Yesterday I attended a writing workshop—something I haven’t made time for in a while. It was held in an older part of Tucson, and we had access to a nice backyard where, during the meditative writing time, I found myself inspired by a monumental prickly pear cactus. Using this phrase from Abraham Joshua Heschel as inspiration, the following poem flowed from my fingertips and I offer it for your own inspiration.
Can a flower, worlds away from the source of energy, attain a perception of its origin?
Taller than the greenhouse,
Reaching past the power lines,
Seeking power greater
Than that of human origin
Branching testimony to years of steady
Juicy and yet well-defended
Slowly giving way to brown,
Age supporting youth
Rough foundation sustains a fleshy beauty
Not without its own
We have never lived in one place long enough to
Grow cacti large enough for trees.
What do we gain with these constant moves?
And somewhere on Foraker Street
Four houses ago
A prickly pear we planted
Continues to rise toward the sun.
We may never see its maturity
But someone else will feast eyes upon its
And begin to understand.