Friday, January 3, 2014

Writing about tigers

Writing about tigers     Frannie Zellman

Not all tigers will have the same
ferociously pleased teeth
phased into a smile
or tail that goes into a spin
when it wags.
If you wish to write about tigers,
you must first leave your wishes
for tiger speed and tiger eyes
at the writing door.
Tigers sleep and they sit
and sometimes they even cock an eye
or two
at what scurries and slips and scrims
on the jungle floor.
If they don't all pounce and tiger walk
on their way to crunching dinner,
you must understand that their tiger fire
is simply on low steam
and will erupt quite emphatically later
when smaller animals present themselves
for closer inspection
and digestion.

And oh one more thing..
They don't all burn bright.

Now that we know that no one should request
their coats for rugs,
We also know that they need trees and prey
and watering holes.

So if you still wish to write tigers, remember:
 they will play
with your imaginings
and slip off into the trees
with chunks of your words
as long as their ears and as thick as their breath

Clutch, learn to bear their green stare
like the light you remember
when the power goes.
It will warm you
as you call them
in dreams
before you pounce.

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