Shadow Tiger

As the jungle pond shimmers in the moonlight,
the shadow tiger walks
The ruins crumble from an ancient fight
The shadow tiger stalks

The jungle cries its hunting song,
The deer shields her fawn
The tiger knows the night is long,
Jungle remembers who is gone

The village watches, and the village will wait,
For shadow tiger to rise
With spears sharpened, with desire and hate
They hunt the cat with silver eyes

Tiger prowls and Tiger sings
About the jungle, the stars and other things
He remembers a life beyond the trees
And remembers the shadow he will be

A spear pierces flesh, the beast yowls
The hunter cries with joy
For you are a man when he no longer growls
The hunter is no longer a boy

Tiger snarls and Tiger whines
The jungle shivers as he dies
When tiger falls the kite calls
The king, the magnificent has died

There is a fire and there is a dance
Where a beast’s story is told
The people sing and the people chant
A shadow’s heart is cold

They hang his skin on a tree,
So all the villagers can see
The glossy hide, the silver stripes
Blood falls on the hunter’s knee

With Tiger’s head upon the branches
The shadow bows and dances
The sun rises, it’s light divine
It flashes on Tiger’s eye
War is upon them, war is upon thine
Spirit Tiger joins the sky

-- Isabella D., 14