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ode to opuntia

What treasures
are you protecting
with your fierce needles?  

And who could ever kiss you?  

For months, I walked
right past you, on these trails, 
mostly just noting how dangerous you seemed, 
and how painful it would be to step on you, 
in a moment of distraction.  

You better pay attention!
you seemed to continually threaten
…or I will pierce your shoes,
and don’t think your thick soles
will be any protection.

Positively put off,
I just kept my distance,
but yesterday, I noticed 
some of your needles are missing
and parts of you are rotting.

You too are going to die, I thought.
That softened my feelings for you.
As I cautiously came a little closer,
your Mickey Mouse ears
invited me to say a few words.

What I said was…

Thank you for reminding me
to mind where I place my feet on this earth.

and

One day, if you let me,
I will tell you the story 
of the Little Prince.
The rose he loved 
was fierce like you.

December 2018,
in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Opuntia is the Latin name for the Prickly Pear Cactus. It is also the name of my favorite cafe in Santa Fe, New Mexico, wonderfully self-described as a “tea house in a glasshouse with colorful dishes & botanical curiosities.” Opuntia Cafe is where I eventually learned that the cacti I kept encountering on the Sierra del Norte trails were none other than the Prickly Pear. As it turns out, opuntia is entirely edible and makes a wonderful juice!


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ode to the praying otter

I first saw you
in a cafe, on a flyer
for a Qi Gong class
offering embodied
movement meditations
called Earth Prayers.

You were standing there,
as the ambassador,
devotionally looking
heavenward, 
your little paws together,
looking so sincere
and endearing 
in your cozy furry body.

It was love at first sight.
I took the flyer off the wall
and brought you home,
resolved to take you on
as my new lifestyle guru.

What inspired me?

the whole-body joy
I experience whenever 
I look at you;
the ear-to-ear smile
the mere thought of you
keeps on sparking;
the longing to learn
how to play in a prayful way,
and pray in a playful way.

Precious otter,
your exquisite modeling
of how to engage life
whole-heartedly
and not so seriously,
is without a doubt,
what I most wish to learn
in this time of my life.

This photo was taken by Marac Andrev Kolodzinski
at the Whipsnade Zoo outside of London:
Read the back story.
Licensed by Getty Images.


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thin-skinned

The translucent bell-shaped body of the blue jelly fish,
the sensuous silky petals of the pink peony,
and the delicate double wings of the dragonfly
remind me that being thin-skinned
can be an exquisite thing.


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unspoiled

Would you pause
for spellbinding beauty,
and stirring earth poetry?

If so…

“Take a visual odyssey
through the fjord-ridden, wind-sculpted,
sheep-hanging archipelago
of 18 volcanic islands in the North Atlantic
and remember your place in this humbling Earth Walk.”
~ Katie Teague


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ode to silent poets

You see
the precious gift
of ordinary things
as Pablo Neruda did,
but need no words,
pen or paper,
to bow

to olive oil
to the great night sleep
to the mossy rocks
to the blooming ocotillo
to the perfectly ripe avocado
to every day heroes
to hand-written letters
to spontaneous laughter
to fresh farm eggs
to the smiling stranger
to the desert’s wildflowers
to the world wide web
to bittersweet moments
to afternoon naps
to grey clouds
to slowing down
to stinging nettles
to soft blankets
to strange dreams
to the garbage man
to the graceful death

The simple gifts
your devotional being sees
as you move through life
fills you with that deep warmth
you silently beam out.

And that
is the gift
you are.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This impromptu poem was my contribution
to Gratefulness.org’s lovely invitation.


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Too bad

 
 
You often sit by yourself,
wondering and worrying
about all kinds of things,
thinking you’re all alone.

We’re with you
all day long, diligently
beating your heart,
greening the grass
that greets your feet,
feeding you air
and sunlight,
showering you
with little sparks
of life.

Too bad
you do not notice.

You’re so busy
sticking to your story
of broken home
and lost community

thirsty for support
but unable to feel our care
or take it in.

Let’s hope something
will some day
break the strange spell
which has you dying of thirst
by a fountain.

Tesa Silvestre
in Love Notes from Life


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ode to opuntia

What treasures are you protecting with your fierce needles?   And who could...
article post

ode to the praying otter

I first saw you in a cafe, on a flyer for a Qi Gong class offering...
article post
thumbnail the spider’s heart article post

thin-skinned

The translucent bell-shaped body of the blue jelly fish, the sensuous silky petals of the...
article post

unspoiled

Would you pause for spellbinding beauty, and stirring earth poetry? If...
article post

ode to silent poets

You see the precious gift of ordinary things as Pablo Neruda did, but need no words, pen...
article post
thumbnail Swoosh article post

Too bad

    You often sit by yourself, wondering and worrying about all kinds of...
article post