The future ain't what it used to be.

Yogi Berra
MAY 16, 2010 10:10AM

Shining Not Quite So Bright

Rate: 10 Flag

 Line drawing colored reduced

 

 

I see the tiger in the zoo

With days and months and years

Of nothing to do.

His yellow eyes are filled

With infinities of tragedies.

This box of iron has willed

He must carry to and fro

His heavy yellow yearnings

Whose wish is just to go.

 

Some delinquent night I could try

To slip back here, when the moon,

Blindfolded by a cloud, its eye

Undiscerning to permit

The mice and me

A modicum of

Invisibility.

 

I would find the tiger’s cage unlocked.

“Come!”, I would beckon with my finger

And, in delight and surprise,

He would arise.

At first, in haste, we would not linger.

A quiet thunder in his throat

Would reveal an urgent note

And we would quickly pace

To make ourselves remote. 

 

Through the murky alleyways

And ill-lit streets we would flee.

I would scout ahead

And he would follow me

Until we reached the sanctuary of my place

Where the doorman, ever discrete,

Would let us in

And gaze politely at his feet.

 

Up the elevator we would ride,

My finger on the button to my floor

With the tiger, yawning, at my side.

And then to bed

Where I would snooze

With the tiger stretched upon the rug

Which he would choose.

 

Next morning, in the bright of day,

We would make our plans.

I would figure out a way,

While making scrambled eggs

In several frying pans,

How we would spend our day.

But first, I must teach him

To perambulate on two legs.

 

That done, he’d don a derby hat,

A cut down pair of jeans

And, above that,

A sweater, turtle neck

And running shoes.

And then, we’d hit the deck.

 

On our morning’s stroll

He’d twitch his ears

At the taxi hoots, the buses’ growl

And suppress his disconcerting thought

About the city traffic clatter.

He will wonder why I brought

Him from his sterile sanctum

Into the nerve-wracking panic.

But it really wouldn’t matter.

 

Offhandedly he’d gobble down

A dog or two,

Perhaps, a pigeon and a sparrow.

This would cause distress.

I cautioned his ability

To violate finesse

He must maintain civility,

Or we’d end up in a mess.

 

Back at home, we’d discourse on

Basic metaphysics.

I’d do the dishes while he’d dry

And juggle them for kicks.

Nietzsche was his man, of course,

While I inclined to Kant.

He’d speak incessantly with force

With a tendency to rant.

 

In the end, he’d do well.

His personality was strong.

Wall Street was his first aim

But he’d ended in Hong Kong.

He’d be successful, as things go,

Being so relentless,

Becoming a rich CEO

Totally repentless.

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Comments

Type your comment below:
Breakfasting with tigers. An enchanting metaphor--attraction & repulsion.

Words and music. Astonishing.
Wow, original artwork too... !
Kant, of course Kant.

This is delightful. Soon I must go clean my cage.
Offhandedly he’d gobble down

A dog or two,

a pigeon and a sparrow.

And perhaps a poet too

Nietzsche of course, categorical imperatives are not the food of the beast
What can I say? So many beautiful lines to choose from. Wonderfully witty and pleasantly told. Excellent piece, Maestro, much fun to read. R
Fabulous artwork, wonderful expression.
(r)
I respect the touch of melancholy, the hint of rejuvenation. I'll read this one more than once.
"Totally repentless"
Lovely, Jan, just delightful.
I love the literary allusion in your title.