Pablo Neruda: from Algunas Bestias (Some Beasts)


The destiny-bearing Baby Jaguar
With the white stars on its black belly
Passes through the world night of whispering leaves
In complete darkness, to emerge through that portal

Unchanged: a harbinger of morning.
This is total: the genepool flows with power,
With beauty, riverine. This is as things always have been,
But things are not now ever going to be as they were again.

File:Jag distribution.gif

Jaguar distribution in the Americas: image by Tommyknocker, 2007

Jaguar surrounded by foliage

Jaguar (Panthera onca): photo by Pete Oxford/Minden Pictures, from National Geographic, July 2012

Jaguar (Panthera onca), Chester Zoo, Cheshire, England: photo by Paul Albertella, 23 August 2008

Jaguar (Panthera onca), Chester Zoo, Cheshire, England: photo by James, 19 September 2009

Jaguar (Panthera onca) in the water, Singapore: photo by Roshan Rao, 11 August 2008

Jaguar (Panthera onca), Gramado Zoo, Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: photo by Fåabio Grison, 24 January 2012

File:Standing jaguar.jpg

Jaguar (Panthera onca): photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1 December 2004

File:Jaguar Amneville.JPG

Jaguar (Panthera onca), Zoo d'Amnéville: photo by Emmanuel Faivre,14 May 2006

File:Jaguar at Louisville Zoo.jpg

Jaguar (Panthera onca) at Louisville Zoo: photo by Ltshears, 23 January 2009

A Jaguar (Panthera onca) about to pick up her cub by the neck at the Stone Zoo: photo by John Harrison, 24 August 2008

File:Panthera onca zoo Salzburg 2009 02.jpg

Jaguars (Panthera onca), juveniles at four months (born 31 August 2009), Salzburg Zoo: photo by Matthias Kabel, 26 December 2009

File:Panthera onca zoo Salzburg 2009 16.jpg

Jaguars (Panthera onca), juvenile at four months (born 31 August 2009), Salzburg Zoo: photo by Matthias Kabel, 26 December 2009

File:Panthera onca zoo Salzburg 2009 13.jpg

Jaguars (Panthera onca), juvenile at four months (born 31 August 2009), Salzburg Zoo: photo by Matthias Kabel, 26 December 2009

File:Black jaguar.jpg

Melanistic Jaguar (Panthera onca): photo by Ron Singer, 12 February 2002 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

File:Black Panther by Bruce McAdam.jpg

Melanistic Jaguar (Panthera onca): photo by Bruce McAdam, 29 August 2008




"a luminous absence"

"not now ever going to be as they were"


light coming into fog against invisible
top of ridge, sparrow calling on branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

horizontal series of person
falling, turning away

across floor, pictures only
done, color of shadow

grey white clouds to the left of point,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

Anonymous said...

that is beautiful....thinking about the opposite of "ausencia fosforescente"... love the felines...!!

Wooden Boy said...

"This is total: the genepool flows with power/with beauty, riverine."

This is the power that us raggedy arsed bipeds can never get the handle on. We can only kill all the signs of it or stop the flow.

The poem hurts, TC. There's almost too much gone.

TC said...

The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. And it is found nowhere else. The Jaguar and its smaller relative the Spotted Leopard share a common Asian ancestry. The opportunistic Jaguar crept across the land bridge at the Bering Straits two million years ago. It is an apex predator, solitary, main chance, no kidding around. It has jaws of immense power, allowing it to kill in a direct, one bite act by crushing the skull of its prey. This is a feat unique among the big cats. The bite instantly pierces the temporal bones between the ears. Lights out. (None of the mess that comes with the lion's neck bite.) When attacking large reptiles, Jaguar eschews the head and leaps on to the back of the prey, severing the cervical vertebra with that tremendous bite. The victim never knows what hit it, like Jayne Mansfield when she drove into the semi in the Bayou fog. The Jaguar is smaller than the lion but has twice the lion's strength. Panthera onca is a keystone species that stabilizes ecosystems and regulates populations of the animals it hunts. It is an endangered creature, having been eliminated from the US thanks in no small part to the Bush Wall. The Jaguar Corridor from Mexico down into South America passes through areas of increasing human population. Farmers and ranchers along this route are no friends of the Jaguar. Its future as a species hangs in the balance. And we know which way these things eventually go, usually sooner rather than later.

In pre-Columbian religion and myth Jaguar is a sacred animal. In those cultures a sacred being often assumes an animal disguise. Something is hidden or veiled behind all that animal magic, all that preternatural power. Sleeping and dreaming and passing between worlds are involved. The Melanistic (Black) Jaguar has special significance. (Approximately six percent of all Jaguars are Melanistic.) The Maya considered Jaguar to be a companion in the spirit world, facilitating communication between night and day, the dead and the living. The abiding power of these symbolic associations is surprising. Three years ago I did a post on the Melanistic Jaguar that has had 23,000 hits. That's twice as many as any other post has had, and four times as many as the perennial favourite post on the Occupy Movement, which owed much of its popularity to a contagion of Google voyeurs seeking a view of a woman named Zuni Tikka in only her underpants (and only for a good cause).

Night Sun: Black Jaguar

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"With beauty, riverine." very cat-like fragment in the line, almost like stepping on a river rock, smooth sounding, cool.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

A sun at night
in fur wild pelt
moves to the tree
to scratch
in its cool
kingdom of air

TC said...

Jaguar steps on the river rock so gently, so nimbly, given its enormous size; it is so agile. The sound of pad on rock or forest floor, in the crepuscular kingdom, is all but unheard.

It swims swiftly and silently in the river.

In the Americas Jaguar is the only cat that roars.

The strength of Jaguar bespeaks the strength of a kingdom soon to be overrun completely, destroyed to make way for The Dark Knight, viewed on Imax.

The night is darkest just before dawn and that is the time of the Jaguar, that and twilight, which is almost upon us now.