Friday, October 19, 2007


I have a belief that we all need to surround ourselves with as much beauty as we can.
To some beauty might be the clothing department at Nordstrom's or the multitude of shoes at DSW. It might be hearing the crowd at an Indians game or the organ in a Mozart mass. Your personal definition of beauty is what gives you peace - what you yearn for.
But I'm talking about something as small as taking the more scenic sidestreets on your way to work, burning incense or a candle you like to smell, looking at photographs of people you love on the wall each day. Hug the beauty instead of the ugliness the world can rain on you daily - on the radio - TV - newspapers - co-workers - whatever.
On my drive to work I have found a way to go past a small farm with llamas and a pond that almost always has a blue heron motionlessly stalking a fish. I planned it that way and I like looking at those sights each morning before I spend a day in the noisy, boisterous atmosphere of an elementary school.
Here's a poem I wrote about llamas:

The llamas look hungry
as I drive by at 7:45.
They linger at the fence
waiting for their plop of hay,
a clutter of absurd necks and brown pop-eyes,
an incongruous sight as the highway looms ahead.

Daily I teach children
who have never seen a llama,
who don't know they live by a Great Lake,
or a great zoo where llamas display
their silky coats, their piebald wools,
their pancake eyes and paintbrush eyelashes.

These children have never seen a blue heron
like the one standing in our lake all day,
would not recognize the houses
where two parents help with homework,
street corners where they stand at the bus stop
to wave goodbye each morning.

As I drive by at 4:05 the llamas huddle
under sheltering boughs in the drowsy spring rain.
They must not like the smell
of their wet wool sweaters.
I wonder if, they too, want to spit at me.

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