The Tiger – poem

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The Tiger – poem

This fantasy poem traces a female tiger hunting, silently, deadly, swift thru the jungle and high bamboo.  For she hunts not just for herself, but also for her cubs, all as a sika deer comes dreamlike into her sights. Oh, Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, who do you hunt this moonlit night?    The lines “Tiger, Tiger” may remind you of the famous poem by William Blake, “The Tyger”, for which I must admit some inspiration is due.

The Tiger
copyright 2010 by jon gutmacher

The crouching tiger
in jungle thick
no sound
no whisper
but stalks so quick

Like deadly nightshade
on padded paw
it pursues its prey
in jungled war

The high bamboo
sways with the breeze
in undergrowth
it moves with ease
and no one hears
and no one sees
until she moves
to strike

O Tiger, Tiger
burning bright
Who will you stalk
this deadly night?

The babbling stream ripples
ever slight
as Tiger crosses
in the night
and branches part
so slight it seems
as prey walks by
much like a dream

And Tiger knows
and Tiger waits
and Tiger sees
and watches fate
the game is soon
for none escape
when Tiger strikes at night

An instant action
An instant rush
a blinding blur
from out the rough
and sika deer
it has no chance
it tries its best
to dodge the spear

Of Tiger tooth
of Tiger claw
but sika deer, now
is no more

So fast
so swift
so over soon
if you were there
your head would swoon
and deadly as a tiger be
she drags the kill to cubs
all three

And eat together
alive tonight
and rest as stars
shine evening light

O Tiger, Tiger
burning bright
What thoughts you think
This starlit night?

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