Kia ora koutou, I’ve been asked, as a favour, to publish this poem again on the Busk. It’s a while since the first time (and it is in my memoir) but hey, thanks for the kind words and yes, I agree, poems need to be read and read (and read) again so… here it is…

Tiger Country

You plunge off the cliff into Tiger Country
sleek and smiling tigers play hide and seek
slope around abandoned chairs, sad tables
silk cushions call encouragement from the sofa
an old painting turns its face to the wall.

Tigers lurk in old cards, beneath yours forever
snooze under Christmas lights that never worked
lope ahead to a destination only they know
signposts are suspect; there is no tunnel, no light
nobody pins a tail on these tigers.

Some nights after the sun has flamed
and seabirds search the pastures of the sea
tigers come out and lean gentle over your chair –
wrap you in a striped shawl of sturdy warmth
fold their paws and purr soft in the silent room

This is the danger time. Stand up. Walk slow.
Their eyes are on the game and you’re It.