Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lessons from the Small


in santorini i notice a small salamander resting in the crevice of cooled bricks.
it is brown and green and gray and seems content in its rest.

taking advantage of its immobility, i lay on the floor,
stomach adding heat to tile,
and investigate.

i am freckled by the sun.
is this enough camouflage to disguise my presence
or do my eyes give me away?

likely the latter.

i try to slow my blinking
but it is hard to stop my body's automaton response
honed over 32 years.

the salamander is uninterested with me
and my one-sided babble of inquiry.
why do i feel the need to hear my voice?

rays of sunshine reach me and i grow tired of trying so hard.
i fall into waking dreams of
folgers coffee containers holding anxious amphibians
and of newly learned greek superstitions surrounding fire and these creatures.

i blink and my companion is gone
and i learn a simple lesson
of the wisdom of gathering heat to move
and of surrendering to stillness in the meantime.

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