Chasing Tiger  by Pacific NW artist CC Willow
Chasing Tiger by CC Willow

This collection is my love poems … especially unrequited love. This romantic collection takes its name from a nickname I gave someone I love – Tiger.  It also touches some on the trauma of abuse and how it shapes a heart; i have had to be a tigress to be brave enough to love. A deeper level of the meaning – Tigers are an endangered species, we must now take special efforts to preserve it – this is a great metaphor for love itself.

Note –  these poems re not all about my Tiger. I think I had my first official boyfriend at age 4  (Donny – same age, lived four houses down). I admit it – I love men! … Men can be fun. I love men loving me! I can be fun. (See my erotica “Bits Of Cyn”) . However –  I have been in love with him for about 29 years now. But I have had other loves that have impacted me as well. Such as my dear husband – Arrin. I composed The Waiting Room collection while dealing with the grief of his death.

Still … chasing Tiger seems a big part of my identity not only as a poet, but how I respond as a human. Treat people as precious; they always are!

Chasing Tiger poems come to me often. If you wish to peek at my drafts, please sign up for my e-mail list.

My very first poem, though simplistic, was very indicative of the future of my life …

Samples below

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TigerEyes (Lover)

Soundcloud audio

What is it that makes me tremble
when you’re around or call my name
like a primitive pheromone
that speeds quick to my brain;
causing it to weaken,
skin to tingle, heart rapidly beat,
only to be sated when
we mingle ‘pon the rumpled sheet.

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following fish

Soundcloud audio

i said goodbye to my sanity today
i could not keep it and still love you –
for following you was never a rational thing.

so i keep stowing away on ships
talking to the silent fish
and leaving a blood trail for them to follow.

to drain my heart overboard daily,
i must drink the sea to replenish it –
one can get used to a mouth of salt.

and one can get used to the unbalanced
waves, the lighted and slippery prow,
laughing into a storm.

one can get used to a face of water
a diet of biscuits, shivering
with wind and sail. insanity

is not a voyage i am scared of.
i fear instead staying on the shore
and forgetting you.

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Solitary Crossword

Soundclud audio    Youtube video

I’m sitting at my desk
& feeling your absence,
the sharp edge of it so inured
it just feels like a constant pressure;

thinking of tigers and stones
& green and blue
& crosswords sitting solitary all day
& a porch with one occupant.

I don’t often sit on my porch;
too often downtown keeping distracted,
keeping busy – keeping myself
closer to you (like tuesdays).

I’m sitting at my desk –
hoping it’s a distance
we both can take comfort in –
a worn worry stone in hand,

my fingers feeling my chest,
I think of tigers – my tiger –
and I am desolate and silent, the sharp
edge of it the color of tuesdays;

I want to rage out,
pound your chest, deny your edict –
break down your stone resolve –
convince you to let me

sit tuesdays on your porch
with you, watch your tiger eyes,
your hands fill out the crossword –
let me feel your presence.

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Soundcloud audio

again at your perimeter.
not your fence, no,
i’m too high on pheromones
for that, i’m in the thrall of a rut,
and you’re lights are on – a cruelty
to my denial. i paced your facade,
stepping on grass
so my boot heels will not give
me away. you’re still awake- it is late,
why are you still awake? i willed you
to “go to bed!”, turn off the lights –
if you do, i could not intrude!
i would have to walk away,
shoulders hunched,
defeated but not rejected. slink
again to home and my cold bed
and wait for dawn’s pale light.

but your lights are on! and vibrating
under my skin is your active pulse.
only these planks of wood and glass
separating yet again!
the only effort needed would be to mount
those hard spare steps and, head lowered,
knock like a pilgrim. and you – you, of course.
you being forgiving, you undoing
the locks and gathering me.
gathering me = for on the way to your door –
i have been born, torn, and with every step
pieces of me have been shed, stripped.

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A Cat has No Master

Soundcloud audio

You cannot claim me,
a cat has no master.
My attention will be given to you
on my terms and whims.

Accept my affection if you will;
love is love when freely given,
I can be generous with it.
but do not stay me when I go.

I will eat your food, but continue to hunt;
like any creature not overly domesticated,
I need to rely only on myself for survival
and take no one for granted.

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Soundcloud audio

Sea glass cannot send instant messages
of how it misses you and still loves you;
there’s all the things that it is not,
no digits flexible to press the buttons,
no voice to send through the air.
It has been broken, ground down by the waves:
no longer shiny and transparent,
no longer a vessel for your lips.
Sea glass, through prized and collected by some,
no longer can reflect sunlight;
it has been dulled, though some say softened;
it has been tossed, though some say polished.
It can no longer be gathered in your arms;
it is too hard to sleep with.
In truth, it is no longer a useful object;
good only for adding to potpourri
or sitting on a shelf to remember a once-sunny day;
but still … sea glass misses you and  still loves you.
it’s just too hard to say.

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The Heart

Soundcloud audio

I feel,
I believe,
the heart is not only capable
of loving many,
but is also meant to,
and by choice.

Monogamy, to me,
seems a very unnatural

I don’t believe in “soul-mates”.

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Bookseller I

Soundcloud audio

I have experienced the
Bookseller’s passion
and in his arms, surrendered
my heart and body.

From his loins
our child conceived;
our two souls
in one heart.

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Please Read

Soundcloud audio

Perhaps I am a child
who loves you;
that is okay.
I have often admired children
for they love so purely
and without hesitation.
Children see things as they
really are, they
ignore that which
is unimportant.
It is something that
adults have forgotten.

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Monday’s Dream

Find this poem in my over-18 “Bits of Cyn“. It’s pretty explicit erotica, so it is housed there …

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when i say “hey, you”

i don’t know how to talk to you anymore
my words lack a pull and a breath
lack flesh and bone –
only worn heart muscle –
even that is going silent
it feels like glass breaking against a sole.

i know my steps won’t support me
so i can’t venture out too far
stay where my arms can reach
a hanging vine or a branch,
something allowable for my short fingers;
this is how a remote outpost must feel

thrown out among outer space and forgotten now
or maybe abandoned out on some artic tundra
where my breath used to come out crystalized –
a fog of warmth, carbon and oxygen swirling –
now, when I breathe out, there is nothing
my words consist of nothing

nothing that can solidify.

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i’m fine

i’m living between breaths
hiding within that limbo
and it’s fine, i’m trying to make it “fine”
because within those breaths, it is now habitable;
i don’t need words that became impotent.

i keep breathing without you –
but breathing doesn’t translate to living for me;
my breaths burn my lungs with ravaged air
acidic blood sears veins, thinned skin flakes &
scatters like your name whispered into dust devils.

i noticed the drinks i sip are apocryphal,
food i pick up with fingers consist only of unbonded quirks,
no flavors that will make my lungs pull in, blood push & pull;
the result of that emptiness i hide in.
it’s fine – this airless pain – i know how to exist here.

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on a sidewalk,
any sidewalk
i wait for you
doesn’t matter if its right outside your gate
or the opposite side of town;
the distance it consists of is the same,
unsurmountable, unachievable.
this gray concrete is unyielding –
no cushion to it for my pained feet
cracks that cannot be repaired
even as the solid stone becomes dark with rain
it’s man-made substance won’t even accept water into it.

still i wait like a pond;
you may arrive yet
an earthquake may occur, heave
and buckle this spot, open it up to what’s under.
lightening may strike here; it had once before.
maybe what i’m praying for is a wormhole
to the alternate reality of your presence

meanwhile my reality
is this all-too-real sidewalk

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my skin is a scar
that repulses you.
all those touches on it made it unworthy.

oh, beloved, you really fucked us up;
i can not inventory those who have touched me –
there was “you” and “not-you” –

which resulted in a tiny round ball
cooled layered glass
that is my heart now

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i came in purple.

i came in purple –
memorable as lilac scent of april,
the plumpness of midsummer plums;
bold as ripened wine orbs,
an inviting swirl of october’s transformed leaves;
a smile the shade of a darkened rose;
hair glossy as an amethyst nestled in rubies –
in the dark, it all just translates to purple.

it takes natural daylight to discern the tones i come in;
to see how dissimilar my plump bodice is
from the cabernet swirl of the hips,
the shrug i top my outfit with a paler shade of violet
to notice the indigo pendants that swing from my neck –
that under the layers, my boots are unadorned black covering deep brown leggings,
that my smile itself is darkened and as unwatered as a dying rose …
and my smoky eyes, that enticing smudge along the crease
meant to detract the darkening under the lashes.

i chose the purple when i fell for you
a shade of transformation, queens and butterflies
of early spring pansies and hyacinth divas
hopeful lilacs, the sky when it gives over to the moon,
the lavender short dress i wore when we met in the snow.

the purple chose me,
drowned me when you pulled away and left me in the stark sun …
and i chased colors that came in pots and tubes instead
layering my unrequited dreams of you onto canvas, paper –
everything really –
ripened fruit that still waits to be harvested,
preserved, waiting for your mouth.

there are times i still encircle myself with the deep green of you
today it is the polymer green man pendant,
a leather bracelet of leaves.
i venture out on errands, bags in hand,
a list of mats and frames and brown paper.

not to see you.

i come in purple.

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off the savannah

i’m avoiding trees, vines,
anything that reminds of jungles; pools, rivers –
any other potential watering hole where i prey

i’m no longer patrolling your borders
no radar or night vision, you don’t need my protection
you never did. lesson learned. i’m avoiding

stripes and patterns, fur and camouflage
warm bodies and heavy breath
golden eyes searching below sparten shade

i’m avoiding liars, overhanging branches, savannah grass.
i’m avoiding searing heat and moonlight, new moons and empty skies;
not even antelope catch my attention anymore.

i am no longer capable of sustaining
long-distance treks, silence and short rations;
isolation is healthier than pursuing after legend

and isolation is desired. i hunt no longer
my blood is cold, congealed
and extinction has come.

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North Star

a haiku

Constantly pulling on me
on me; you remain still my
North Star, my fixed point.

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