The forest is shrouded in quiet.
Hushed grasses stay mute in the breeze.
There's no danger it seems, no riot.
So why just the feeling of unease.
Every hair is stood to attention.
Every sense attuned to the void.
No sound to offer a mention.
Yet flight instincts are ready and buoyed.
Every pupil is scanned to the bushes.
Every hoof prepared for the race.
No stripe to be seen in the rushes.
But the pulse just quickens a pace.
Ears twitch and strain for a murmur.
For the foot fall of velvety paw.
Dust cushions the imprint of grandeur.
No whisper of troublesome spoor.
Breath is held in the moment.
A pause before imminent strike.
Prey pray for salvation, atonement.
To be spared the carnivorous bite.
The stalk is finally over.
Forgotten in one leap and a bounce.
A blaze of orange breaks cover.
No chance for the chosen, one pounce.
Fang and claw stretch out in the capture.
Primal scream unleashed in the fall.
Grabbed by the throat in the rapture.
The vanquished can utter no more.
One gasp just left in the mortal.
One chest pump from imminent doom.
Darkness has surrounded life's portal.
But the tiger still shines in the gloom.
By Simon Blackler
Copyright © Simon Blackler 2019
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