Day 22

To Fight a Tiger

Thai proverb: You must be calm to fight a tiger


I’m fakin’ it, fakin’ it…

four suitcases between us both

and an open road

and I’m doing the duck, that is

just gliding on the surface while paddling

furiously below the water

below your vision

yes, with all my might

my webby feet fan out

and push down left, then right

trying to be, and you see me bob

quite successfully – while from that shore

to this

my feathery will fluttered more

than once

and I held fear by the neck and pushed

its face underwater

and was it Caspian, Bengali or Siberian?

no matter – my pummelling claws slapped

its furry cheeks and I realise

that I’m made for water

yes, with all my breath slowed

growing to be so calm and fake it

till I’m makin’ it, makin’ it

with our four suitcases of hope

ducking between those claws

earning my stripes and my respite

yes, with all my will

be calm and ready for the next tiger



Saffron – April 2020



Engage with different languages and cultures through the lens of proverbs and idiomatic phrases. Many different cultures have proverbs or phrases that have largely the same meaning, but are expressed in different ways. For example, in English we say “his bark is worse than his bite,” but the same idea in Spanish would be stated as “the lion isn’t as fierce as his painting.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to find an idiomatic phrase from a different language or culture, and use it as the jumping-off point for your poem. Here’s are a few lists to help get you started: Onetwothree.