The Limping Lizard

The lizard limps

down the middle of the dirt road.

I stop the car, climb out, herd him to the side.

He only perseveres back to the center,

with a three-legged limp,

right front leg held high.


Heart screams, no, poor baby!


He should be lifted on all fours

streaking like light

across the gramma grass.


Or doing pushups in the sun

with a confident grin.


He should be leaping from rooftops

and scaling vertical walls.


I scoop him up,

his little toes tickling my palm,

settle him near a juniper.

Maybe he will be fine.


Likely he will be eaten—

by a coyote or red-tail hawk.


At home, tears roll down my cheeks,

the image playing in my mind,

the injured leg held high

and a look on his reptile face:

desolate confusion.


The cruelty of the world

sometimes breaks my heart.


Where is the higher view?


Then the Beloved delivers it in a rush of love:


These lives are but a fly

on the tip of a lizard’s tongue,

swallowed at sunrise.


They pass, one upon the other—

thousands of cranes settling

on the water at dusk.


Each a whole university of lessons,

a vast library of wisdom.


The limping lizard will be pushed

to birth a new self-concept,

maybe a subtler one,

maybe one day discovering

the speed and agility of his own soul.


The tears dry into fine salt

at the edges of my eyes.

When I rinse them away,

they swirl down the drain,

through the pipes

and into the great ocean

that they are.



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7 Responses to “The Limping Lizard”

  1. Stephani August 2, 2018 at 7:31 am #

    Lesley, dear, I am practically both speechless and breathless as I take in the profundity of these wise and inspiring words. Thank you for them and for the images they conjure in my mind. Every month, I read your poetic prose and declare unequivocally that is my favorite. And it is, at least until the next month.
    Many, many, Shabda-filled blessings coming your way with much Love.

    • Lesley August 2, 2018 at 11:32 am #

      Thank you, Stephani. I’m so happy that these missives inspire you, as your comments always do me, so eloquent and deep. We are blessed to share in this bounty of love!

  2. Theresa K Gormly August 2, 2018 at 8:39 am #

    I love this – I just don’t know how you gather the most beautiful words together !

  3. Monica Zmuda August 2, 2018 at 9:36 am #

    Dearest Lesley: Your poems take me into deeper places of myself, with vivid imagery and heightened awareness of this journey we are on. Thank you for this. Many blessings to you. 💞

  4. Cynthia Davie August 2, 2018 at 9:50 am #

    Ahh, that’s a very sweet awareness put to paper in a beautifully written poem.

    Thank you

  5. Gina August 2, 2018 at 10:19 am #

    The cruelty of the world breaks my heart, too 💔

  6. Rudy August 2, 2018 at 4:36 pm #

    I marveled that you shed tears over a lizard’s fate. That, more than anything else in the poem is what captured my attention. Your sensitivity to all creatures of this pinda plane inspires me to be more aware and more caring. Thank you for sharing this lovely poetic journal entry.

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