Sampson, The Tiger King

Over 10 years ago, I belonged to a writing group made up of a handful of writers. Our members ebbed and flowed, changing with what was going on in our lives – we were also students, teachers, mothers & dreamers in our 20s, 30s, & 40s. We’d meet monthly in a bookstore cafe with printed drafts that we’d exchange and comment on, sharing with each other at the end. I would bring along my old thousand-pound laptop, keyboard and accessories to plug into the wall and always stay afterwards to write more if inspiration sparked.

I wrote many poems, short stories and responses to writing prompts as a result of that writing group. But for years the printed drafts sat in a folder, gathering dust in a box with each move. The old laptop eventually stashed away in the closet and my writing time dwindling to almost nothing after I had my children.

2016 has been a year of rebirth for my writing; a few months ago I unearthed the old laptop and revived my passion. I started with poetry because that is how my writing began and where my dreamer heart resides. But soon after I tackled my old poems, and began writing new ones here on my blog — I took out that dusty folder of story drafts.

Only one of them stands out as a story worth developing and sharing. It’s called, for now: The Kingdom of the Tigers. I wrote 7 chapters years ago, and in the last few months I’ve written 6 more. The first draft is nearly finished, but as any writer knows, there is still a lot of work to be done.

The work I’m focusing on now is character development through poetry.

Meet Sampson, The Tiger King. 

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Blue eyes blazing, black stripes flashing

he crashes through the sticky, hot leaves

his paws leaving marks in the wet ground

crunching insects underneath.

He is a great white light streaming

streaking through the trees

a tiger flying fast and true.

Slowly, he stops at a clearing

stands to gaze upon his castle

where he is King of every turret & spire.

His blue eyes watch, slowly they move

like clear, crystal blue water

they search for her, his mate, his true Queen

but reach only sky above, it moves with clouds dark and low.

Sniffing air heavy with heat, the King lets out a sigh

his enormous jaws flexing, teeth shining in strips of sun.

He knows he must return, before the storm and the night

with its unsettling dreams and rain

its haunts and darkness

come.

Copyright July 8 2016 Stacie Eirich