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The last to stand at Tyger Point

"were seen..wild beasts having claws like a Tyger" Shore Party of Abel Tasman, 1642

And so I came, to where the last had stalked,
in valleys dogged, through decades ending here;
by men skin cloaked, fearing that which walked
and soaked the blood rich ground they grew to fear.

A wild, and dark striped beast of dread repute,
supposed and deposed killer of all sheep;
was rendered here, to be forever mute
the final gunshot, ringing in the deep.

I looked at remnant slab huts, now mere ghosts,
once heart, and hearth desired, their families grew.
I could not blame them for their guarded posts,
In truth, the land dictated all they knew.
I see them now, in fear, in love, in hope,
that last disquieting bark, they never knew..

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
Last few words: 
I write again of the Thylacine (I have entered in the historical figures contest, not free verse,Sonnet, or near as damn it, but why the hell not? The Thylacine can be my historical figure, have fascinated me since I saw the remains of one in a museum in Oatlands, when I asked the old fella, unpaid, guarding it there, what I was looking at - he replied "a ghost"). Context: otherwise known as the ill-fated, fabled Tasmanian Tiger - mainly because I'd been working out in the back woods there - heaving firewood (from dry, or invasive species where possible), where there is a large grass meadow, or paddock, fringed with deep native bushland, and tall ghost gums on the hill ridges that surround. It's long history, this place 'Tyger Point' has been that of a hunting ground, of crontier conflict with Tasmania's first peoples tragically, and with the much misunderstood Thylacine.Tyger - which was mistakenly taken to be the killer of sheep - the benefit of modern scientific testing on the Thylacine jaw, reveals it was more likely a scavenger, rather than an animal capable of taking sheep down, which were more likely to fall victim to wild dogs, and partial dingos, imported from the nearby major island colony. I take the view, that this great tragedy, was brought about by a misunderstanding, a scared struggling frontier people, many of them petty criminals, who had been given a ticket of leave to go forth and develop their allotted parcel of land, having done the empires budding, by supplying free labour. In short, they were desperate people, looking for a means to survive in the harsh cauldron of Tasmania's early settlement. although what they did in hunting the Tyger to extinction, bringing in tails for a per-kill reward, hastily encouraged by the burgeoning government - was short sighted, and i am certain,they would later come to regret, when Tasmania's only major predator of smaller species, the last one being shot at Tyger Point where I stood today. Save a pair they kept for the zoo in Hobart, thier eventual demise would signal the end - along with the indiginous peoples of this island. Beautiful it is, but with an eery quiet, and many 'convenient silences' on certain topics, even to this day. Rumours abound, like the loch nest monster, that they are still out there in the western tiers, in the wilderness - but that may just be a good story, see: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/tasmanian-tigers-bark-worse-than-its-bite-20110901-1jnso.html Wait, i hear a faint barking down in the valley lo..and the jangle of a reward looming. Thanks for reading this little tale.
Editing stage: 

Comments

I do remember seeing pictures and skeletons of this and other extinct animals and birds in a trip to Tasmania, there were a few "zoo's" we passed with some Tasmanian Devils and other local wildlife.
I think your poem is very interesting in forgiving the settlers for their carnage of this strange and intimidating looking dog like animal. And standing at the spot where the last seen of this species was
hunted. Every now and then we hear of people who claim to have seen one...it would be great if that ever happened.
I liked the reading of the poem, tells the tale of nicely. For me, the the last few words, "bark issue", a little hard to say, and the word issue seems to go a little flat...in a musical way. perhaps could be my pronunciation... but just moving the palette from a k in "bark" to the i is "issue" and not sure whether to raise by tone up or down with that sound. In a short poem the ending is very important, which i why I mention this little aspect that caught my attention.
That said, thanks for the poem and the extensive history you added for us.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

For a validated sighting. Many crazy stories abound, and just as many hoaxers. But in the dense, impenetrable deep western wilderness, who knows what could be up there?

Thanks Eumo,

Thanks.

Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

enjoyed this. For the most part, it rolled off the tongue very naturally and I had no problem in keeping a nice flow. The little niggle about the [k] sound just before the [I] or eh, really didn't make that big of a difference to me. ~ Gee.
.

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I read it at first, thinking..yes issue..perfect...but then (as is my custom) got someone else to read it..and you elders of the Iamb were correct, it trailed off, so tweaked. I may also stretch it - as I have a load of material about this particular area.

Thanks.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment
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