You learn quickly to not
poke yourself in the eye but
slowly to recognize sticks
after all
are everywhere

suggesting you might bow at
the altar of branches practice
the burn the sting the ocean
on your cheek and consider
their hidden kindness

how they rub the velvet from
your antlers that you might pierce
the dark how you could learn
to nest in their sharp shelter
no longer praising only

the soft rose its short-
lived beauty but thanking
the thorn and its hard brethren
the sticks the branches how
they persist how

they teach you to love
this life




  1. Susan Lukwago · · Reply

    Rafiki, a beautiful poem but I will need your help in beginning to truly take it in. Metaphors for life … with its beauty and thorns … and learning to live with all of life …


    1. Well, if I weren’t being a little abstruse, I’d feel as if I’d failed as a poet. 🙂 Thanks as always for reading and responding, my friend.


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