A Poem for International Tiger Day

July 29 is International Tiger Day

International Tiger Day was started in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and support for tiger conservation issues. In 2018, the World Wildlife Federation estimated that the world population of tigers in the wild was approximately 3900. Almost 60% of the remaining tigers in the wild are in India.

‘Rule one: When playing with a tiger, do not struggle.’
– Polly Clark, from Tiger


To read Diane Glancy’s poem “Tiger Butter” click:



Tiger Butter

by Diane Glancy

Is it only when you’re little
you know tigers live in your closet—
one with your shoes on his two ears,
another with your umbrella tied to his tail;
the rest wearing your red coat
and blue trousers with the red buttons?
Is it only when you’re little
the dustballs have mountainous shadows
in the crack of light under the door?
Or is it also NOW you fear that tigers will eat you—
when you wake in the middle of the night
and don’t know where you are,
nor remember how far you’ve come.
Your nose hurts like a plowed field,
your fingers stiff—
Then somehow, you remember what you’ve accomplished.
The sewing is finished—
The red buttons threaded to the blue pants
and the little coat with its sleeves.
And you know you have given them to the tigers
(so they won’t eat you).
But they chased themselves around a tree
and melted into butter.
NOW you can pick up your coat and trousers,
your shoes and umbrella.
Soon, even, you can start your car and go—
The promise of dawn already
on the face
of the clock-radio.

“Tiger Butter” from One Age in a Dream, © 1986 by Diane Glancy – Milkweed Editions

Diane Glancy (1941 – ) is an American poet, author, professor, and playwright of Cherokee and English-German descent. She teaches Native American literature and creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has published over two dozen poetry collections. Among numerous other awards, Glancy has won a Pushcart Prize, and an American Book Award.


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.