Friday, December 17, 2010

The Calling

Hello again from the library. Shhh! Hey where are the Dewey decimal catalogs???

THE CALLING


When the tiger speaks,

I am the one who dresses her words like a morning bride,

Changed and adjusted a dozen different times.



I live between the tiger's teeth,

And when she speaks, it is of blood, sinew and bone--

By the time these sounds mark the world,

I have made them roses, tall grass, and gemstones;

I lie between the tiger's teeth--

I always bleed

And am always alone.



When the tiger strikes,

She is pitiless and violent, but it does not seem that way to the one stricken;

To them, her warm breath and close embrace make her seem like a mother--

She lulls them, not into comfort, but into oblivion.

Will you be the one cruel enough to say the difference?

I refuse.



When the tiger sleeps,

I slip from between her teeth and lay close at her side--

I am one day dark, the next day light, and never of a piece,

And so she does not see me,

There, along her stripes;

She does not kill me,

Not even in her dreams.



When the tiger listens,

I have hidden inside her ears, and all she hears are heartbeats and sighs;

Each creature wants its own as badly as does any other--

Only men have vanity enough to believe otherwise.

I have stayed curved behind the tiger's claws,

Rich with the scents of swamp and lawn

And every solitary shadowed place between,

All of them reflected, distorted, in her eyes.



When the tiger, at last, leapt

Through a night window, I saw my love--

I saw her dark hair and her hand just there;

I felt her wild dreams and the softness of her throat...

I fell away from the tiger with her anger mute and dense,

Falling wet and stunned, heartbeat by heartbeat,

To the one who had called me

Without lies

Without predation

Without defense.

11 comments:

hedgewitch said...

Amazing what can happen at a library. Quite a zoo, if you ask me. Ah, Shay, this is a fine one. Too fine to pick apart line by line. (But I like where the tiger cannot see you because of your stippledness.And the end, of course.)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Another amazing creative leap, with words as powerful and wild as the tiger itself.

I so love "I am the one who dresses her words like a morning bride"......."..."all she hears are heartbeats and sighs"....."rich with the scents of swamp and lawn". Most especially "without lies, without predation, without defense."

Fantastic writing, it seems to swim up from a very deep place.I remain totally wowed.

mac said...

Everybody knows, one cannot stop a tiger !

La Belette Rouge said...

Dear Tiger-Friend!!!
I LOVE it. Love-love-love this piece. I wonder if you handed over your tiger power to her. I think YOU are the tiger. You are powerful, beautiful and connected with a primal power that creates worlds through words.
Sending hugs and hope that the bird has flown.
xoxo
Weasel-friend

Boonie S said...

I really enjoyed this. Thanks.

Have a nice day, Boonie

TALON said...

"I live between the tiger's teeth," - and what a place that would be to dwell! Right on the edge...

Seems the library brings out the animal, Shay, and I must say I love it! Too many great lines to pull apart, but I savored every one.

Lisa said...

ohh yaa

my throat constricted!! like my windpipe~

FOR REAL

i felt a surge of adrenalin!

i think that was my first time

you know, that poetry did that to me

i hope you feel accomplished
because i sure do!

:D:D:D
(more, more, more)

Jannie Funster said...

Swamp and lawn, I LOVE that!

Richness, rebirth, timless scents of earth. Spring crashing towards autumn.

Quite a voyage in this one, Shay.

Thank you for your words.

xoxo

Lynn said...

There IS quite a voyage in this one. Beautiful.

Lulú said...

I love the part about being lulled into oblivion.

Powerful, my friend.

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful.