Friday, August 21, 2015

The Friendly Lizard

Every morning lately,
When I’ve gone outside to stretch and have a look around,
On the inside of the mosquito screen 
That encloses our patio I find perched,
Silently soaking-in the day’s first sunshine,
A beautiful green lizard. 

I wondered what 
Kind of lizard it was.
So I used my smartphone 
To search the internet.

I learned that this type of lizard is called
A Green Anole.
(An anole is a chameleon.
I learned that too.)
It is Florida’s most common anole,
Said the Audubon guide.

“Anolis carolinensis,” it read.
“Slender, long snout.
Changes color in response to light, temperature, emotions.
Male has pink throat fan.
Toes padded.
Tail long, thin.
Habitat; Trees, shrubs, vines, fences, walls.
Activity; By day.”

Yes, they are common enough in Florida.
One sees them everywhere,
If one knows how to look.
But this one doesn’t seem so common.

I call him The Friendly Lizard.

You see, most lizards run away
When you try to get too close.
Even if your intentions are harmless.
(Just like humans run away 
From good intentions sometimes.)

But this little guy,
Being only ten or twelve inches long
Including his delicate tail,
Sits there unafraid!

Not camera shy at all!
With a tilt of his head 
He watched as I approached 
With my smartphone extended.

I got as close as I dared
To the brave little lizard
And took a photo or two.

Then, without anticipation he slowly turned 
And began to walk up the screen.
Walk, mind you. 
Not run.

He paused at head height,
So that he could look me in the eye as it were,
And just to let me know he wasn’t afraid,
He offered to fight me!

Fight or fornicate, one or the other!
Because, me having no throat fan,
How could he be sure
What sex I was?

He nodded his little head 
A couple of times to attract my attention,
And then proudly displayed his beautiful 
Orangey-pink throat fan.

What impertinence!
What braggadocio!
What bravery!

Watching this miracle, 
I could feel the poem I was to write 
Begin to form within me.
I even foresaw its title,
The Friendly Lizard.

I turned off my smartphone,
Lowered my arms, 
And looked at the lizard.
Eyeball to eyeball.
Mano e reptile!
With no camera between us.
Just me and him.

And as I looked at the lizard
I experienced a zen moment.

How wonderful life is! I thought.
It’s all in how you see it!
To live in wonder!
That’s the zen of it!

To live with some kind of inner peace
In a constantly changing world
That we cannot control …
… but must not fear!

And to let ourselves 
Enjoy the moments,
And therefore the years,
That make up our lives!

And in this zen moment I also thought;
Thank You!
And Thank You again
My beautiful zen garden!

For giving me beauty. 
And sometimes even enlightenment and yes!
The most wondrous of all gifts,
The ability to Love.

As I thought these 
Wonderful thoughts,
The Friendly Lizard took one last look,
Nodded his head a couple of times,
And slowly crawled away.

“See you tomorrow!” I whispered.
And the day after maybe.
And who knows? 
Maybe even the day after that.

For nobody can be sure
That he will still be here tomorrow.
Or three days from tomorrow.
But I'd be happy to meet you here in the morning,
Little Friendly Lizard,
Unless zen and circumstance
Cause either you or I …

… To take another path.


  1. I love this!! The wonderful magic moments in life when you 'connect' with a stranger, even be that a lizard :0 and get to walk away saying " see you , friend!"
    I love my moments connecting with you Rusty " see you , Friend ! "

    1. Thank you, friend!
      Glad you enjoyed it,
      And that we connected.
      See you next time.