Caged Beauty

Soft pad-pad of measured pace,

she saunters up the plank – three, four –

meanders down the slope – five, six –

a pause, a whiff of one’s Siberian neighbour through the fence,

then around the corner on shaggy feet

her relentless pursuit of majesty recommences.


He rests on the hilltop, meanwhile,

so quiet, so strong,

his gaze languorous mid-distance,

surveying his shrunken kingdom.





At 3 precisely the doors lift.

Each enters their separate tomb,

devoid of life or decoration,

where an unhunted, unchosen lump of dead meat awaits.

No need to pounce or devour,

They nuzzle delicately with perfect table manners,

yet denied the pleasure of companionship,

except for the dozens of pairs of eyes

and flashbulb concert outside.


Pictures courtesy of my son.

4 thoughts on “Caged Beauty”

  1. you’ve captured the less than dignified existence of royalty. Another one of those things we humans do–good intentions gone bad.

  2. Funny. The words manage to leap up from the page and describe human condition in all its monumental sadness. The one hope: that there are still some lions in the wild / some people truly free. Roar!!!

  3. I love the image of the feeding areas as tombs. I understand that the point is to make it easier to clean and keep it sanitary…but -I- couldn’t eat in a concrete and steel box…so why should they have to?

    I also feel sorry for the tigers at the MGM in Las Vegas. They look cute, and they have a lot of care…but they (the MGM) put a tunnel in, for the tigers to cross the casino or something…and now people walk under it, looking up at the cats…and you know what the only view of a cat from below is. *sighs*

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