Poetry Party #18: And a donkey shall lead them

From Christine at Abbey of the Arts:

“This is our 18th Poetry Party! I select an image and suggest a title and invite you to respond with your poems, words, reflections, quotes, song lyrics, etc. Leave them in the comments or email me and I’ll add them to the body of the post as they come in along with a link back to your blog if you have one (not required to participate!) I’ll add your contributions all week and then I will draw a name at random on Saturday morning from everyone who participates and will send the winner their choice of zine.

The image below was taken at a sheep farm in Arlington, WA, about an hour from Seattle. We went there as part of a Slow Food event and got to see the dogs herding the sheep which is quite remarkable. I was most moved however by the donkey they keep in the pasture with the sheep. Apparently he provides some extra protection for them from coyotes because he bonds with the sheep and then his size scares away some of the predators. At one point the dogs had herded the sheep behind the donkey and the image made me smile. I was reminded of the Isaiah 11:6 quote “and a little child shall lead them.” I believe in the power of humility and of offering ourselves to the wisdom of animals, so this photo made me wonder what you, my wonderful poet friends might imagine. Where do you go when you choose to relinquish your own ego and follow a path that might seem foolish?”

I used to do Stuff.
Busy, productive, weight-bearing, exciting Stuff.
Stuff that hinted at prestige, power and popularity.
My heart wasn’t in it any more.
So I quit.

I took the off-ramp.
I put myself out to pasture.
To be who I am
The way God made me
And am actually loving this new track I’m on…
Because it is not Stuff that consumes me any more.
It’s God.
It’s People.
It’s the wind instead of air conditioning.
It’s leaning back on a tree instead of an easy chair.
It’s the sunshine instead of a furnace.
It’s picking dandelions instead of roses.
It’s knowing that I have grass stains all over me.
It’s knowing others have grass stains too…
and wanting to help them be clean.

I’m just one herbivore
telling other herbivores
where to find the dandelions…


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