the tigers have found me

Literary Tattoos: For Jane Charles Bukowski

225 days under grass
and you know more than I.
they have long taken your blood,
you are a dry stick in a basket.
is this how it works?
in this room
the hours of love
still make shadows.

when you left
you took almost
I kneel in the nights
before tigers
that will not let me be.

what you were
will not happen again.
the tigers have found me
and I do not care.

- “For Jane” by Charles Bukowski

Amanda got this tattoo after her mother died of cancer, 5 years ago this past memorial day:

Of all the poems I have read about loss, this one, to me, is the most subtle, the most striking, and the closest thing to describing grief I have come across.  I got these lines done to commemorate both her memorial, as well as for the open ended nature of the quote itself.  I figure the tigers can mean any sort of adversity, and to not care can be either a submission, or a lack of fear.  Because of this, the quote reminds me that it’s ok to feel pain, as well as that it can be met with resilience, and even a sense of detachment, which is essential for forward momentum in life.

They were done by Aron Mathews of 7th Street Tattoo in Little Rock, AR.


  1. Severus Flecha says

    Love the font, the placement, the meaning and the quote (as the poem).

    Excellent tattoo, honestly!

  2. says

    This is the first tattoo on here that has compelled me to comment. Bukowski rocks so hard. As does this tattoo. The meaning is beautiful, so is the placement and font you choose. Grade A stuff right here.

  3. DougTheBug says

    Lemme guess, you are an avid cyclist, work in a coffee shop and wear black framed glasses. While I appreciate Bukowski’s work, I cringe at the hipster scene, of which literary tattoos (a good idea really) have become a trademark for, oh yeah, don’t forget the handlebar-moustache-on-the-index-finger tattoo also.

  4. says

    I really liked this quote when I saw it here, so I ordered The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills to become acquainted with Bukowski. Read them all over the course of two nights, great stuff. Great tattoo.

  5. Melo says

    i love this poemm too… it's definitely one of my favourites. I was thinking of getting "in this room

    the hours of love

    still make shadows."

    im not completely sure yet.. but awesome tat.!

  6. Lynn says

    I had never heard of Charles Bukowski until I stumbled on this page – I instantly felt connected to the poem, to the last two lines. I'm going to get it as my first tattoo, but in white, I want it just for myself to see. Thank you. Thank you! It's so beautiful! :)


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