Lesson in Santorini

An exotic salamander

What makes it such?

It’s exotic to me

To itself, not so much.

It scampers around

On a mission it seems

But hesitant or deliberate

—or lost in a dream.

Passing by without commotion

Returning again with curious devotion

…a connection to me?

…my spirit a draw?

I sit quietly to receive

In nature, in awe.

Upon his return

And that of his rival

Mystery is lifted


They hustle and tarry

Each spy and then parry

…until there is one.

This one’s tail —unbroken.

To him I attribute

Much more than he has.

Not brave—not bold

Not cunning or fast

His gesture, staccato

His long awkward pause

My foreign surroundings

My perception thrown off

His intention and method are simple: To avail and accept.

Surveying pumice so hot

In Aegean sun

His efforts are ceaseless

His reward … a walnut

Just a chip of the whole

But for him, so much

It was nothing for me

To give abundance

What did he do

That I can’t do too?

To expect constant Nature

To honor her rules.

That should I decide

What I want and expect

What is needed is given

If I do more than reflect

His lesson for me

Simple and true

My life is only

What I think, feel and do.

-Ron Renaud