Tiger - Cliff Forshaw

£ 4.00

Cliff Forshaw lives in Hull where he teaches at the university. He has been a winner of the Welsh Academi John Tripp Award, Blue Nose Poet-of-the-Year, twice a Hawthornden Writing Fellow, and International Writer-in-Residence at Hobart, Tasmania, where he began this sequence about the Tasmanian Tiger.

Tiger is an elegy for a creature probably lost forever. It is also a paean to a living myth.


Old Hairy

And here he is, ‘Old Hairy’, 
red and skinny, tough as boots,
four thousand years old if he’s a day;
forever flat out and in pursuit

of . . . whatever. The chase goes on and on.
That endless prey’s his last: the one
that’s slipped its skeleton through a crack in stone,
a white shadow in the rock that’s worn him down
to skin and bone. That’s skin? That’s bone?

(To the south, earth shifts, Tassie breaks free:
distant cousins in cold high woods, cut off by sea.)

Dry as parchment, brittle as sticks:
Mummified mainland thylacine,
found base of shaft, Nullarbor Plain, ’66.


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