Is this Goodbye ~ Indo~China Tiger

A mountain monk in far recluse

I prowl among murderous prayers,

through the still mantra of kills

licking clean, pure skulls of the jelly

that dreams are made of; listen,

there, through silent meditations,

rise the shrill howls of a Mekong

eaten alive by the greed of demons.


I steal among sutra lines of grass,

plant paw prints across the snow,

and hang over temple-dawned heights

to watch the swallowing growth

of a concrete hand that never asks

the blessings of any river or tree

before snapping the land in agonies

that grasp and devour, bite after bite.


Along the Mekong’s snaking meander

our desire was a chorus of heat and surrender,

the thrust and rise of word-webbed legends

tiger-claws of kindness, snarling perfection.

Now withdrawing, to fade over changes’ decade

to a silence that clings to doomed fronds,

a mating call that echoes unanswered,

the emptiness where cubs once played.


Notes:

The Indo-China tiger is an Endangered species. Habitat loss is a serious threat throughout the Mekong area. Furthermore, despite various bans, the poaching of tigers for supposed benefits in traditional medicine still takes place across the region. The threats to the tiger put the whole eco-system of this area at risk, because the tiger is a top predator controlling other species' populations.

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