The Axe

For me it was the tigers. Others went for lions,

giraffes and polar bears, I gazed in awe at tigers.

Everything that’s wild, that’s beautiful and strange

in animals is there, incomprehensibly

mysterious, somehow other – somehow me.

I’m wild inside, I feel that pulse, the world

of wild refreshes me, pumps my blood

– without that spark I’m dead. I feel

the clutch of breath in buildings, rooms and cars,

I’m just a fraction of myself, tame and caged.

Tiger too is more than paces zoos:

tiger is a life unbound, a forest without

edge, a kill of deer – a tiger’s place on earth.

And me, I’m human too, we’re civilised,

we read, we write, we roam, we run our human race.

Our culture has a notion we call ‘sacrifice’,

something given up to make a greater gain,

we’d kill a goat and pray for rain to grow our crops.

But now the stakes are raised, we want this finite earth

to be the god that grants us more and ever more.

That means sacrifice: I take my piece of this,

I sacrifice the tiger and its world; I keep

my hungry heart, I sacrifice the wild in me.

So will I sacrifice my car, my flights, my cuckoo-

cry for “More!”? The axe is raised, the choice is mine.

January 2021

dear departed friends - Pic by Five
dear departed friends

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