Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Art of Dreaming Tigers

image from the Tigers in Crisis website

for Kerry's prompt at Toads : In Other Words - to substitute key words in a title. I chose The ____ of Dreaming________ and tigers popped into my head. 

Place your tiger peacefully
at the edge of a pond,
so he can drink easily.
Let his stomach be full from whatever small creature
became his supper.
This will help him relax.
Let there be no roadways or poachers
within a thousand miles.
Bring his mate close by; let them watch
their cubs leaping and tussling in the grass.
Let him lay his head down, close his eyes,
and sleep without fear.
Let his dreams be all of sunny days 
and no humans, anywhere.
As this is a dream,
may his family thrive and multiply.
All tigers will birth and raise their families.
They will never be shot, starved
or driven from their lands.
We will dream us a world
where there are four thousand tigers, 
instead of four hundred.
Since this is a dream,
let's put intelligent people 
in charge of the world,
who will protect all wildlife 
and the earth's fragile eco-system
of which, we are only so slowly beginning 
to understand,
we are a part.

At some point, you may lose track of
whether you are dreaming this tiger,
or the tiger is dreaming you.
He is beautiful.
It works out,
either way.

Notes: from Tigers In Crisis

almost all Siberian tigers (350 - 450 in total) live in southeastern Russia
- former range included China, Korea and Mongolia

13 feet long, up to  700 pounds

an endangered species (like just about every other wild creature)

poached for fur and body parts, to be used in Chinese medicine
(even though this is now unlawful in China)

because a single tiger can bring up to $50,000 on the international market, the practice continues

for the ones who escape the hunters, habitat loss accounts for further decimation of their numbers, like other endangered species

logging - both legal and illegal - encroaches and divides their habitat, separating them from each other, and making it easier for poachers to access them


  1. Delightful! A parable, a sufi story! If only ...

  2. I love your title, Sherry. It is a poem all on its own. You have chosen such a worthy subject and have made a real connection with your reader.

    Let's put intelligent people in charge of the world... from your lips to god's ears.

  3. Such sadness - they are magnificent beasts that are so much more important allive.. Wonder how it can be avoided? somehow it's always worst for the predators I think.

  4. So much is being exploited insofar as the endangered kind are and so little is being done for them. It is an unending struggle. Great for giving them a voice Sherry!


  5. I love the dream of those 4 thousand beautiful tigers Sherry ~ I hope someday we can be kind to animals and let them live in peace ~ Happy Sunday ~

  6. heh. i like the may be just a dream but...smiles...this verse is rather magical sherry....i chuckled at first, because i imagine the tiger may place itself more than us placing him...unless a dream....but how beautiful they are...

  7. This is so cool. LOVE the line about "since this is a dream" put intelligent people in charge. Can my tiger eat just a FEW villagers? Pleeease?

  8. May the tiger's dream come true. Made me expand my idea of peace. I always think of peace of being within myself, or as the abscence of war. I haven't given much thought to wild animals who cannot know the peace of their own nature. So sad.

  9. That is so sad. A thought-provoking piece. And I liked the ending.

  10. Oh Sherry I hope this is not a dream....we do so need this dream to come true.

  11. Sherry--I wonder if you have read The Life Of Pi, which you might like a great deal--I do want tigers to dream--but perhaps not too close to me! Agree with all you so eloquently wish for. K (

  12. And now I want one to magically appear, right here! Always a pleasure to read your words, Sherry, hear your voice.

  13. I love the last stanza of your poem, Sherry....very dreamlike!

  14. I enjoy reading your nature oriented poems because you are able to decipher a scene so well within your poem. It really helps to draw an image as I read.

  15. Heavenly, Sherry.

    I love this:

    "At some point, you may lose track of
    whether you are dreaming this tiger,
    or the tiger is dreaming you."

    Poignant and powerful!

  16. "Since this is a dream,
    let's put intelligent people
    in charge of the world,"

    The lines above fill me with sadness or anger, too. How I wish that right now, we are just having a nightmare of a world where so many creatures are being rushed towards extinction

  17. Your poem lifted my heart… and then I read your comments.

  18. Oh so beautiful, love the ending. We are running out of time to save our world. May we wake up.

  19. This is a wonderful treatment of the issue, particularizing it to the existence of a creature of beauty. Pieces like this can make a difference. A great share!
    Steve K.

  20. The Bengal tiger is perhaps the largest of them, and is equally at ease in the water as well as the marshy land. Known to be especially cunning, picking up people sleeping in the middle from the fishing boats at night, rather than those sleeping at the edge. And then, the Sumatran tiger, which is also endangered, which is much smaller. All the same, like the Siberian tiger, they are all beautiful and wild, and now I know that they are also capable of dreaming!

  21. Thank you so much for reminding me of my own beginnings and the dream about Pain, the tiger who haunts my meditation process. You are a jewel and I don't tell you that enough. And I will wait for your shapeshifter poem, eagerly...


  22. whether you are dreaming this tiger,
    or the tiger is dreaming you.

    Oh, I love that line.

  23. Very well said. This is the reality we are living is destroying everything.

  24. Wonderful. I'm going to tell my husband about this. Tiger is a his totem and he loves dreaming about them. "I'll let you be in my dream if you let me be in yours." Bob Dylan

  25. love this, Sherry - the conversational tone in the beginning pulled me in - and the title is spectacular!


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!