Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

The Jungles of Da Lat

The Jungles of Da Lat

Walter McDonald

for Paul

AP—Saigon. US Command reports a marine was mauled by a tiger last night. The tiger, believed to have turned man-eater on battlefield carrion, attacked the marine as he slept and escaped into the jungle when fired upon by sentries.

The tiger sways again
that used to stalk its prey
in curious compose with jungle
The flesh it finds
on sudden trails is pungent
sauced with blood
sprinkled with explosives
ripened in grief.

Sniffs, eats, is satisfied—
a most delicate monster
swaying away, its pendant belly
sleek with easy feasts.

We sleep, protected by our own
Our newsmen, modern sorcerers,
explain away each horror,
provide each jungle puzzle with
a civil cause.
I know:
I see it sway off
through the cease-fire,
expecting its next feast.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Fall 1973), p. 199


Walter McDonald has published more than twenty books of poetry, many reflecting on Texas landscape. He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Bookend Award for lifetime contributions to Texas literature.

Walter McDonald

Carol McDonald