beautifully wild, untamed and true (photo by Dave Watts)

Arguably my most favourite creature alive is the tiger and if I had to choose a totem animal, well – a tiger would be it. They’re powerful, dignified, fiercely independent and beautiful. I’ve always had this crazy dream of one sleeping at the foot of my bed…

I was shocked to read recently via TigerTime that there’re only 3,200 tigers left in the wild – and approximately 4 are killed every week. If you look at the awful situation facing South Africa’s rapidly dwindling rhino population, the sooner we do something to protect these magnificent beasts, the better.

I found (and fell immediately in love with) a poem on a wall at UNTAMED, Kirstenbosch’s deeply moving collaboration between sculptor Dylan Lewis, architect Enrico Daffonchio, and poet (doctor, psychologist and wilderness guide) Ian McCallum. It resonated deeply with me.  So in celebration of tigers and all things naturally wild and free:


by Dr. Ian McCallum from his book Wild Gifts

I like the word, fierce –

the way it aligns itself with

nakedness and solitude:

a fierce nakedness …

a fierce solitude …

And I like the way it holds

the word, fire.


I like the word, fire –

the way it ignites

the cutting edge of poetry

refusing to be nothing less than

a fiery edge …

a fiery tongue …

And I like the way it is linked

to the word, wildness.


I like the word, wild –

how it weaves its way

between yes and no,

how it announces itself as

a wild anger …

a wild joy …

And I like the way it nurtures

the word, fierce.


I like the word, fierce –


Visit David Shepherd’s Wildlife Foundation, sign up or even adopt a tiger and play your part in protecting our ‘fierce’.

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