Get information Pendulum: Our blog 80/20 - The tiger has come to tea As we continue to share submissions to our 80/20 arts project, here's a new poem from Orla Blakelock. This tiger sips her hot beverage with a charming brazenness The kind of charm most of us long for but never undertake, the kind that needs a raw appetite for gristle, bones and steak This tiger has a hunger for the pythons of the rainforest, for the sharks that like to bite So it is no wonder this young dragonfly more than warms her appetite The bright blue dragonfly with the short tight curls, the bright blue dragonfly who turns the heads of all the girls Tiger sees, tiger likes, so now the tiger has come to tea. She sits and looks and waits, then she says: "Do I have to pay for your tea, or it is free?" Young dragonfly flurries into a haze of blue confusion: “Why of course, whatever set you under that illusion?” Tiger smiles, tiger smirks, she is already beginning to see dragonfly’s quirks The tea is made and the sugar descended, and already tiger feels that it’s ended. As she stares into the depths of dragonfly’s eyes, she realises she doesn’t need to try Tiger sees that she has the dragonfly’s wings, that she has the power to snap them as she sings - to the tune that tigers like to call ‘majestic’. It’s what they do when their minds turn from happy to sick This tiger’s stripes have gone rotten and dragonfly begins to feel her heart bleed, as she wipes away the cotton from her eyes Dragonfly’s wings are clipped, her colour drained and drenched in mud. Dragonfly is wounded, she is without her wings, only now she only hears the poison in the words the tiger sings This tiger is like no other, immune from the ruin she instils in family, her lovers. She has no limits, no loyalties. Tiger knows what love can do, and so she has only come for tea But now the teapot is spewing acid, and the cakes are talking madness - the tablecloth has run away, overwhelmed with sadness! All that’s left is a table with angry pots and seared teaspoons The tea party has been swallowed up, swallowed up with gloom So with this sorry sight, the tiger falls away - she is nothing without tea and cake to fill her tray It is no surprise to realise that tiger knows how to fake, no surprise to realise, she knows how to take. Take the colour and drain it from Dragonfly’s face Drench it in mud, and make her sorry she ever liked the chase She muffles the dragonfly and takes her pride - dragonfly is taken in, and out with the tide A tide swarmed with attention and exhilaration But one which never reaches the shores, for it did not have the patience, to feel, and know the warmth that dragonflies can bring To know the damage we can do when we are tigers with wide eyes and a face like a king Find out more about our 80/20 arts project for young people. Learn more about our Youth Service especially for young people affected by bipolar.