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Tyger Tyger burning bright! (1)

tiger-poster

Photo by TODD RYBURN, grabbed from http://twistedsifter.com/2011/04/top-tiger-facts-and-photos/

Apologies to William Blake for borrowing the first line of his poem The Tyger which first appeared in print in 1794, for the title of this post. The poem, Blake’s most famous, must have done much to create fear in the minds of people of the tiger’s ‘fearful symmetry’.

For several weeks, tigers have been burning bright for me. Thanks to the Tiger Reintroduction Meeting organized by WWF Cambodia for members of the Mondulkiri NGO Network (MNN), one of the networks I’m advising. It was attended by members of the Tiger Working Group composed of Dr. Thomas Gray, WWF Tiger Consultant, Dr. Jimmy Borah, WWF Greater Mekong Regional Initiative Lead for Wildlife and Wildlife Crime, as well as representatives of the relevant Ministries of the Royal Government of Cambodia. The Natural Resource Management Committee members of MNN came in full force during the meeting.

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Van verses

red earth

On the six-hour van trip from Mondulkiri to Phnom Penh this morning, I got bored listening to music and decided to write down some thoughts that have been in my mind the past few days. What came out are four simple verses which I can’t really call poems, lest my real poet friends disown me, if they haven’t already. I have not been writing poetry for some time, and (spoiler alert: brandishing rare bragging right!) although I personally got praise for my poetry from Herminio S.Beltran, editor of Ani, Cultural Center of the Philippines Literary Anthology for some of my works published there ages ago, I let my literary sword rust for years. Everyone knows there’s no excuse for writing bad poetry, so I’m just ranting here.
Lastly, three things: first is that these are about and not about Cambodia. Cambodia is just a trigger because I’ve been here four weeks already and trying to soak in as much as I could, but as I started typing on my cellphone, I realized its about many places, Cambodia, Philippines, India, and other places I have read about or seen in pictures, generic places I have created in my mind; second, simple as these verses might seem, I invite you to go beyond the first level of interpretation, and if you find something, let me know; third, I encourage you to write your thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you don’t consider yourself a writer. It doesn’t have to be a poem or essay in their strict sense. If you feel passionately about something, just write about it i the language you are comfortable with, never mind grammar and rules, just write, and see where that journey takes you.

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