Yet the Sundarbans tigers behave like no other tigers in the world; in fact, no other predator of any species so aggressively seeks out our kind — Sy Montgomery, “Spell of the Tiger: The Man-eaters of Sundarbans”
Runoff an allowance of stout geography,
amorphous as our grievances against willing new
cartographers. Everything is bound to change like
a damsel to the tracks. Once, downstream, tigers had
no taste for human flesh. The cubs now get it in the
milk. By which tributary will your bones find rest?
The migrations all follow the new water; all the
cats are related, no more need to compete. Burn
bright the mangrove torches of the honey seekers.
Too much salt in the diet has unpredictable effects.
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In Bangladesh, tigers are a danger to people who go out into the mangrove forests to gather highly prized, delicious wild honey. The honey hunters burn torches of mangrove as a deterrent.
William Blake's fear of Tygers may have been a religious reference. In this poem I explore a world turning against its inhabitants and I view ancestral ways of making a living as a type of pure religion.
It was first published in Mad Rush.