The tiger’s story

The drunken poet’s thoughts brew…
But the longer they do
the deeper the silence they fall into.

So with only refuge the friend
he picks up the pen
to write for him a hymn.

The story is not easy to tell…
Others used phrases like legal and hell,
shockeddevastated, even distraught.
But what is fair and what is not
is not for anyone to know in this story.

The story goes like this…
Neither for beauty or for bliss
a tiger was set free from the whip.
For a circus is not a home, and all who laugh at a trick
do not fathom the sting of danger
coming from their nature –
that of man – that somehow splits a creature
into a clown and a stranger.

They said while leaving, softly he landed on his feet,
like a cat – although a big cat he is –
how come nobody noticed?
I suppose bodies in cages can afford this.

To the crowds he meowed as they pleased
but in his dreams he snarled and showed his teeth.
With temporary pleasures and sedatives his desires they eased
but this was only what would cover as a sheath
the perfect outline of the edges of a temper sharp, scathed and unashamed –
the perfect imbalance between a spirit rugged, rusted but untamed,
and the face of the showman – the teaser and the pleaser.

He is now a gaze committed to its target.
I swallow my voice – how will he know me?
In the jungle he entered like a king,
like a hunter who carries revenge as a weapon.
He is now a shadow lingering between desire and fate,
what shall he grip on?

And does freedom taste as sweet?

This was the story of my friend,
the tiger of the south.
His story has yet no end –
certainly not through a poet’s intoxicated mouth.

 

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