Blessed be the snake, giver of knowledge.
Reborn, repolished, renewed each shedding time.
Teach me to shed what is not needed
And by so doing, renew myself.
Blessed be the dolphin, gentle wisdom of the sea.
Wiser in its silence than all human chatter.
Teach me that peace is the road to wisdom
Rather than idle words.
Blessed be the shark, great eater of the depths.
Shredding teeth that relish human flesh.
Teach me that I too, may be prey
If I violate Nature’s laws.
Blessed be the apes, closest kin and cursed by kin.
Bloody mouths, gentle hands, always forgiving.
Teach me all the paths I may follow
From fierce defender to gentle shadow.
Blessed be the great cats, most beautiful, most deadly.
Skin stretched over sinew, ripping claws sheathed in velvet.
Teach me that beauty is never useless,
always powerful and often ignored.
Blessed be the wolf, singer in the dark.
Swift striker, quick biter, gentle lover.
Teach me to love without letting
My inmost rage touch those I love.
Blessed be the dog and cat, who gave up their wildness
For hearth-right and heart-room.
Teach me to see the faint reflection
of wolf and panther in your eyes.
Blessed be the mouse, rat and pigeon, they love us best.
Truly do their bellies love all of humankind.
Teach me that what is oft proclaimed as love
Is little more than hunger.
Blessed be the elephant, knowingly carrying doom.
Loving matriarchs, mourning families, hiding ivory death from man.
Teach me to love, to mourn, to care
And to hide what I must lest I be destroyed by greed.
Blessed be the dodo, lest we forget.
Fang and beak remember thee.
Teach me that wrongs once done,
may be mourned but not undone.
Blessed be all my kin, all the shapes,
Furred, feathered, crawly and slimy.
Teach me that shape and form
have nothing to do with power or importance.
[Joyce Frohn has been published in ClarkesWorld, Writer’s Digest and Tales of the Unanticipated. She is married with a daughter. She has been a professional writer for years, but feels she is still learning.]