Monday 7 February 2022

Two Wonderful Poems by Adèle Ogiér Jones


On William Blake’s Tyger


Tiger, were your eyes

Burning bright

In the valley shrouded

grey in early morning?


Did you roam those distant

Hills still shaded

White with snow from

Tian Shan’s art?


Tiger, did your shadow

Fall on long lost

Reed beds by rivers

Now dried up and lost?


What crossed your mind

And set you pounding

After life now lost

In lands turned sand?


Tiger do you roam

Forgotten inclines

Where men boasted

Greater strength?


Could you tell

Another story

Of weapons used

Without much thought?



The tiger called Caspian


Is it too late as we enter

The year of the Tiger

To find the Caspian king

Who once roamed Taklamakan

In Tarim’s river basin near Tian Shan,

Those mountains called heaven.


They claimed it their own

Renaming it Xinjiang’s

The tiger they searched for

Never again to be seen,

Lost creatures they once claimed

As many as wolves on the Volga.


After forests were hewn and grass

Lands replaced them,

Rivers dried up and cold deserts

Claimed oases and reed beds,

Till one after the other, Asian west

And central lands became silent.


Today, rewards are offered

In case of sightings from

Xinjiang to Turkey, and the first

Land of their name, and for the last

Claiming he saw them alive, final

Sighting before recorded extinct.


Is it too late as we enter

The year of the Tiger

To find, with new understanding,

In Golestan where they search new signs

For the one named Caspian or Xinjiang

And other names on the once fabled silk road.


Is it too late to consider

The tiger so late protected

To find one who roamed lands

We see in today’s headline news.



A member of The Poetry Society (UK), Adèle writes creatively as Ogiér Jones. She has four collections of poems, including Afghanistan – waiting for the bus (Ginninderra Press, 2007) and a trilogy of chapbooks on the art of Swiss artist Anni Zindel, published with Picaro Poets (2021). She appears in numerous anthologies, e-poetry- and journals. A recent poem ‘Lost love song’ (written for the endangered Regent Honeyeater) is published in Poetry for the Planet (Litoria Press, 2021).

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