You pad with heavy paws through my dreams,
you beauty, who once owned the forest
where now the great trees fall.
Once hunter, you have become prey,
thin and hungry, hunted
for your parts, you tread fearfully
where you once were king.
My heart weeps for you,
and for us all, for this world
we are creating, which has no regard
for your majestic beauty.
My poem was inspired by the following,
written by one of Kerry's students at
Ladysmith High School in South Africa.
Tiger ~ Mohammed Jamil
The striped feline
splashes through the water
freeing himself of all his impurities.
As his orange and black fur
glistens in the sun,
it catches the eye of the Hunter
and the unseen bullet
comes down and slays
the majestic beast.
© Mohammed Jamil
Kerry's prompt at Real Toads recently was
to peruse the students' poems and write a
poem inspired by one of theirs.
Their poems can be found at the blog
somewhere I have never travelled.
I read their fine body of work, and it was
this tiger who spoke to me, in Mohammed's
very powerful poem.
The World Wildlife Federation states the world
has lost 97% of its tigers in just one century.
There are only 3200 in the world today,
who are endangered. A major threat is poaching
to fuel the trade in tiger parts.
Tigers have lost 93% of their habitat.
They are being displaced, like so many other wild
creatures worldwide, by human encroachment and
development, forest decimation and climate change.
(Rising sea levels threaten to wipe out entire forests.)
WWF has managed to protect some areas for tigers,
in hopes we will not wake up in another fifty years
to a world without tigers. But as development
continues apace, tigers are in peril. As are we all.