ODE TO THE VANISHING TIGER !

a poem by Drsudarsan Damodar Prasad, India

** The royal Bengal Tiger- the pride of Sunderbaans forests-is slowly fading out of our sights and minds. This ode is inspired by a companion bird poem written by Mamta Agarwal " SPARE JUST A MOMENT -another sensitive and immensely talented poetess!****
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Once tall grass
And green shoots
Could never hide your prowess
Or your majesty
Oh, great stripes:
The royal Bengal tiger,
Who stalked the black buck,
The Cheetal- the spotted deer
The Sambar and the Nilgai,
In a style fit for a prince
Of the dense forests!

You rose as a picture
Larger than life
Filled the pages
Of Rudyard Kipling
And gave birth
To the fabled jungle tales,
Age could never eat
Into your glory,
As you roamed around-
Fueling child hood fancies,
The uncrowned prince!

You left the snow clad steppe
Of the Siberian chill,
To acquire a new majestic coat
Fit for an Indian prince,
Alas, your magnificent coat
Proved your undoing,
As poachers waited,
With poisoned baits,
And mean guns;
Their eyes filled
With the greed
For the fortune in dollars
Your life-less coat fetched !

Hope your orphaned cubs,
Crying in the wilderness
Will enchant us-
Like the ever playful puppies,
As the caring people allover
Will raise them
To make them regain the crown,
Of a long -lost prince-
Of the forest!

Good luck stripes!

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